Italy is synonymous with arguably the finest food and delicious wines. Style and beauty are de rigueur as you share the Italian past time of observing the beautiful people, sipping an espresso al fresco in Milan.
Sports cars and motorsport are another facet of the Italian life, where passion is evident and emotions run high. Sometimes people think of a prancing horse when talking of Italian motorsport, but it was the trident of Maserati which graced racing tracks beforehand.
Nuvolari, Fangio, Moss and Hawthorne are famous names who raced blood red Maserati’s in competition. The thought of Fangio steering his 250F to victory in the Argentinian Grand Prix on its debut is a legend often regaled.
The “basic” Gran Turismo
I often seek out the most expensive variant whenever I look at a car or a watch, but the opportunity to drive the “basic” Granturismo presented itself. There is nothing basic about this car. Its lithe lines harness luxury and performance.
Poltrona Frau leather interior
Savour the fine Italian leather interior. The leather is from Poltrona Frau an atelier where artisans work to create beautiful hand crafted leather. The leather is subject to a strict regime of testing to ensure that longevity is assured and the freshness of the interior is preserved.
I have a fondness for Italian shoes and anyone reading this article who shares my obsession will also agree that the Italians produce some of the finest leathers in the world. The grain, the stitching, the suppleness are exemplary.
Look behind the front seats and there is room to accommodate two average sized adults, something which is welcome to many of us who had to sell a two-seater due to practical considerations.
Delight in the details
There is an emotion evident in everything you see, touch and smell. This is something that is sometimes lacking in cars with teutonic DNA. The clock imparts the time, but with stylish execution, the elliptical shape is beautiful and shows deep consideration for form which surpasses the perfunctory.
Step outside of the cockpit, albeit I appreciate you may not wish to leave the sumptuous haven, and just look at the alloy wheels. The brake callipers courtesy of Brembo peep through the spokes they exude competence but with Italian panache.
The driving experience
My test car had a wonderful Bose sound system, but I chose to switch it off as a beautiful opera awaited my ears, courtesy of the 4.2 litre engine.
I turned the key and the V8 burst into life and then settled down with a menacing rumble. On the move, the revelation is the quiet whisper on light throttle.
The gearshift was smooth, thanks to a ZF six-speed automatic gearbox. I appreciate that some of the new models from competing marques may have eight ratios, but this box works fine and provides seamless shifts.
The ride was not granite hard, typical of cars with a sporting bias, but incredibly smooth and cosseting.
The trade-off often for a smooth ride is a lack of dynamism but not so with Modena’s child. The manoeuvrability is excellent, with great driver feedback. The car flattered my mediocre driving ability with assured handling as I threaded the car along a twisty lane.
Returning to the engine, it is smooth, relaxed and simply sublime. However, stab the throttle and the wild animal within is released and speed gathers with an intoxicating alacrity. I love it.
Italy has a long history of art and the great master Pininfarina who penned this beauty should be congratulated. It is gorgeous. Whilst the wind tunnel leads to homogenous forms gracing many motorshows, this car has a unique appearance.
This car could only be Italian.
The Maserati is practical for every day use with room for the children and sufficient space for golf clubs in the boot. This is no high-powered go-kart, rather a sophisticated GT car which would prove capable on a track day but equally at home commuting to the office.
My favourite opera is by the Italian Composer Pietro Mascagni; Cavalleria rusticana and it is the perfect accompaniment to this car. Drive on light throttle and it is reminiscent of the “Intermezzo”, press on and it takes you to start of “voi tutti salute” with an aural delight which reminds you life is for living.
The Granturismo is a car woven from Italian culture and passion and its selection would be an informed choice.