Roadtest: Maserati GranCabrio MC

31 Aug 2015 | 03.38 pm

Roadtest: Maserati GranCabrio MC

Supercar’s howling exhaust gives you heebie jeebies

31 Aug 2015 | 03.38 pm

You want a car that’s supercar exclusive, fast and beautiful, one where your three best friends can join the fun, with enough power to really give them the heebie jeebies, writes Mark Gallivan.

Welcome to the 2015 Maserati GranCabrio MC (Maserati Corse), the dark horse that’s possibly the super luxury GT find of the year. A glamour puss with a big heart and a yowling, howling exhaust note that’ll make any Lamborghini Huracan – or a McLaren 650S for that matter – slope off in a huff.

Maserati is on a roll at the moment, selling 36,500 cars worldwide in 2014, nearly six times the sales of 2012. These numbers were helped significantly by the introduction of its first E segment car, the Ghibli, and a revised Quattroporte.

maserati-810Maserati GranCabrio: €174k before VRT

Heart Melting

To begin with, the GranCabrio MC is powered by a Ferrari-assembled 4.7 V8 engine producing 460hp, top speed 289 km/h, reaching 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds through the six-speed gearbox. Not super-fast, but it’s how this classy Maserati looks, feels and flows that melts the heart.

Like the best Italian cars, though, things aren’t pitch perfect. The interior controls feel old hat. On the move we experienced scuttle shake with the roof down. The gearbox has no dual-clutch trickery, serving up paddle gearshifts that aren’t instantaneous. And the boot – that’s tiny.

However, you won’t give two hoots about all that. Get your three best friends over, drop the top and head out for a midnight drive into the country. They’ll be breathless, wondering did the stars just go supersonic or was that the car? Then there’s the Sport button. Press it, and the Eros Ramazzotti V8 hum transforms into a deafening, orchidaceous Pavarotti. Behind the scenes the adaptive suspension is firmed up by 10% and automatic throttle blips activated when downshifting through gears.

The GranCabrio MC may be long and wide but pick your favourite roads and it will scythe and flow though the bends with measured aggression. Inside, everything is of weighty (nearly old school Mercedes) construction swathed in alcantara and carbon fibre. Outside, the MC rides on 20-inch wheels with Brembo brakes that feel fine in final action if a little short of initial feel.

maserati 061Maserati GranCabrio: €174k before VRT

Howling Banshee

With only 3,500 GranTurismo and GranCabrio models sold worldwide in 2014, real exclusivity is guaranteed. Servicing needn’t be a chore either. Charles Hurst Maserati will arrange a collect and return service to and from Belfast for main servicing, and there are mutterings of a Maserati dealership opening in Dublin in 2016.

The car we tested started at £111,770 and after factory options of £15,700 the grand total was £127,470 (€174,340) without Irish VRT. Do we recommend it? We certainly do, and for two reasons. It’s not a stressed-out cliché Ferrari or a frangible, eccentric Lamborghini – both of which cost nearly £40,000 more. It’s a rare breed of super-GT – admirably cosseting four adults while capable of transforming into a howling banshee at night.

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