What's New for 2012
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo convertible is essentially unchanged.
Like the alluring GranTurismo coupe on which is it based, the 2012 Maserati GranTurismo convertible embodies all the traits and qualities one expects from an Italian exotic carmaker: exclusivity, exhilarating performance, dramatic styling and, of course, an open-air driving experience complete with an operatic V8 that stirs the soul.
That's not to say the canvas-topped GranTurismo was assured success, since the coupe was not initially designed to be a convertible. With the loss of the coupe's roof as a structurally vital component, the rest of the front-engine/rear-drive GranTurismo convertible's chassis had to be strengthened. 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 concessions have been made. 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. It's also worth noting that the convertible top has a tendency to whistle at higher speeds -- a rarity among hardtop convertibles.
In terms of price, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and Jaguar XKR-S represent the GT's closest competitors, and each provides higher performance. The 2012 Porsche 911 is similarly worthy of consideration. Meanwhile, the BMW 6 Series will save you some cash while still providing a healthy dose of luxurious comfort. But when it comes to rolling sculpture it's hard to overlook -- or forget -- the 2012 Maserati GranTurismo convertible.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo convertible seats four and is offered in either base or Sport trim levels. Standard features include 20-inch alloy wheels, automatic and adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a power soft top, adaptive suspension dampers, power-assist doors and trunk lid, leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated power front seats, driver memory functions, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear passenger controls, a navigation system, Bluetooth and a 12-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player and an iPod interface.
Available options include front parking sensors, perforated upholstery, a two-tone interior, a wind deflector, tailored luggage, wood trim and a wood-trimmed steering wheel.
Besides its more sinister black-chrome grille, Sport trim-specific wheels and racing-inspired bodywork and aero skirting, the GranTurismo Convertible Sport is further distinguished by its higher-output version of the same V8 engine and a higher-performance version of the six-speed automatic.
Options for either of the GranTurismo trims continue with a choice of at least six other brake caliper finishes, up to five wheel choices, two-tone interiors, a seemingly endless combination of convertible top/tonneau cover colors, interior colors/trims with contrasting carpeting, headliner, stitching and piping.
Powertrains and Performance
A 4.7-liter 433-horsepower V8 drives the 2012 Maserati GranTurismo convertible. A six-speed automatic with normal, sport, manual and ice modes is the only transmission available. Maserati claims a 0-60-mph time of 5.2 seconds. The GranTurismo convertible achieves an EPA-estimated 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 15 mpg combined.
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport ups the output to 444 hp. With a more aggressively programmed version of the same transmission, its sprint to 60 mph drops to 5 seconds.
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo convertible comes standard with antilock disc brakes, automatic hill hold, front-seat side airbags and traction and stability control. A roll bar behind each of the rear seats automatically deploys when the system senses a potential emergency, protecting the rear passengers' heads.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo convertible's interior is tastefully appointed with fine materials and craftsmanship. 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 24 seconds.
Front seat comfort is excellent, with well-bolstered seats and ample cushioning for long-distance comfort. The driver seat is 10-way adjustable and the front passenger seat adjusts eight ways. Unlike other cars in this class, the GranTurismo also boasts comfortable rear seats for medium-sized adults. Part of the reason for this is that its convertible top stows into a separate compartment beneath a hard tonneau cover. Unfortunately, this also means that finding luggage space for four adults will prove difficult, as the narrow and deep trunk measures a miniscule 6.1 cubic feet.
The 2012 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. For drivers desiring even more sports car dynamics, 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.