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AUTOMOBILE PARIDISO

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 Tue, May 25, 2010

By: The LACar Editorial Staff

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By John Grafman There’s a new supermodel in town and her name is Maserati GranTurismo Convertible. Learn it because you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot about her soon. This Pinninfarina-designed Italian has both the looks and the skills. On first blush this does catch the eye. And the camera lens does indeed love the lines of this Maserati. This could easily be on top of Maxim’s Hot 100. Arguably, the Maserati GranTurismo Coupe is one of the sweetest looking cars on the road. The convertible is even hotter. The flowing shape is no less friendly to the air, with a drag co-efficient equal to the coupe at 0.35, and an impressive 0.39 with the top open. The multi-layered, soft top is only 143 pounds, keeping the center of gravity low. As a result of a lightweight top and a stiff chassis, the convertible should be able to retain precise handling. The top, which comes in six colors and three headliner colors, fully retracts in 28 seconds beneath and attractive panel. The power retracting soft top doesn’t encroach upon the passenger space even when in the roof is open and the top is stored. The trunk space with the cabriolet is just 6.1 square feet, about the size of a golf bag. Gangsters might have a tough time squeezing a body back there, but that really wasn’t a consideration in the original engineering requirements.

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Unlike so many convertibles, this is able to seat four real size people in comfort, or just a couple of people with well pampered pets or additional luggage. The rear seat occupants will enjoy best in class roominess and a seatback angle of 22 degrees. What this really means is that cabriolet owners won’t have to disappoint their friends when it comes time to going out on the town. It looks like the Bentley GTC now has some competition. This road going supermodel is truly sexy with a curvy body, but it tips the scale at a 4,368 pounds. Nevertheless, this still is less portly than other similar cars. Keeping true to the Maserati name, this does have the ability to move with a 4.7 liter V8, pumping out 433 horsepower, and 361 pound-feet of torque. With a redline of 7,200 rpm, this manages a top speed of 176 mph, and a 0-60 of 5.2 seconds. While on our short stint behind the wheel I can assure you this is in keeping with our expectations for power. Oh sure, this might be able to move a little faster with a few less pounds. But, really, who’s going to argue with a supermodel? Too often we choke on the thought of a sports car that doesn’t offer a manual transmission, but this is definitely an exception. The six-speed always seems to be in the right gear at the right time. For those who simply must find something to do with our hands, the gears can be manually shifted through paddles or the center console shifter.

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Even on a brief drive over the now hellacious Sunset Boulevard, which is torn up in an effort to lay new roadway down, the GranTurismo Convertible didn’t even flinch. The extra stout reinforced chassis, including aluminum sub-floor structural reinforcements, didn’t allow cowl shake or other gremlins from intruding. The only sound coming from this is a pleasing exhaust note. A civilized tone is in lock-step with personality the cabrio presents. But, this is a dirty girl when pushed. When the engine gets past 3,000 rpm the gentle growl gets meaner. However, in sport mode the growl turns to a howl. It is hard to be discreet with a sound so vocal coming from the pipes, but it’s just as difficult to chill as this sounds too good. The sport setting also stiffens up the suspension for when the cruising turns to sport. Even with a taut setting, the car is still refined over rough roads. This is one class act with an interior that is far more accommodating than a hardcore sports car. Maserati could have eliminated all excessive weight and offered a Spartan version, but that isn’t what this car company is all about. This is a car that let’s the driver and a few lucky guests enjoy life and the drive. Wrapped in beautiful leather and wood this has a very nice tactile feel. And there is attention to details, like the use of metal accents, the pleasing styling and the layout of the interior. So what’s a nice car like this doing in a town like Beverly Hills? It seems only natural to find this here. As a matter of fact, this was twisted from the hands of the production company filming the next series season of HBO’s Entourage. So don’t be too surprised when you see the likes of Vince, Johnny Drama, Eric, and Turtle posing with the Cabrio. Of course, none of that should come as a shock. After all, the crew on that show would never run around with anything less than a supermodel.

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SUMMARY JUDGMENT Anything this sexy is bound to get you in trouble. Find out more at www.maserati.us

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SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Price: $135,800 base EPA-rated fuel economy: 11 city/18 highway Engine type: 4.7 liter DOHC eight-cylinder engine with crankcase and cylinder heads in hardened and tempered aluminum alloy, continuous phase variator on intake camshafts Horsepower: 433 @ 7,600 rpm Drive configuration: Front engine/rear drive

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