An everyday exotic

The 2012 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport is the American name for the Euro-spec GranTurismo Convertible Sport. We were recently given the opportunity to drive one on the twisty roads in Bear Mountain, NY. It’s a unique automobile because it’s the only two-door soft top convertible in its class that’s a true four-seater. Additionally, it’s exclusive because it’s hand built in limited numbers at Maserati’s headquarters in Modena, Italy. We think of it as an elegant grand tourer that’s comfortable and luxurious enough to be a daily driver, yet when opened up it can become a beast on the road or track.

The 2012 Maserati GrandTurismo Convertible Sport is one of the sexiest GT cars on the road today. Its styling seems timeless so there’s no feeling that it will look outdated in the next few years. There’s a large grille in front that features black vertical slats and Maserati’s signature Trident in the center. The wheels on our car are 20” “astro design grigio anthracite alloys” (gray star shaped alloys for all us common folks) that boasts a unique metallic look.

The interior is larger than others in its class, especially with its habitable rear seats. The cabin is refined and covered in fine Italian leather, and the front seats are very comfortable. We have not spent time in the rear seats, but they resemble the front seats, and Maserati claims it’s possible for four adults to enjoy a night out on the town in the car.

The carbon fiber and leather steering wheel has moldings for your thumbs that are void of any stitching (something that sounds insignificant until it’s pointed out to you and you drive another car after afterwards that has stiching in this area). Behind the steering wheel are large drilled aluminum gearshift paddles. They are fixed to the steering column and are not attached to the steering wheel, so they don’t move when you turn the wheel. We questioned why large fixed paddle shifters are used instead of smaller ones that turn with the steering wheel and were told that you shouldn’t shift while in a corner, and the paddle shifters are long enough for you to shift manually whenever you need to, irrespective of steering angle. In our driving, we inadvertently would brush against the paddle shifters on occasion, but believe with more time behind the wheel we would eventually learn to stop doing this. Despite its larger than others cabin, the trunk is not large, limiting the size or the number of items you can carry.

One of the greatest advantages about purchasing a Maserati is their ability to personalize the car to your taste. There is an abundance of interior and exterior color combinations and options to choose from, thus increasing its exclusivity.

We drove the 2012 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport along the meandering roads of Bear Mountain, New York, and up to Perkins Memorial Tower where we were able to see views of New York City, approximately 50 miles away. The drive was, in a word, “Thrilling!” This is what the Maserati is all about… curvy mountain roads, experiencing the thrust and enjoying the sound of the Ferrari sourced 4.7L V8 that produces 444 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, along with a fabulous and throaty exhaust note you hear after pressing the ‘Sport’ button, which opens a silencer by-pass valve in the exhaust creating a roar. With the top down, the wind is nice and controlled in the front.

The high performance brakes on the GranTurismo Convertible Sport are built by Brembo. They are grooved and ventilated for better heat dissipation in more aggressive driving. The calipers contain six pistons in a single aluminum block to ensure superior, fade resistant stopping power, even in the wet.

The suspension system features aluminum dampers that constantly adjust the ride. It has a control unit that receives data from acceleration sensors positioned on each wheel and on the chassis. The system processes the data and analyses the driving style and road conditions, and instantly regulates the damping to deliver a very comfortable ride. When the ‘Sport’ button is pressed, the ride is tightened providing sharper handling. With its dynamic capabilities, we feel the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport has a near perfect balance between comfort and performance.

 When deciding to drop this kind of dough on a car, you want to make sure that all your “must haves” are checked off before making the purchase. Although the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport is not the least expensive or fastest car in its segment, it does present itself well by comparison. It’s luxurious, comfortable, and significantly more spacious in the rear than its competition. For those that prefer a car with all that plus exceptional character, and unparalleled style and beauty, the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport is a compelling option.

Engine: 4.7L V8
Horsepower: 444 bhp @ 7,000 rpm
Torque: 376 lb-ft @ 4,750 rpm
Manufacturer’s 0 – 60 mph:  5.0 sec
Base price: $142,800 (excludes gas guzzler tax, dealer preparation and transportation)

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