It was a sunny and breezy day in the Sonoma and Napa Valley region of Northern California for a drive in an Italian purist. The shapely 2013 GranTurismo Sport by Maserati in Blu Sofisticato provided highlight after highlight during my enlightened test drive through the vineyards. Especially being that the coupe speaks elegance and dominance simultaneously.
With uphill bending roads and open straightaways, I was able to understand the messaging of Maserati’s new GT. And that’s just what it is — a GranTurismo — who’s mission is not fixated on all-out acceleration or to become a full-fledged sports car, yet hones the ability to go fast intelligently. Additionally, the GT Sport is about prestige and character. Once inside the cockpit there is no sense of urgency. Supple leathers, refined woods, interchangeable trims and contrast stitching offers title holders a key advantage with its disciplined beauty and admirable performance.
Under the hood remains Maserati’s venerable 4.7-liter V8 with a slight power increase to 454 horsepower. And though it’s only 10 added horsepower, I certainly felt the difference from 2012’s GranTurismo S. Lighter 20” Astro rims wrapped in staggered Pirelli P Zero tires offered amazing stability and grip while specifically designed anodized blue Brembo six-piston calipers provided superb stopping power.
While thoughts of serenity urged me to drive more like a chauffeur, the notion played second fiddle to exploring the depths of the “Sports” button while pushing all 454 horses to the limit. See, Maserati’s “Sports” engagement alters the vehicle in five key areas simultaneously. They say this one optimal setting works for their customers. Others may beg to differ since drive style is so random from person to person.
Once you’ve had your fun and settle down, lavishness is offered in a few key areas. The new steering wheel features deep thumb indentions that allow you to grip the wheel properly. Leather can be selected in any interior hue Maserati offers while the ring material can be wood, Alcantara or carbon fiber with Trofeo shift paddles that can be ordered in carbon fiber. The GT Sport’s new leather seats are designed in-house and feature integrated headrests for both the front and rear passengers. A Bose audio system and a multi-media system with navigation and Bluetooth complete the technology package. However, Maserati is still a bit behind in their multi-media offerings.
Aesthetically, the body is pretty much the same except for a few accent pieces. The rear taillamps now have smoked lenses, new front parking sensors have been added to the aerodynamically enhanced front end, the headlamps have new LED daytime running lights and the side grilles have been enlarged.
Pricing starts at $129,500 after a gas guzzler tax and destination and puts the GT Sport in a prestigious class of approximately 20,000 luxury vehicles priced over $100,000 that have sold in the U.S. thus far in 2012.