Testing Maserati's New Top Dog And Drop Top The Maserati GranTurismo MC sounds every bit as spectacular as it looks. Its twin sport exhaust pipes, brazened a bronze hue from the intolerable heat of combustion, sing out the V8's tunes with the quickness and expert pitch change of an overcaffeinated Luciano Pavarotti. At idle, the note is a frenzied rasp that seems to travel a distance before exiting the oversized pipes a foot above the pavement. During steady-state cruise, the sound is mellow, deep and threatening. Under full throttle it wails, screaming as the pressurized sound waves resonate off the tubular stainless steel walls of the muffler. And during deceleration it deliberately pops, cackles and burps as the engine ferociously fights its internal compression. The sound will move your soul. It is still morning in San Diego, and we have a full day with the new 2012 GranTurismo MC and its sibling the 2012 GranTurismo Convertible Sport. Life? It's good. Maserati jokes that it's a company with a lot of black and white pictures – in other words, the Italian automaker that traces its lineage all the way back to 1914 has a very long history. While those old pictures are monochromatic, Maserati's past is very colorful. Its timeline includes ownership by Citroën (1968), De Tomaso (1975) and most recently Fiat (1993). Today, as part of the Fiat S.p.A. group, its siblings include both Chrysler and Ferrari. Fostering close relationships is critical to Maserati, as it relies heavily on those ties for engines, electronics and platforms, just as the Maserati Kubang SUV would share platforms with the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. The automaker's current lineup includes a coupe, a convertible and a sedan. Our focus, and the primary reason we find ourselves in Southern California, are the upgraded two-door models: the GranTurismo coupe and GranTurismo convertible. The first GranTurismo coupe debuted at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show. The GranTurismo Convertible (in rest-of-world "GranCabrio" guise) was launched at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The two Italian GTs share platforms with their sedan sibling, the Maserati Quattroporte V. There's certainly no shame involved, as the vehicles take advantage of the long platform to deliver a 115.8-inch wheelbase – expansive in the competitive segment. Short wheelbases leave rear seat passengers in the Porsche 911, Jaguar XK and BMW 6 Series cramped, while rear passengers in the two Maserati offerings may actually move their torsos, move their legs and breathe. Early GranTurismo coupe models featured a Ferrari-sourced 4.2-liter V8 rated at 405 horsepower. In 2009, the automaker offered a larger 4.7-liter V8, rated at 433 horsepower. It became standard fare on the freshly introduced GranTurismo S. The larger engine was also fitted to the slightly heavier Convertible Sport model at its debut. Yet, the 4.2-liter wasn't dropped. The smaller powerplant soldiered forth and continues to be standard fitment on the base GranTurismo coupe. Launched at this year's New York Auto Show were the new 2012 Maserati GranTurismo MC coupe (base price $139,900) and 2012 …
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|MPG||13 City / 21 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||433 @ 7600 rpm|
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