Responding to market demands, Maserati
has announced that it will start fitting the most powerful version of its GranTurismo coupe
with a fully-automatic transmission. Until now, the more potent "S" version -- which carries a 434-horse/4.7-liter V8 in place of the standard 405-horse/4.2-liter eight -- was only available with an electronically-actuated six-speed dual-clutch sequential transmission. While capable of blindingly quick changes in full-assault mode, that gearbox is a bit less amenable to slogging about in city traffic than the full-auto ZF six-speed unit used in the base GranTurismo, as well as in Maserati's Quattroporte sedan
. Following its introduction at the Geneva Auto Salon, the new GranTurismo S Automatic will go on sale in Europe and is scheduled to arrive in America sometime this summer. Although pricing has still not been finalized, it's expected to be slightly higher than the existing dual-clutch GranTurismo S.