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Maserati GranCabrio Sport hits Oz from $338K

It's here: The Maserati GranCabrio Sport has now arrived in Australia and will command a $10,000 premium over the regular model.

GranCabrio Sport flagship to become Maserati’s top-selling soft-top in Australia

17 Jan 2012

THE first examples of Maserati’s GranCabrio Sport have arrived in Australia priced at $338,000 plus on-road costs and is expected to account for the majority of GranCabrio sales here.

Edward Rowe, the public relations manager for Maserati importer European Automotive Imports, told GoAuto that several orders had been placed, well ahead of the car’s arrival in Australia.

The Australian price for Maserati’s harder-edged drop-top equals the original price for the standard version, which was dropped by $10,000 in May last year as EAI passed on the benefit of a strong Aussie dollar to customers.

Mr Rowe said EAI believes the specification of the GranCabrio Sport and its relatively small price premium over the standard car will make it the most popular GranCabrio variant.

A lower than expected price means the GranCabrio competes with the Mercedes-Benz SL500, is less expensive than the Jaguar XKR-S convertible and significantly undercuts the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet and Aston Martin DB9 Volante, both of which nudge $400,000.

32 center imageFirst presented in Geneva last March and previewed at the Melbourne show in July, the GranCabrio Sport is powered by a meatier 331kW and 510Nm that pushes the 1980kg car from rest to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds – a tenth quicker than the identically heavy standard car.

The claimed top speed of 285km/h with the roof closed is two clicks faster than the standard car and 10km/h faster than with the drop-top folded.

Despite its 4.7-litre V8 engine developing an extra 8kW and 20Nm over the standard GranCabrio, the Sport is claimed to offer a welcome fuel consumption saving of six per cent, down from 15.4L/100km to a still-thirsty 14.5L/100km.

The juxtaposition of extra power and improved economy is largely due to the use of a friction-reducing diamond-like carbon coating on engine internals.

Upgrades to the ZF six-speed automatic transmission, a development of the unit in the Quattroporte Sport GT S, mean faster shifts are possible, while selecting an MC Auto Shift mode further quickens transmission response.

The extra engine output is complemented by upgrades to the suspension and brakes, with aggressive external flourishes visually distinguishing the Sport from its less powerful sibling.

A menacing black grille is flanked by black-backed headlights and inlaid with the famous Maserati trident emblem in chrome with red highlights, a subtle feature used to signify the most powerful variant of each car in the range.

Black replaces chrome on the window sill trim and exhaust tips, while enhanced aerodynamics – claimed to contribute to the Sport’s lower fuel consumption – comprise revised side-skirts and front corner splitters.

The look is topped off by special 20-inch alloy wheels and the option of an exclusive Rosso Trionfale paint finish that recalls classic Maserati race cars of the 1950s.

Maserati sold 140 cars in Australia during 2011, falling just one unit short of the previous year’s total.

Maserati GranCabrio pricing (before on-roads):
GranCabrio (a) $328,000
GranCabrio Sport (a) $338,000

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