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Driven: Maserati GranTurismo MC. Image by Maserati.

Driven: Maserati GranTurismo MC
Another minor round of changes for the 2018MY GranTurismo.


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Maserati GranTurismo MC

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The Maserati GranTurismo has been around for a decade now, making it positively ancient in automotive terms. But continual updates and revisions have managed to keep it fresh. Indeed, it's so successful a formula that Maserati has sold 37,000 units worldwide in ten years - more than double what it sold of the 3200/4200 GT predecessors from 1998-2006. And so, for the 2018 model year, we've got another chance to sample the alluring GranTurismo MC, now with tweaked looks.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Maserati GranTurismo MC
Pricing: GranTurismo range from 94,285; MC from 109,920, car as tested 126,444
Engine: 4.7-litre V8 petrol
Transmission: rear-wheel drive, six-speed automatic
Body style: two-door GT coupe
CO2 emissions: 331g/km (VED 2,000 first 12 months, then 450 per annum next five years, then 140 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 19.7mpg
Top speed: 187mph
0-62mph: 4.7 seconds
Power: 460hp at 7,000rpm
Torque: 520Nm at 4,750rpm

What's this?

The Maserati GranTurismo, the unusual four-seat grand tourer crossed with a sports coupe, which is now entering its second decade in production. It's an unusual proposition that has few, if any, direct rivals, and the big Maser is powered by the same normally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 as it has been since 2008. It aims to offer both continent-crushing ability for four occupants (more on that in a moment) with a soupcon of typically Italian supercar gusto. Front-engined and rear-drive, it's unlike anything else on the market, really - but you'd kind of consider it an alternative to a Porsche 911, Audi R8, Jaguar F-Type Coupe, BMW M6 Gran Coupe, Mercedes-AMG GT, or even a Bentley Continental GT. As you can see, quite an eclectic mix of machinery.

There are two trims for the GranTurismo and open-top GranCabrio variant, which are Sport and then MC. To be honest, it's the MC which has more updates to talk about, so it's a good job Maserati UK brought along precisely that model, resplendent in Rosso Trionfale metallic (564) with black/carbon fibre (2,280 for the CFRP bits) detailing. It looks cracking, doesn't it? Oh sure, you could make the argument that familiarity breeds contempt, or that there's surely going to be a limit to how many vents and nostrils the designers can shoehorn into the GranTurismo's face before it jumps the aesthetic shark, or that it has the current Maserati trademark of a colossal wheelbase that makes the car seem a bit... stretched in profile. But up close, in its presence? The GranTurismo still looks breathtakingly spectacular.

The interior is deeply impressive too, although we'll start with a gripe about those back seats. The yawning distance between the Maser's axles is a direct corollary of it trying to accommodate four adults and, with the driver's seat in position for a six-foot driver, you can kinda, sorta imagine a grown-up sitting in the back. But it wouldn't be pleasant for much more than ten miles, really. So the GranTurismo is definitely more spacious than a 2+2, although saying it's a genuine four-seater is pushing the boundaries of definition a bit, that's for sure.

Elsewhere, everything is nicely bolted together and feels of a high quality, although as the car we were testing was 126,000, you kind of think that's the barest minimum standard the cabin must be up to. We like the thin-rimmed, part-carbon steering wheel and carbon fibre trimmings, but then wherever you see the fabled weave, you're looking at the combination of three optional interior carbon packs that add up to 6,600 between them. That's some expensive cockpit tinsel, all told.

So what's new for the MC? Well for 2018, outside you've got a new front grille, a revised front bumper and a reshaped rear bumper; all features shared with Sport versions, too. What's specific to the MC is the carbon fibre bonnet in body colour, a new front splitter and a re-sculpted rear diffuser. Within, all models now enjoy Maserati's latest infotainment system on an 8.4-inch configurable touchscreen - including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support - that's set in a new fascia design, incorporating a different-shaped clock. There's also the addition of a rear parking camera and an upgraded Harman Kardon sound system, giving the GranTurismo a spec sheet that is replete with goodies.

How does it drive?

Magnificently, given that wheelbase and the GranTurismo's sheer physical size. It also has a secret weapon, which is hydraulic steering - a relic from the past that, in the MC, while light in weighting, is nevertheless rich in feel and wonderfully accurate. This allows you to place the Maserati precisely where you want it to be, while it will in turn relay a wealth of information to you about the front tyres' grip levels and attitude via your fingertips. It's a fantastic feeling to have truly talkative steering at your beck and call, rather than the faux-heftiness of most electronic assistance systems.

The GranTurismo's abilities go further. It resists understeer marvellously for a machine with a 4.7 V8 housed in its conk and, if you get on the gas early in a bend, you'll find the rear axle possesses simply enormous traction to fire you out of the corner; it doesn't feel like those wide back tyres would be easily overwhelmed by the 520Nm maximum torque delivered at a relatively peaky 4,750rpm. Similarly, the Skyhook damping works well at both smoothing out surfaces and holding the body in an upright position, while the brakes are monster and the gearbox - toting just the six speeds, remember - perfectly judged for the spread of the motor's power delivery.

The thing is, while it does drive well for a coupe that's 4.92 metres long, it can never quite disguise its grand tourer leanings. The handling is moderately entertaining without being eye-wideningly thrilling, while the performance from that mighty V8 never quite matches the utterly sensational soundtrack (honestly, we've not heard many better engine noises than this Maserati; it plays a soul-stirring tune that's almost enough to have us recommend you buy the MC on the strength of the sound alone) because we're in an era when even hot hatches can out-accelerate the GranTurismo. So while it's undoubtedly a quick car, it's unlikely to ever have you or one of your passengers involuntarily swearing when you open the taps fully. Still, just pop it down a couple of gears using the left-hand paddle shift and the ensuing celestial symphony that erupts from the Maser's drivetrain should compensate for the lack of outright shove...


There are better, tauter sports cars out there and more relaxing tourers than the Maserati GranTurismo MC, a machine which is very advanced in its years. You'll get more fun behind the wheel of an 80,000 Porsche and more comfort rolling along in a 150,000 Bentley, but will either of those do the alternate task as well? Is the 911 really supple enough for hundreds of miles of driving at a time? Can a two-tonne-plus stately home ever really handle well?

We suppose what we're trying to say is that the Italian motor is not a scalpel-sharp sports car on the one hand, and nor is it quite the most cosseting of GTs on the other. But, as an exotic, rare all-rounder with character in abundance thanks to one of the all-time great V8 engines, the Maserati GranTurismo MC is hard to beat. It looks beautiful, it has an expensive-feeling cabin, it sounds the absolute nuts and it goes pretty impressively, both in a straight line and around the bends. It's old, a little bit unusual and ferociously expensive for something with a 'mere' 460hp, but it's a fantastic creation regardless and the updates have simply polished what was already a beguiling big GT.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Exterior Design

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

4 4 4 4 4 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain

Matt Robinson - 8 Dec 2017    - Maserati road tests
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- GranTurismo images

2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.

2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.2018 Maserati GranTurismo MC drive. Image by Maserati.


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