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Maserati GranTurismo

Fast, despite early reports, great build, but the brakes lack feel

I recently took a look back at some of the original road tests of the GranTurismo from when it was launched last summer, and every single one of them complained about a lack of performance. Odd that, as I find the sheer brio of my car’s performance one of the best things about it. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that the GranTurismo’s level of performance is nigh-on perfect for a big GT.

Let’s face it, the level of ‘go’ in something like the Zonda is a tad excessive (to put it politely), but the Maser’s 0-100mph dash in just over 11 seconds, combined with a 0-60 time in the low fives, is not exactly hanging about by any means. It certainly feels pretty rapid to me whenever I feel the temptation to sample it, as I did when we were at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground with our Grand Challenge cars recently (evo 116).

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During a quiet moment I popped the Maser through the speed trap, and even with little run-up it broke the beams at 168mph – easily the fastest of the day. Contrary to the initial reports, then, this car cannot really be described as slow.

I think the early misgivings were largely because its predecessor, the Maserati 4200GT, was a quicker device in a straight line. But, to me, the old car always felt as if its engine was a little too well endowed for its chassis. That’s certainly not the case with the GranTurismo, as the chassis seems perfectly able to handle anything you throw at it, with the rear-end grip almost defying physics at times. In fact, I was amazed at just how good the Maser felt when I did a few laps at the Bedford Autodrome in it recently. Pointy and responsive, it felt perfectly at home. Only the brakes let the side down by wilting after a few laps.

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Ah, the brakes. Now there is the real weak link in the GranTurismo’s dynamic make-up. They do feel overwhelmed at times. If there’s some heat in the pads then they feel OK-ish, but if they’re cold then they have a horribly woolly feel, with a soft bite-point and little in the way of initial grab. I’m going to try some different pads as soon as I can find suitable replacements for the standard ones as I’m sure a change of pad compound will make all the difference.

Other than that I’ve got no complaints. The cabin remains wonderfully rattle-free and is still a terrific place to visit every day. Some people in the office have commentated that the interior quality has an almost Germanic feel to it. The attention to detail is certainly up there with the best.

Next month we’ll be driving the potentially even more desirable GranTurismo S, but, right now, do I really want a slightly quicker version of my GranTurismo that’ll cost £12K more and come without the superb ZF auto gearbox? Nah, not really. I’m very happy with what I’ve got already, thank you. It suits me absolutely perfectly.

Running Costs

Date acquiredDecember 2007
Total mileage8230
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month1980
MPG this month22.3

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