2014 would be a very auspicious year for the exotic car makers from Modena; this was Maserati’s centenary. It was now 100 years since the five Maserati brothers had created their fledgling company and now the company was, probably, stronger than it had ever been, Maserati had planned to mark the occasion by creating a new automobile, the Ghibli.
Though sitting within the FIAT / Chrysler conglomerate, Maserati itself was quite small. With all attention focused on their brand new model there would not be much time to spend on any concerted effort to do anything particular with the current crop of GranTurismos. However, they would make some slight changes to their fleet of GT’s, not that perfection needed that much alteration.
The 2014 Maserati GranTurismo came in five different formats and three of those were convertibles. For their limited efforts, it would be the GranTurismo MC that saw all of the changes, with new improved engine performance and even a soft top variant.
All About the Racing
The GranTurismo MC had been available around the world (albeit in very limited numbers) since 2011. The previous year’s GT Sport had appeared and was now sporting a better engine than the older MC – so this was an easy fix. The GT racer was now given the same improvements to its 4.7 liter Ferrari V8 engine. This would see the car matching the GT Sport’s performance of 454 bhp and 384 lb-ft of torque. The updated ‘Maserati Corse‘ would be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show the previous year.
Due to its specific market demands, the 2014 Maserati GranTurismo MC would still offer key differences for its customers. For those destined to be sold around the world, the car was fitted with just two carbon fiber racing seats with harnesses and no rear seats at all. It also offered a gearbox that was as close to manual as you could get without having a clutch pedal.
The new updated MC Race Shift six-speed robotized manual transmission could shift change in a blistering 60 milliseconds while engaged in ‘Race’ mode. This model was purely for racing enthusiasts as it gave a firm and rather unforgiving ride due to its suspension being set with fixed-rate shocks and lower and stiffer springs. The height of the car was fractionally lowered, as well, to maximize the feel of a proper race car.
For the American market, the harder racing feel was softened. The interior had the usual GranTurismo 2+2 seating arrangements and fitted with the company’s standard gearbox – ZF’s six-speed automatic transmission. The gearbox could be engaged in two different modes – Sport or Race – which would change the dynamics of the car immediately.
Suspension becomes firmer and more rigid while the shift changes are completed quicker (though not as fast as the MC Race Shift gearbox) and the exhaust lets rip as baffles are bypassed. In ‘Race’ mode the driver gets to use the shift paddles attached to the steering wheel and has better control over the gear changes and rev counts.
MC Goes Topless
The GranTurismo convertibles had become available since 2010 while the Convertible Sport had appeared in 2012. So the 2014 Maserati GranTurismo convertible range looked to the MC for inspiration. Though it was the same engine as the GT Convertible Sport, they would be able to increase its speed by improving on the aerodynamics of the bodywork.
By matching the design of the MC they increased the car’s length by almost 2 inches but this proved impactful to the performance. The GranCabrio MC would be able to reach 0-60 in 4.9 seconds (slightly quicker than the Convertible Sport) and its top speed was up too. While the GT CS hit 177 mph, the new GranTurismo Convertible MC could now reach 180 mph – their fastest convertible yet. The soft top model would be first put on public display during the 2012 Paris Motor Show.
Sport of the Tridents
The coupe and convertible editions of the 2014 Maserati GranTurismo Sport were still readily available and promised some of the best driving performances that Maserati could offer. The engines of both had the original high performance V8 that now sat under the MC’s hood. So with 454 bhp and 384 lb-ft of torque, these two models would wear their name with pride. The coupe actually had a choice of transmissions, between the usual ZF six-speed automatic or the automated manual gearbox.
This produced a slight difference in acceleration as the automatic made 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and hit 186 mph. But the automated manual would shave these numbers as it made 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and could top 187 mph. However, due to its heavier weight, the Convertible Sport did 0-60 in 5 seconds while “only” reaching a top speed of 177 mph.
The ‘Base’ model, GranCabrio, would be the least performing of the fleet though only marginally. Fitted with the engine, that originally graced both the GranTurismo S and the MC, it put out 444 bhp and 376 lb-ft of torque and could still drive with exhilaration.
Driving on the Edge
It wouldn’t just be the scintillating looks of the 2014 Maserati GranTurismo that would impress but also the excellent focus it paid to the driving, as well. Several factors would ensure driving at high speed could be achieved with the minimum of effort. The car’s balance was set to near perfection at a 49/51 front to rear weight ratio which already minimized any chance of drift on cornering. The customized P-Zero Pirelli tires with staggered widths of 245 mm and 285 mm front to back also ensure a firm grip of the road.
To assist even the most inexperienced driver, the car was fitted with a selection of safety and driving assistance systems. These included stability and traction control as well as anti-lock brakes. You could still throw the car into hard bends with some force before these systems would take over and ensure a safe exit out of the corner. No chance of under or over steer wit this Grand Tourer.
Whilst driving on the edge of what you can throw at the road, the Maserati’s sophisticated ‘Skyhook’ suspension system would ensure there would be limited effect to the passengers inside, minimizing any cabin movement.
Since its introduction just five years previously, the Maserati GranTurismo had become synonymous to sumptuous elegance and luxury. Its seductively smooth body contours would make it unique against any of its rivals. This had become the epitome of Italian cachet. The car’s driving pedigree would only be matched by its obsessive attention to its high level of styling.
The external finish came in an endless array of color and tone. The paintwork alone came in a variety of 19 different colors; but, if you were hip to the latest finishes, you could go for the matte finish which cost an additional US$20,000! The three layered canvas soft top came in six different tones and which could be lowered (glass rear window and all) in a mere 24 seconds even with the car moving (under 20 mph though) and it didn’t reduce the size of the (very small) trunk which was only 6.2 cubic feet.
Wheels had a myriad of touches too. The 20 inch alloys came in 4 different designs (which were free of charge!) and could be finished in bright silver or black (which was not). The Brembo brake calipers were available in eight different colors too.
The interior of the 2014 Maserati GranTurismo was just as jaw dropping as the outside. Awash with luxurious colors and textures that included fine leather, Alcantara suede, chrome and three types of wood. The front seats had been recently updated with an integrated headrest and added comfort and support to the back. The rear seats had been given a smidgeon of extra legroom (less than one inch more).
Leather was found everywhere you look around the cabin – the seats; headliners; side panels; dash; steering wheel and gear stick – and these all came in eight different shades. This was complemented by the piping and hand stitching which was available in over 13 different threads. While even the carpets had a variety of colors to choose from to match the aluminum drilled foot pedals and shift paddles.
The 20114 Maserati GranTurismo would continue with the same Infotainment system it had been using these last couple of years. The Bose 11 Speaker Surround System fitted to a satellite radio, which could pick up Sirius, and a CD player that could download music onto a 33gb hard drive. While a seven inch touchscreen sat nav also utilized the large hard drive to store relevant road information. Although owners still found these a little cumbersome to use.
Despite this being a “quiet” year for the GranTurismo, Maserati had still managed to make some key improvements to the rolling stock and ensured the burgeoning customer base were provided with the best that Modena had to offer.