The 2010 Maserati GranCabrio sports cabriolet, that was officially unveiled in September at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, will be renamed for the U.S. market and sold as the 2011 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible. Nice move, that.
Although, to be seriously considered as a grand tourer, a car usually needs to have a hard top (an open top usually lacks adequate space in its trunk to carry all the luggage, which is usually associated with long distance trips), this new cabrio still meets at least three of the usual criteria: it has two doors, seats four and makes a mundane task of traveling from point A to B incredibly fun.
As usual for the brand, the vehicle’s interior looks really impressive, although not as stunning as those on German and British premium-priced coupes. There is a usual analogue clock on the dashboard nicely squeezed between front air diffusers, which is, too, a great touch. Still, the interior finish doesn’t look especially convincing to me. I understand that Maserati, probably, wanted to hint to its glorious legacy with those vintage-styled pieces of wood. But the way the leather-clad panels on the central tunnel are pieced together, the entertainment system and climate control interface look like they were ripped off from a 1980s car (while I am at that, same goes to the current Quattroporte that shares parts of its interior with the GranTurismo). It is really a shame.
On a good note, I must admit that the gauges on the instrument panel look very legible and easy to read even with no backlighting turned on. The steering wheel, too, doesn’t look too busy and, if you prefer to use the 3 o’clock – 9 o’clock grip as Maserati probably wants you to, all buttons and levers are relatively easy to operate.
It is expected that the car will be delivered with the same specs as the European version. That is, powered by a 4.7-liter V8 engine churning out healthy 433 hp @ 7600 rpm and 361 lb-ft (489 Nm) of torque @ 4750 rpm.
Mated to a 6-speed ZF 6HP26 hydraulic Manumatic transmission, the engine will provide the convertible with a top speed of 174 mph and zero to 60 mph acceleration time around 5.5 seconds.
The numbers don’t exactly fall neatly into the super-car department. Compared to, say, 2010 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, which is equipped with a smaller, less powerful 3.6-liter engine, the vehicle takes 0.6 second longer to reach 60 miles per hour, and is slower by six miles per hour, too. It is, however, 0.2 seconds faster than the 2010 BMW 640i Convertible, which is heavier than this Italian stallion.
Its EPA fuel consumption is currently rated at 11 / 18 mpg city / highway, which is actually worse than that of the 2009 Lexus LX 570 leviathan on wheels and sucks a great deal when it comes to the aforementioned Bimmer’s 21 / 37 mpg in the same city/highway cycle. Although the vehicle is relatively lightweight and its aerodynamics looks very good (it is certainly far from a brick on wheels), the combination of engine and gearbox seems to be just too inefficient to deliver an adequate fuel economy.
Price is yet to be announced.
2011 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible technical specification
Body Type: 2-door convertible
Layout: front engine, RWD
Engine: 433 hp @ 7600 rpm, 361 lb-ft (489 Nm) of torque @ 4750 rpm, 4.7-liter, V8
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic
Top Speed: 174 mph
0 — 62 mph: 5.5 seconds
Fuel Economy EPA city / highway cycle mpg: 11 / 18
Exterior Dimensions (L/W/H/Wheelbase) inches: 192.2 / 72.7 / 53.3 / 115.8
Ground clearance (inches): N/A
Track (frt/rr): N/A
Curb to curb turning circle (feet): 35.1
Curb Weight: 4365 lbs
Coefficient of Drag (Cx): N/A
Seating Capacity: 4 (2/2)
Cargo capacity, max (cu ft): 6.1
Payload (max w/ occupants and cargo): N/A
Towing Capacity (max): N/A
Direct Competitors: 2009 Aston Martin DBS Volante convertible, Ferrari California, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Jaguar XK-Series, Chevrolet Corvette