First contact with the new Maserati GranTurismo: what the figures won't tell you

Maserati’s new luxury GT model will soon debut on the Polish market. Its premiere at the Maserati Pietrzak showroom in Katowice is scheduled to take place on 3 March. I had a chance to see it a bit earlier, so I can already tell you what to expect during your first encounter with this model.

One of the first Gran Turismo cars, i.e. luxury coupés designed for long journeys in comfort and style, was the Maserati A6 1500 GT, presented in 1947. The Modena-based manufacturer played a key role in shaping this unique segment and maintained its leadership for decades with successive models up to the Maserati GranTurismo produced between 2007 and 2019.

After a three-year hiatus, the Italian brand is back in the game and understandably expects nothing less from its new model than setting a new benchmark of what a GT-class car should be. Does the next-generation Maserati GranTurismo, now entering the Polish market, have what it takes to achieve this status?

The figures presented a few months ago certainly indicated as much. The V6 Nettuno engine, the revolutionary, high-performance heart of the Maserati MC20 supercar, was selected to power this model, too. With its Formula 1-inspired chamber combustion system, this compact engine is able to meet the most stringent emissions standards while offering character and performance worthy of the Maserati brand.

In the case of the top-tier GranTurismo Trofeo variant, it generates a full 550 hp, allowing the car to accelerate to 100 km/h in 3.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 320 km/h. A Modena offering 490 hp is available as well. To those expecting still greater thrills, Maserati offers the ground-breaking GranTurismo Folgore. Thanks to the three electric motors, which transfer 761 hp to the four wheels, it will take just 2.7 seconds to accelerate to 100 km/h, enabling an even higher top speed of 325 km/h. This is how the Italian brand has secured the future of the GranTurismo line for decades to come.

Yet it would be a mistake to view a car solely through the lens of numbers, especially one as emblematic as a Maserati. Is the new GranTurismo really what fans and customers have come to expect from it? Both will have the opportunity to find out for themselves at the Maserati Pietrzak showroom, starting on 3 March this year. To let you in on a little secret, I can tell you the first example of this model arrived at the showroom much earlier. I was allowed to see it, and here’s what I learned from that brief meeting.

The new Maserati GranTurismo looks great

This may sound cliché, but I breathed a sigh of relief after coming to this conclusion. After all, virtually every one of its predecessors — if you include not only the immediate one but also such masterpieces of Italian design as the Maserati 3500 GT from the late 1950s/early 1960s and the 3200 GT from the late 1990s/early 2000s — was one of the most beautiful cars not only in its class but in the market in general.

In terms of overall form, the 2023 Maserati GranTurismo remains faithful to its predecessor, which is already an achievement in itself compared to other cars now debuting on the market. In keeping with the model’s name, it is a textbook Gran Turismo, with a long bonnet at the front and a passenger cabin shifted towards the rear, surrounded by sensuously contoured wings. It is difficult to find another contemporary design that is so deeply rooted in tradition and dictated by timeless elegance rather than short-lived fads.

It did, however, see a significant progression in detail. You can find Maserati’s new character-shaping styling themes reminiscent of the Grecale, which is increasingly popular on Polish roads, and in particular of the exotic MC20. A similar magnitude of progress is also evident inside, where artfully finished leather upholstery and other expressions of traditional craftsmanship are complemented by as many as four screens. Just as with Grecale, two of them have taken over virtually all menu functions on the centre console. Another has supplanted the analogue dials behind the steering wheel, with the last, and smallest, replacing the traditional clock in the middle of the dashboard. Though this will make purists roll their eyes, prospective owners are bound to appreciate that the new GranTurismo is up to date with the technical innovations they expect and need.

Interior design reveals how the new Maserati GranTurismo will perform

One only has to get behind the wheel of the new GranTurismo to understand what this car is all about. This cannot be conveyed through figures or even photographs. Indeed, they are missing an inconspicuous but telling detail: upon opening the door, you can spot the Maserati logo along with the year of the company’s founding embossed on the leather coating of the dashboard’s side. Such little gestures by the makers immediately put you in a different mood when boarding the GranTurismo. Complementing the experience is the majestic view of the long bonnet from behind the steering wheel.

In the case of this model, taking a glance at the rear is equally important. The GranTurismo is a large coupé: its imposing body measures nearly five metres in length. To be precise, it is 5 cm longer than its predecessor, of which 2 cm has been allocated to lengthening the wheelbase. This expansion has paid off for the interior. While the model is labelled as a 2+2, this time the extra two seats in the rear are more than symbolic. Admittedly, they are still unsuitable for tall adults to travel long distances, but they do make the GranTurismo more versatile than other sports cars on the market.

And you are seated as low in the back as you are behind the steering wheel. Notably, the steering wheel is smaller than I expected. It sits well in my hands; I instinctively grab it, squeeze it, and imagine how the front wheels will react to the pretend movements I am making. Yet driving it is something I have yet to experience; the March premiere in Katowice will only include a static display. I can already tell you one thing, though: times may change, but in 2023 Maserati still knows like few others what a traditional luxury Gran Turismo should look like.

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