Full 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Review
What's New for 2010
The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible is an all-new model, based on the GranTurismo coupe.
The Italians didn't invent passion, nor do they have the market cornered on beautiful objects. But they do seem to have a firmer grasp on both than other cultures, especially when it comes to cars. Case in point: the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible (or as it's known outside of North America, the GranCabrio). Based on the GranTurismo coupe, which is arguably one of the most alluring and desirable cars sold today, the convertible already has a great starting point.
That's not to say the open-air GranTurismo is assured success, since the coupe was not initially designed to be a convertible. The artists at the Pininfarina design studio had to ensure the new model could faithfully continue the bloodlines. And they did. Maserati also had to execute this conversion without an appreciable loss in performance and quality, and overall, it succeeded.
With the loss of the coupe's roof as a structurally vital component, the rest of the GranTurismo convertible's chassis had to be strengthened. Again, mission accomplished. After extensive reinforcement throughout the chassis, Maserati claims it is the stiffest body in its class, but even more impressive is that the convertible weighs only 220 pounds more than the coupe, though it still tips the scales at a hefty 4,365 pounds.
Naturally, other revisions have been made. The convertible bypasses the base 405-horsepower V8 in the coupe, and instead gets the 433-hp 4.7-liter engine from the GranTurismo S as standard. And rather than opting for a retractable hardtop, the GranTurismo uses a traditional folding soft top in order to keep weight down and maximize trunk and interior space. However, that trunk is surprisingly small at only 6.1 cubic feet. It's also worth noting that the convertible top has a tendency to whistle at higher speeds -- a rarity among hardtop convertibles.
Competition is scarce at the Maserati's price level, but distinguished. The Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Bentley Continental GTC and Ferrari California offer the same type of prestige, but at a significantly higher price. Plus the Aston and Ferrari's rear seats are inhospitable even for children. The Jaguar XKR and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class are cheaper, but the Jag's rear seats are also comically small, while the Benz doesn't even have any. The same goes for the similarly priced Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster. As it stands, the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible makes a compelling argument for itself, but really, it had us at passion and beauty.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible seats four and is offered in one well-appointed trim level. Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic and adaptive bi-xenon headlights, full power soft top, front and rear foglights, adaptive suspension, rear parking sensors, power-assist doors and trunk lid, leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated eight-way power front seats, driver memory functions, dual-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, Bluetooth and a 12-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player, 30GB hard drive and USB audio jack.
Available options include front parking sensors, perforated seats, a two-tone interior, gearshift paddles mounted to the steering column, aluminum pedals, a wind deflector, an iPod interface, a compact spare tire, tailored luggage, wood trim and a wood-trimmed steering wheel.
Buyers may also select between a host of exterior and interior colors to suit their individual tastes. You can mix and match as you choose the colors for the convertible top, brake calipers, interior headliner, leather upholstery, dash and doors, tonneau cover, steering wheel, carpeting, stitching and safety belts. There are also several wood choices as well.
Powertrains and Performance
Powering the 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible is a 4.7-liter V8 that produces 433 hp and 361 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available. Maserati claims a 0-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds on its way to a 176 mph top speed. As with most cars at this level of price and performance, fuel economy is an afterthought and usually quite poor. As such, the GranTurismo convertible achieves an EPA-estimated 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined.
The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible comes standard with antilock brakes with brake assist, automatic hill hold, front-seat side airbags, and traction and stability control. An automatic rollover bar behind the rear seats deploys when the system senses a potential emergency, protecting the rear passengers' heads. If the convertible top is up, these bars will deploy right through the rear glass window.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible's interior is tastefully appointed with the finest materials and craftsmanship money can buy. The cabin is elegantly luxurious without appearing stodgy, with just a hint of sports car influence. The cloth convertible top action is operated via a single button and retracts or deploys in 28 seconds. Operation can be executed at speeds up to 19 mph.
Front-seat comfort is excellent, with well-bolstered seats and ample cushioning for long-distance comfort. Unlike other cars in this class, the GranTurismo also boasts comfortable rear seats for medium-sized adults. Unfortunately, finding luggage space for four adults will prove difficult, as the trunk measures a miniscule 6.1 cubic feet.
The 2010 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible artfully balances a luxurious ride with sporting athleticism. The suspension is compliant enough to absorb most road imperfections with ease without feeling overly soft or wallowy. The GranTurismo's 49/51 front/rear weight distribution allows for added entertainment through curves, while the adaptive suspension keeps the body flat when cornering. For drivers desiring even more sports car dynamics, the Sport mode revises gearshift points, sharpens throttle response and stiffens up the suspension. This mode also opens up a baffle in the exhaust for added performance and sweetens the engine's already glorious soundtrack.
On the downside, the steering feel is on the light side and could use a bit more feedback at higher speeds. Also, at these speeds, the cloth convertible top allows some air to slip past its seals, creating a noticeable whistle. We count these faults as minor annoyances that do little to take away from the overall experience of driving one of the most beautiful drop tops on the road today.