2007 Maserati GranTurismo Preview - New York Auto Show: To many of us, the name Maserati represents an exotic automobile, one with which some may be unfamiliar and others may simply view as out of reach due to limited supply and price. Company representatives want to change that, not by bumping production ten-fold or slashing prices, but by openly positioning their brand against traditional luxury nameplates such as Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. Given that scenario, the newest member of the Maserati family, the 2007 GranTurismo, will face off with Jaguar XKR, the Mercedes-Benz CL-Class, and others.
Maserati engineers have packed the 2007 GranTurismo with a dual overhead cam, 32-valve, 4.2-liter V8 engine that pushes 405 horsepower at 7,100 rpm and 339 lb.-ft. at 4,750 rpm; 254 lb.-ft. is available at 2,500 rpm. A six-speed adaptive automatic transmission with paddle shifters is standard, and when working in conjunction with the potent V8, helps the Maserati Coupe reach 62 mph in only 5.2 seconds. The GranTurismo carries 49 percent of its weight over the front end and 51 percent over the rear wheels, which measure 19 inches (20s are optional). With a wheelbase of 116 inches and a length spanning 192 inches, the GranTurismo loses about seven inches of length and four inches of wheelbase compared to the Quattroporte sedan.
The 2007 Maserati GranTurismo has been designed to accommodate four passengers, all of whom the company suggests would be comfortable even during extended trips. With a focus on “modernity, elegance, craftsmanship, sportiness, and livability,” the GranTurismo features a center tunnel that separates the space afforded to left- and right-side occupants, includes decorative chrome and Alcantara trim as well as hand-stitched Trident logos, and encapsulates a cabin swathed in Poltrona Fraua leather. For a touch of exclusivity, a custom five-piece set of luggage designed by Salvatore Ferragamo can be ordered with your new GranTurismo.
If Maserati is intent on broadening its appeal, the introduction of the GranTurismo is a move in the right direction. Unlike competitors such as the Jaguar XKR, which comes with a face seemingly borrowed from parent Ford’s parts bin, the Maserati represents a truly unique product to high-end coupe shoppers. We’ve driven the sedan version (a.k.a. the Quattroporte), and came away less than impressed with the vehicle’s handling capabilities, noise levels, rear seat room, and throttle response. Given the body style and inherently sportier nature of coupes, we wouldn’t expect improvements in rear seat room or interior noise, but here’s to hoping that the driving dynamics are better than those in the Quattroporte.