Buy it: It looks stunning and there is a 4.7-litre 460bhp V8 under the bonnet that makes an unholy sound when you gas the throttle.
Don’t buy it: The interiors feel like they are from 2002 and it is terribly impractical in every way that you can imagine.
One buys a Mercedes for comfort, an Audi for the technology or a BMW because they appeal to your inner racing driver. But a Maserati…well you buy it because it stirs up the inner child in you. It is the very same one that hung as a poster on your bedroom wall and so you dreamt every night of blasting down the Italian Autostrade.
Well that’s what the Maserati Gran Turismo Sport is. An indulgent dream packaged in a stunning Pininfarina designed body that looks like nothing else and sounds like the thunder pealing out of the sky during a heavy storm.
Before I get all lost in how incredible the design is, I should tell you that this is a 2016 MY car and that a 2017 model will make its way to India next year. The updated car sees quite a few changes both on the inside and outside.
The Gran Turismo Sport stands low to the ground with the Maserati trident logo appearing almost 3D-like thanks to black inserts in the front bumper. The heavily, flared haunches and forward sloping bonnet add to the angry and purposeful appearance of the car.
Head over to its side and just one glance is enough to make you realise that all Maserati cars should be two-door affairs as it suits their sporty nature quite well. The stance is entirely forward leaning and thanks to the massive engine, the cabin sits in a mid-rear position. It is almost impossible to miss those massive wheels and the prominent contrast coloured brake calipers.
Given, the positioning of the cabin, it is kind of obvious that there would be a stubby boot. The wedge-shaped tail lamps with LED inserts are hard to miss while the sound track that comes out from behind the car is the courtesy of two massive chromed out tail pipes. For something that’s been given such heavily flared wheel arches and has a width that’s 200mm over that of a Toyota Fortuner, the rear looks surprisingly compact and well-toned.
A common joke trending on the internet these days always begins with ‘Only 2000’s kids will remember this’. And that phrase seems aptly suited to describe the cabin of the Gran Tursimo. The whole layout feels dated and even the steering is massive for a cabin of this size.
A saving grace in what is otherwise a very dated cabin is the whole seating package which is really good. All four individual seats have been trimmed out in really nice leather with contrast stitching and Maserati logos. The front ones also have electric adjustment, but no lumbar adjustment. There is plenty of support for the upper body as well the legs and this is particularly useful when one is catching those high G-forces through the corners. The steering is massive for such a car but feels classy to use and looks nice, thanks to a carbon fibre insert on the top.
Sadly, these are the high points for the cabin of a car that costs Rs 2.2 crores. The infotainment system looks dated and is a not a touch unit, the climate control interface seems to have been borrowed from a budget Fiat and there far too many buttons for a performance car in this smart phone age.
The cabin is a 2+2 which means you can bring two more people to scare when you are gunning this beast to the limit.
For a generously proportioned individual like myself, the back is best suited to short journeys as its cramped and getting in and out is quite a task. But if you are of normal size then it should not be too much of an issue and you will actually find the leather seats quite comfortable. Finally, there is a 260-litre boot which is good for some small stuff, while in terms of safety you get all the driver aids like ABS, EBD, traction control, ESP as well as six airbags.
We have been going on and on about the sound track and speed over the last 800 words and here's where things get real. Firstly, there is a massive naturally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 sitting well behind the front axles. It produces a whopping 460bhp/520Nm of torque with power going to rear wheels via a six-speed AT. It’s a detuned Ferrari engine and in the world of performance cars, that’s as good as things can get when one dreams of the Prancing Horse but it is just a little out of your reach.
Stick the old school style key fob, twist and prepare to have your special places come to attention as the V8 come to life with a throaty growl. Mash the throttle and you are treated to a life enriching experience from the exhaust pipes and once you cross the 2000rpm mark, attaining aural V8 nirvana becomes a real possibility.
It is also not a vehicle meant to tick off various performance parameters but rather one to enjoy the sensations with and celebrate the fact that you can be north of 150kmph without breaking a sweat. Give it an open highway and you will feel the car come alive in no time.
The feel from the massive steering wheel is pretty good and weighs up correctly at three-digit speeds while the paddle shifters respond instantly, treating you to a bunch of crackles and pops as you drop gears to slow down. The braking power is phenomenal though we found them overly assisted. But with so much performance on the tap, it seems like a useful thing to have.
For a car of this kind of extreme design, it rides surprisingly well and was able to take on our Indian conditions without struggling too much. The car that we drove had been fitted with optional 40 profile R19 wheels and tyres and you only felt a real difference when the car was slotted into sports mode. Here, the ride firmed up quite a bit and the steering became quite heavy at low speeds.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||460bhp @ 7000rpm|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||520Nm @ 4750rpm|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||86|
|Tyre size||245/40 R19 (Front) , 285/40 R19 (Rear)|
Competition All Specs
|Engine Capacity||5.0-litre||3.8 -litre||4.7-litre|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||543 @ 6500||560bhp @ 6500||460bhp @ 7000rpm|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||680 @ 2500||700 @ 2200||520Nm @ 4750rpm|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||72||68||86|
|Tyre size||255/ 35 R20 (Front) ,295/ 35 R20 (Rear)||245/35 R20 (Front) , 295/30 R20 (Rear)||245/40 R19 (Front) , 285/40 R19 (Rear)|
A car like the Maserati Gran Turismo Sport is all about the experience of going fast and it is never going to make it to any record book in terms of performance numbers. It looks other-worldly and sounds that way too, but loses out thanks to the dated interiors. On our Indian roads, it’s a bit of a handful as you have to carefully navigate your way around every pot hole, speed breaker as well as impatient motorists trying to take your picture or pass you. The Maserati Gran Turismo Sport is priced at Rs 2.2 crore (ex-showroom Delhi).
Photos by Kapil Angane