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Maserati GranTurismo goes around again

Gran daddy: Maserati’s GranTurismo and its GranCabrio sibling will get a refreshed look and slight power increase – but the delicious Ferrari engine note remains unchanged.

Alfieri-inspired grille grafted on to Maserati GranTurismo as it clocks up a decade

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Maserati logo28 Jun 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

MASERATI’S venerable GranTurismo has been given another nip and tuck as its gets set to soldier on into 2018 – its 11th year on the market.

Along with its open-top GranCabrio twin that shares the latest tweaks, the revised GranTurismo two-door, four-seat coupe will touch down in Australia in two guises – Sport and MC (Maserati Corse) – either late this year or early 2018, with prices to be announced.

Unveiled outside the New York Stock Exchange in its lightweight MC form, the latest iteration gets a new hexagonal “sharknose” grille inspired by the Italian car-maker’s Alfieri concept shown at the 2014 Geneva motor show.

The revised look also includes new lower air ducts and a redesigned rear bumper that Maserati says contributes to a slight aerodynamic gain, cutting drag from 0.33 to 0.32Cd.

Power from the Ferrari-sourced normally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 goes up by five kilowatts, to 343kW at 7000rpm, while torque remains the same at 700Nm at 4750rpm.

The six-speed ZF automatic transmission is also carried over, but loses the electronic activated shift control on the MC, replaced by new settings that are said to mimic the superseded MC’s snappy shifts.

Acceleration is said to be faster than before, but only marginally: the Sport does the 0-100km/h dash in 4.8 seconds and tops out at 299km/h, while the MC is quicker at 4.7 seconds and 301km/h.

Inside, the new range gains a high-resolution 8.4-inch capacitive touchscreen and Harman Kardon premium sound system equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

A redesigned centre console has a “double rotary knob” of forged aluminium, presumably to control infotainment system functions, while the buttons for the driving modes have been repositioned, next to the gear lever.

Maserati Australia is depending on the facelift to reinvigorate the GranTurismo and GranCabrio in this market where year-to-date sales are down 52.6 per cent.

Chief operating officer Glen Sealey told GoAuto that while there were younger and faster GT cars on the market, the GranTurismo remained a unique proposition with lots of appeal – a normally aspirated V8-powered GT that is both pleasant to drive and a genuine four-seater.

“More and more of these car in the market have twin-turbo engines, even in Maserati, so the high-revving, high-baritone normally aspirated V8 is a rarity,” he said.

Mr Sealey said that he expected left-hand-drive GT production to start soon in Europe, and if the usual six-month lag time for right-hand-drive applied, the fresh version would start arriving either late in the year or – more likely – early 2018.

Current GranTurismo prices start at $295,000 plus on-road costs for the MC Sportline and rise to $345,000 for the MC Stradale. GranCabrio prices are $338,000 for the Sport and $355,000 for the MC.

While sales of all of Maserati passenger cars models are down by about half in Australia this year to the end of May, overall sales are up 45.6 per cent due to the arrival of the Levante luxury SUV that now accounts for two thirds of all Mazza volume in this country.

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