By KBB.com Editors
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo is tasteful though not subtle, refined yet untamed. It's a high-fashion, high-pulse-rate, leather-lined 4-seater with stunning lines that shout Italian heritage and modern sex appeal. Add a free-breathing Ferrari-inspired V8 under the hood and smart, programmable modes in the suspension and transmission, and you have a unique take on the exotic-car formula. It costs a lot less than an Aston Martin DB9 or Bentley Continental, a bit more than a Mercedes-Benz CL550 or Jaguar XKR, and has a personality quite different from any of them. It is, in all meaningful ways, Italian. For 2013, there are some styling upgrades and a power increase, and a model line consisting of two coupes (Sport and race-inspired MC) and two convertibles (base and Sport).
If you wear your emotions on your sleeves, the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo will have you rolling them up and taking to the open road. The Audi R8, Jaguar XKR and Mercedes-Benz CL550 may be defensible alternatives, but they lack the uniquely Italian vivaciousness of this gorgeous 2+2 GT.
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo is not a car for the faint of heart or the risk-averse. You won't find it topping the J.D. Power quality charts, and Consumer Reports will not likely name it a recommended buy. If you follow your head rather than your heart, you're looking elsewhere.
A new Sport model appears for 2013, and the lineup now consists of Coupes in Sport and MC trim, and Convertibles in base and Sport versions. The Sport upgrade includes a fresh, more aggressive face and a retune of the 4.7-liter V8 to 454 horsepower (444 in the base Convertible).
Driving Impressions Not only does the GranTurismo look marvelous, it makes you feel marvelous as well. The chassis is superbly balanced with nearly equal weight distribution front to rear. The Sport Coupe,...Convertible and Sport Convertible feature an electronically controlled Skyhook adaptive suspension that continuously adjusts damping to maintain optimum handling control and ride comfort. The race-inspired MC Coupe rolls on a lowered suspension with fixed-rate shocks and stiffer springs and anti-roll bars. Steering feels direct and positive, and race-bred Brembo brakes (6-piston in front) erase speed with confidence. The 4-cam, 32-valve V8 is now tuned for 454 horsepower (444 in the Convertible) and provides plenty of thrust. But as sharp and responsive as it is, the GranTurismo always maintains a sense of grace and polish and refinement.
THE SPORT BUTTON
As if the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo weren't sporty enough, push a dash-mounted Sport button and the exhaust song becomes more intense, shifts get quicker and the Skyhook adjustable-damping suspension delivers a firmer ride and sharper handling.
Even the shift paddles for the 2013 GranTurismo's 6-speed automatic transmission embody the same artistic flair and bold design as the rest of the car. The long, racing-style paddles are made of light alloy and provide tactile manual shift control that enhances the driving experience.
All GranTurismo coupes and convertibles offer 2+2 seating that's essentially two pairs of buckets around a center console. The Sport models get new, form-fitting seats with integral headrests as part of their 2013 refresh. An easy-access feature powers the front seats forward to help clear a path to the rear. The triple-insulated canvas convertible top power-deploys in just 24 seconds, and will do so on the run up to 20 mph. Two golf bags stash in the trunk. The Maserati GranTurismo Convertible features rear rollover bars that pop up, protecting occupants in a crash.
The Maserati GranTurismo's bodywork is form-fitting and low-slung. A long, curvaceous hood, prominent oval grille and triple air vents on each front fender create a classic visage. For 2013, the Sport Coupe and Convertible get a facelift, with more aggressive air intakes in front (similar to the race-inspired MC's) and new headlights. The base Convertible continues with the former front-end style. All 2013 GranTurismos roll on big, 20-inch alloy wheels. The GranTurismo MC Coupe has bodywork inspired by the racing Stradale, employing a wider front spoiler and rear diffuser to make the car more stable at speed.
Present and accounted for are features you'd expect in a $130,000 sports-luxury car, such as navigation (7-inch screen), extensive leather trim, heated power front seats with memory, a Bose surround-sound audio system with satellite radio and Bluetooth/iPod integration, a hard drive to store music, rear parking sensors, and rain-sensing wipers. On the convertible GranTurismos, the A/C settings adjust automatically based on whether the top is up or down.
Maserati offers a staggering degree of personalization. The convertible top comes in six colors. The interior can be trimmed in black chrome or exotic woods like padouk and wenge. There are eight different finishes for the brake calipers and four different wheel designs, each available in bright silver or dark charcoal. The MC Coupe is available with exterior carbon-fiber accents. Convertibles can be optioned with a wind-stop screen behind the front seats to reduce turbulence. What you can't get in a GranTurismo are high-tech options like night vision, a head-up instrument display, or dynamic cruise control.
The heart of this Maserati is its melodic, high-spirited 4.7-liter V8 co-developed with Ferrari. For the new GranTurismo Sport, it makes an authoritative 454 horsepower, and that tune has been extended to the Convertible Sport and MC Coupe. The base GranTurismo Convertible now uses the 444-horsepower version of this engine previously fitted to the MC. Though not particularly fuel-efficient, this engine is smooth, responsive and strong. Its song becomes especially intoxicating in Sport mode, when an exhaust-system bypass valve opens above 3,000 rpm. The GranTurismo's 6-speed automatic transmission offers a Sport mode for quicker shifts, a Manual setting for full manual gear selection via steering column-mounted paddle shifters, and an Ice mode for low-grip situations where the transmission starts out in 2nd gear.
4.7-liter V8 (base Convertible)
444 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
376 lb-ft of torque @ 4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg
4.7-liter V8 (Sport and MC Coupe, Sport Convertible)
454 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
384 lb-ft of torque @ 4,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/20 mpg (Sport Convertible), 13/21 mpg (Sport and MC Coupes)
There may be no logical reason to buy a Maserati, but life is short and self-indulgence underrated. On the Coupe side, the Sport starts at $129,500 (including $1,800 destination charge and $1,700 gas-guzzler tax) and the MC at $146,400. The base GranTurismo Convertible starts at $141,800 and the Sport at $146,300. With the broad selection of personalization options, including exterior paint, interior trim and wheels, the sticker can easily rise to the $160,000 range and higher. (Matte-finish paint is a $20,500 option.)The GranTurismo has character and passion going for it, even if it's a little old-school compared to the Audi R8, and less technology-laden than the BMW 650, Mercedes-Benz CL550 and Jaguar XKR. Resale value should hold up reasonably well. Obviously, servicing dealers are fewer and farther between than with other premium brands. Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price before committing to a deal.