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ROAD TO SUCCESS

This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Sun, Sep 16, 2007

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

THE ROAD TO SUCCESS By John Grafman

The road from Italy to California is indeed a long one, paved with many ripples and crossroads. Maserati has survived the initial journey to these shores with the rebirth of the company in the shadow of Ferrari. With the company no longer under the supercar's guidance, will it flourish or fade away into automotive oblivion? The waiting for an answer is finally over. At two venues, Maserati unwraps the next best thing since sliced bread - the GranTurismo. Alright, maybe not since sliced bread, but this does cost a chunk of dough costing just above six-figures. However, this is worth it and them some.

This is not a cobbled together effort, this is a real contender in the world of high priced sport coupes. This offers the refined build quality found in the Quattroporte, and looks that are arguably much more alluring. The performance numbers hint at a good time, with 405 horsepower and a top speed of 177 mph, but the jury is out until the rubber meets the road. The numbers and sporty styling beckons this to be driven hard and fast. Looking at the coupe, the details like the concave grill make a design statement. On the other hand, there are what appear to be several features that look characteristic of other cars. Regardless, this is miles further down the road in a design sense than the coupe it will be replacing.

At the Orange County reveal, which takes place at the Maserati dealership in Costa Mesa, we are treated to an early look with Etoile Champaign flowing. Music fills the spacious showroom and libations from Belvedere Vodka are there for the asking, but the real treat is the Italian import. Those attending are likely to be the very first to lay eyes on this in Southern California. Given The OC's appetite for the best, these will likely be as plentiful as shoppers at Nordstrom's during a half-off sale. The OC premiere is quickly followed with a Los Angeles unveiling at Smashbox Studios just two days later. The added dose of caffeine provided by Nespresso isn't entirely needed given the adrenaline the GranTurismo offers. However, the location at a movie studio is fitting given the celebrity status of this soon to be star. With a video of the car in action projected larger than life against the studio wall it does give us a sample of coming attractions. Under the studio lights the lines of the car comes alive. The way this is going this could easily become the holiday blockbuster that you won't find at your local theater, but only at the dealer. Find more at www.maserati.com.

Maserati Quattroporte in the foreground SPECIFICATIONS Vehicle 2008 Maserato GranTurismo Front engine, rear-wheel drive, four passenger, two-door coupe Price of vehicle $114,650 (base) Engine 4.2 liter DOHC 32-valve V8 Power 400 horsepower Torque 399 pound-feet EPA cith/highway fuel economy 11/16 miles per gallon Dimensions Length: 192 inches Width: 72.7 inches Height: 53.3 inches Curb weight: 4,150 pounds Performance 0-60 mph - 5.1 seconds

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