Maserati would enter 2013 in similar fashion to previous years as they continued to modify and upgrade their, highly sought after, grand tourer. Always looking at ways to improve on the perfection they had created in previous guises. The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo would be no different to its predecessors.
It had been five years since the very first GranTurismo had graced the world stage. The original edition had already been discontinued and it was now the turn of the GranTurismo S models to take a final curtain call. The GT S and S Automatic had been on the road since 2008 and 2009 respectively – it was time to update the aging rolling stock. The GranTurismo Sport and the Sport Automatic would be Maserati’s answer for their replacement – either in the form of a coupe or as a convertible.
The GranTurismo production line would be complimented with these two new models as well as the, built for speed, GT MC which had a very limited availability. The line would be rounded off with the GranCabrio / GranTurismo Convertible which was now the oldest model in the fleet, dating back to 2010.
While there would be some cosmetic changes to the automobile, both inside and out, it would be changes to the engine, overseen by automotive experts, that produced the biggest changes. Once again, for the ‘Maestros of Modena’, it was all about the driving and nothing else.
A Different Sport Altogether
To bolster the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport, they looked to a very special engineer, Snr Paolo Martinelli. In F1, during Michael Schumacher’s world championship dominance, with the Scuderia Ferrari, Martinelli was the one responsible for their V10 engines. Now he would be tasked with finding ways to pull as much extra performance out of the pre-existing 4.7 liter V8 Ferrari engine. Which he did.
Under his guidance, the V8 Ferrari engine would be fitted with new pistons, revised ignition-spark timing and re-tuned engine mapping and management. This would produce the highest output yet from the 4.7 liter engine, with horsepower increased to 454 bhp while the pound to feet torque was raised to 384. Also, Maserati utilized their sound engineers to enhance the familiar GT growl to even greater heights. It’s fair to say that not every car manufacturer can call upon such motoring expertise to oversee engine performance. It is a measure as to how seriously they view the importance of how their automobile will perform on the road, whether on the race track or just driving the kids to school.
The speed of both Sport models were quite breathtaking and very close to the high performance of the GT MC. The Automatic version could reach 0-60 in 4.8 seconds while the automated manual got there in a tenth of a second quicker. While the auto manual hit a top speed of 187 mph, the GranTurismo Sport Automatic made 186 mph (300 kmh) – so neither were slow off the mark!
Similar to its predecessor, the GT S, the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport would be offered with a choice of transmissions. As per usual with Maserati’s, the Sport was installed with the six-speed automatic transmission by the German specialist, ZF. This would be the standard model for America which served the market well. But it would also be offered with the automated manual transmission which came with the shift paddles on the wheel that had now been redesigned and elongated to ensure continuous accessibility during driving.
As expected, after these several years, the GTS Automatic’s “sport” mode was a delight to behold. As shift changes are accomplished within 200 milliseconds and effortlessly completed through the paddles or the central panel gear stick. Driving conditions are made firmer, in anticipation of the punishment the car would take over high speed, with the ‘Skyhook’ suspension tightening up by 10 pc during this driving mode.
Perfect Poise & Balance
Driving at high speed is a delight as the car steers with near perfect alignment. Taking corners at a high rate sees the grand tourer grip to the road with a clear precision. As if riding on rails, the GranTurismo shows no signs of over or under steer, as the car is assisted by its driving aids of stability and traction control as well as anti-lock brakes. But with the weight ratio at a perfect balance of 49/51 also prevents any chance of drift.
Extra grip to the asphalt would be enhanced by the standard Pirelli tires. The P-Zeros were custom made and staggered in width, 245 in the front and 285 in the rear.
To match the aggressive nature of the improved engine, the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport would be given a more edgier look. Its front nose would follow the racing design of the GT MC with the enlarged front grille being fashioned in black which now matches the front headlight surrounds. Also, similar to the MC’s racing design, the Sport is fitted with more pronounced side skirts / rocker panels and the front spoiler has an air splitter which helps to reduce drag even more.
The wheels get a big makeover this time too, with four different designs for the hubs which can be finished in bright silver or dark charcoal. On the standard 20 inch alloys there are now eight different color tones for your Brembo calipers. The exterior paintwork comes in 19 different varieties while the three layered canvas soft top has a choice of six colors.
On the inside they have installed brand new front seats that have an integrated headrest. These seats have a better back support and the headliners come in leather or Alcantara suede. To maintain its ‘sporty’ image, the steering wheel takes on a racy style as it is flat across the bottom. While the aluminum shift paddles and pedals finish off the look.
As always, the array of luxurious surfaces and textures were exquisite. The leather seats, side panels, dash, steering wheel and gear stick come in multiple color tones while the dash has multiple finishes to choose from, including three types of wood, chrome or carbon fibre. Hand stitching and piping have 13 different colors to choose from as well as the trident logo on the headliners. But these choice accessories come with a price as if all areas are bespoke then this pumps up the price tag by another US$6,000!
Maserati Speed Dial
The Infotainment system for the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport was very similar to previous models. Bose would be called upon again to install the 11 speaker Surround Sound System. This included a satellite radio that picked up Sirius as well as having full connectivity with smartphones and media players via Bluetooth and USB / auxiliary ports. Added to this, the radio was fitted out with a keypad so calls could be dialed through directly.
Sat nav was accessed through the seven inch touch screen and linked to the 33 gig hard drive that stored the relevant road information as well holding all the downloaded music from the CD player. This was still not a very user friendly device being over complicated and time consuming due to the fact that each CD took 30 minutes to download and each track had to be manually labelled.
Corse Means Racing
If you were lucky enough to reserve one (there were only 850 units, out of the total that were manufactured, that were sent to the United States), the Granturismo MC, was a car simply built to race. Designed and named after Maserati’s recent escapade into racing again, this souped up GT was speed personified. Still the fastest Maserati out there as it made 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and hitting a top speed of 188 mph. This was achieved from its 454 bhp and 384 lb-ft torque. Suspension was also hardened up, as it shed itself of the sophisticated ‘Skyhook’ system and worked from a single-rate springs and shocks, to match the racing requirements of the design.
The GranCabrio would also see a mini makeover this year, as it was also fitted with the GT MC engine. This meant that horsepower and torque had been improved from 433 bhp to 444 and 361 lb-ft up to 376.
All these improvements did not come cheap. The bare bones of the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Sport began at US$129,500 though with add-ons this jumped to the mid-130’s. The Base convertible was US$142,000 while the GT MC and the Convertible Sport began at US$146,000. For its value, it might have been less decked out with high tech than its competitors and it might not have been as responsive as some of the other road rocket rivals. But for the sheer quality of the design and driving experience it gave, the car connoisseur knew which automobile to take.
Five years into the GranTurismo saga, Maserati had stamped their authority on the motoring world. With unrivaled elegance, luxury and sex appeal the GranTurismo was the exotic high performance Grand Tourer of choice – bar none.