2014 Maserati GranTurismo Preview

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The Maserati GranTurismo mates serene yet sporty handling with a beautiful Ferrari V-8 engine note for one fabulous luxury coupe.

The 2014 Maserati GranTurismo is about much more than just speed or luxury, though it packs both aplenty. Cachet, style, the essence of Italian exotica--these are some of the benefits of owning a Maserati. It evokes passion in its owner and envy in one's rivals.

One of the most stunning, curvaceous vehicles on the planet today, the Maserati GranTurismo's success is measured in the sweep of its suggestive hips, its come-hither front-end look, and its gloriously decadent interior. Trimmed in your choice of metals, leathers, and wood, the GranTurismo is a connoisseur's car.

While the larger Quattroporte and new Ghibli sedan get an array of updated, turbocharged engines, the GranTurismo carries a Ferrari-sourced 4.7-liter V-8 engine under its hood. That sister-branded touch of sport is more than just a nod in the right direction; it's up to 454 horsepower of sonorous speed sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. The Convertible Sport and all GranTurismo coupe models score the 454-horsepower rating; the base convertible gets a nominal 444 horsepower from the same engine.

With Ferrari's V-8 under the hood, the 2014 Maserati GranTurismo ticks off just 4.7 seconds on the way to 60 mph. The sport-shifting automatic transmission blips the throttle and responds to driver requests with vigor. In all, the GranTurismo presents a performance personality that borders on brash, but is always brisk.

But the standard GranTurismo isn't the highest-performance model; the GranTurismo MC (also known as the MC Stradale outside the U.S.) raises the game with a new carbon fiber vented hood, a track-tuned suspension, forged alloy 20-inch wheels, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, and a top speed of 188 mph. The latest updates to the GranTurismo MC offer an optional return of 2+2 seating configuration; previous iterations had stripped the rear seat to save weight.

All models except the MC come standard with the Skyhook air suspension that gives the GranTurismo an effortless combination of smooth ride quality and taut, balanced handling; the GranTurismo MC can equip the Skyhook system as an add-on.

Inside the 2014 Maserati GranTurismo, the atmosphere is pure luxury, but despite the premium materials and old-world-meets-new-age design, the cabin is also very useful. With four real, usable adult-sized seats, the GranTurismo is a rarity in the high-performance, high-style luxury coupe world.

Features and technology are as advanced as you'd hope, too: navigation, Bluetooth, and a Bose audio system are all standard. Cosmetic options and upgrades edge into haute couture status, with custom-stitched seats, multi-colored leathers, and exotic wood trims all available for your personal styling touch. Trident-embroidered headrests? You can order those, too.

As Italy's answer to the Jaguar XK or Mercedes-Benz SL, the Maserati GranTurismo isn't so much about spec sheets and data sets, but about emotion and the desire to roam the Earth in a bespoke bit of excellence. Abandon all logic, ye who enter here, for this is the land of passion.

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