Full 2012 Maserati GranTurismo Review
What's New for 2012
The Maserati GranTurismo Coupe model lineup has been reworked for 2012. The "Base" car and its smaller V8 have been discontinued, leaving room for the 2012 Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic and new, more sharply tuned Maserati GranTurismo MC. In addition, Maserati has stopped offering the often-criticized, single-clutch automated manual transmission and will provide only the version with an automatic. Other changes this year include aerodynamic bodywork revisions and minor interior trim and option adjustments.
Like an Olympic athlete who models in the off-season, the 2012 Maserati GranTurismo embodies both world-class dynamics and world-class elegance in ways that few cars can match. A curvaceous body, adept handling and a classic V8 engine with a seductive and sonorous exhaust note makes the GranTurismo a car for those who value passionate motoring that tantalizes all of the senses.
The front-engine, rear-wheel-drive GranTurismo has been called one of the most beautiful cars of its generation. We agree. Unlike the slightly larger, four-door Maserati Quattroporte, the fluid lines of the two-door GranTurismo are more graceful and pleasing. In addition, the GranTurismo seats four in style and sophistication. Inside the cabin, infotainment systems are up-to-date, materials are first-rate and the seats are appropriately sport-bolstered.
As the name suggests, the GranTurismo is a touring car, not an outright exotic sports car. There's certainly more than enough power and handling to get the blood racing, though the Maserati is outperformed (though not outclassed) by several competitors. As a GT car, it balances thrilling athleticism with long-distance comfort. For those who desire a driving instrument with a sharper edge, Maserati has introduced the GranTurismo MC this year, which comes with slightly more power and sportier suspension tuning.
In terms of price, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and 2012 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 and 2012 Mercedes CL550 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.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo is a four-passenger coupe offered in two trim levels: S Automatic and MC (for Maserati Corse or racing). Convertibles are also available, and are covered in a separate review.
The base GranTurismo S Automatic comes standard with 20-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, foglights, automatic wipers, an electronically adjustable suspension, rear parking sensors (front optional), auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver seat memory and wood interior trim. Electronic features include a voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, digital music storage and a USB/iPod interface.
With the exception of the front parking sensors and foglights (neither of which work with its recontoured front bumper), the more aggressive GranTurismo MC includes all of the above plus a more powerful version of the V8 engine, revised transmission shift programming, specific wheels and bodywork, a fixed-rate sport suspension, a faux-suede headliner and special interior trim details.
The GranTurismo S Automatic can be optioned with singular or grouped MC Sportline options that mimic much of the MC's standard features including the fixed-rate suspension and sporty transmission mapping. Additionally, both the S Automatic and MC can be ordered with a carbon-fiber aero kit, a giant Trident decal on the roof and a V-stripe decal on the hood, all of which pay homage to the GranTurismo Trofeo race livery.
Options for either of the GranTurismo trims continue with a choice of brake caliper finishes, different wheel designs, two-tone interiors, perforated leather seats and a seemingly endless combination of interior colors/trims with contrasting stitching and piping. Furthermore, buyers can specify any color stitching, piping and/or exterior paint they desire -- for a price, of course.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo comes standard with a 4.7-liter V8 engine. For the GranTurismo S Automatic, it's rated at 433 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque. Through friction-reduction and other engineering measures, the V8 in the GranTurismo MC produces 444 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque. The only available transmission is a six-speed automatic that sends power to the rear wheels.
Maserati says the base coupe will accelerate to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 13 mpg city/21 mpg highway and 15 mpg in combined driving. The MC, thanks to its slightly higher output and launch-control program, is estimated to achieve 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. Fuel economy is unchanged.
Standard safety features for the GranTurismo lineup include antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo's interior is tastefully appointed with high-quality materials. Leather graces almost every surface and can be ordered in a wide array of colors. The overall look is elegantly luxurious without appearing stodgy, and it has just a hint of high-tech influence. Controls are well-placed and simple in operation.
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 can only accommodate up to 9.2 cubic feet, which is less than what's offered by some rivals.
The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo artfully balances a luxurious ride with sporting athleticism. The S Automatic's adaptive suspension is compliant enough to absorb most road imperfections with ease and does a remarkably good job of minimizing body roll and controlling freeway-style body motions. The GranTurismo's excellent weight distribution and communicative steering enhance agility in the corners. This is a true grand touring car -- fast, yet comfortable enough to travel long distances.
The addition of the GranTurismo MC to the lineup effectively silences critics who said the GranTurismo was too quiet or too soft. The racing arm of Maserati helped develop the suspension tuning, and it shows, as the car's sharp handling belies its proportions. The ride is definitely firmer, but remains fluid even with the large, 20-inch wheels. Pressing the Sport button on the MC opens the exhaust restrictors at all engine speeds, allows the transmission to run right up to the rev limiter without automatically upshifting and performs perfectly rev-matched downshifts.