Maserati GranTurismo S (2008-) Review
( www.channel4.com ) - Maserati's ever-elegant GranTurismo is getting an injection of attitude with the addition of an S version to the range.
The company isn't claiming the GranTurismo S is an out-and-out sports car, instead preferring to call it a more sporting version of its popular grand tourer. At first glance, the changes don't look that extensive: just a few aero tweaks, standard 20" wheels, some red detailing on the badges and black backed headlamps.
However, under that lithe bodywork Maserati has been busy, installing a new 4.7-litre V8 engine and tuning the suspension for added tautness and control.
The GranTurismo S's engine - which it shares with the Alfa 8C Competitzione - is a very vocal unit, Maserati allowing it's full voice to be heard by bypassing the exhaust's rear silencers when the Sport button is pressed. It's a hugely addictive soundtrack for an already alluring car, though without that sport button engaged it's actually remarkably civilised.
The same is true of the transmission. Dispensing with the torque-converter ZF automatic in preference for an electro-actuated two-pedal paddleshift system might send previous owners of such systems into blind panic. But fear not: Maserati has been busy developing its once slovenly, dim-witted clutchless manual system into a genuinely competitive and even enjoyable facet of the S's character.