In the long history of the motoring world, not many could claim a century of longevity. Maserati is one of the few who can make that claim. When five Italian brothers came together to start a motor parts company, in 1914, none of them would have realized where this would lead to.
Their first car rolled out of the Bologna factory, in 1926, and this started a 30 year journey through the racetracks of the world. It was then that Maserati made a decisive choice to get serious with mass produced road cars instead.
In the intervening years, Maserati have seen many ups and downs. From designing and producing some of the most iconic vehicles ever to grace the roads to facing extinction as bankruptcy breathed down their neck.
Move the time forward and Maserati use their current flagship grand tourer to mark not one but two key anniversaries. In 2014, they would release a special Maserati Corse Centennial edition of the GranTurismo to mark a century of the company’s existence. Three years on and they had more occasions to celebrate.
In this 2017 Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial review, we will look at what that auspicious date signified and what made this GT so unique.
60 Years Ago Today
The 2017 Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial would be used to celebrate their very first GT, the Maserati 3500GT, that was produced in 1957. This iconic grand tourer would establish their stylish quality into the world’s motoring market and become a milestone for Maserati. This 3.5 liter 2+2 lasted for seven years and over 2200 models were sold in that time. They have become priceless collector’s items.
What better way to celebrate the success of this ’50’s sports car than by creating a special edition of their fastest and most powerful GT.
Spirit of Bologna
To highlight the spiritual home of Maserati, the bespoke body paint was carefully considered. In order to herald the importance of the city where their origins began, they offered two choices of a triple layered paint for the bodywork of the Centennial Editions. Magma Red and Inchiostro blue were offered to signify the city colors of Bologna.
The four designs of 20 inch alloy wheels were given a special touch with exclusive medal-shaped centenary logos that were affixed to the center of the wheel. These would be offered in two different finishes – a matte smoke grey or charcoal grey.
The interior color scheme would be determined by whichever external paintwork was chosen. Either color contrast begins with black or white leather sport seats and leather inserts of red, white or blue. The Poltrona Frau leather envelopes all surfaces and areas of the cabin (along with touches of Alcantara suede) that includes all seats and headrests, the dash, steering wheel, gear stick, central console and door panels. What surfaces are not covered are finished off with carbon fiber.
As an added touch, on the door sills it is engraved to commemorate that each vehicle is one out of only 400 made.
The price for this rare model was just as exclusive. The 2017 Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial would cost $15,000 more than the usual MC model, at $165,000.
Spirit of a Racer
While the 2017 Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial had been customized with expensive, bespoke finishes, the performance under the hood was the same as the “ordinary” MC.
The car came with a naturally aspirated 4.7 liter V8 engine that produced 454 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 384 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm while the redline was set at 7,500 rpm.
To match its racing pedigree, the GranTurismo MC was fitted with the MC Race Shift transmission. This was a six-speed robotized automated gearbox which can be manually controlled by the driver either through the gear stick or via the elongated shift paddles behind the steering wheel. Once engaged, the shift changes occur in a fraction of a second (60 milliseconds, to be precise) and the gear changes push the rev counter nearer to the redline.
Acceleration was blistering for this GT as the 2017 Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial 0-60 dash was completed in just 4.5 seconds and it would hit a top speed of 188 mph.
With a lowered riding profile, near perfect balance of the weight ratio and a great driving position, enables the driver to feel confident and exhilarated as the GranTurismo explodes into life and attacks the road in front.
Handling is responsive and accurate as the long and heavy car behaves like a little roadster and dives into corners and tears out of them with utmost control and grip. As if riding on rails, the GranTurismo MC follows the steering commands immediately and gives the driver a true sense of excitement as well as control of the vehicle.
Strong Brembo brakes and a host of driver assist aids ensures the car will not overstep the mark.
Eye for Detail
Along with the sumptuous leather and carbon fiber accents, the level of detail that goes into the luxurious finish of the interior is highlighted by the hand stitching and piping. With 13 different colored threads to choose from, all areas around the leather and suede are complemented by the contrasting thread. This includes the hand stitched Maserati Trident logo on each of the four headrests.
To round off the interior, the surround sound system was from Bose that housed 11 speakers around the cabin. The CD player could download and store music on its 33 gig hard drive. It also had a satellite radio and sat nav while Bluetooth and auxiliary ports allowed smartphones and media players to connect.
The 2017 Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial was a fine example to commemorate these key historical landmarks. What better way to celebrate Maserati’s long history in racing and grand tourers, than with their best GT to date. 60 years on from when Juan Manuel Fangio would win the F1 World Championship, driving a Maserati, and the production of their first and iconic Maserati 3500GT, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Centennial was a perfect exemplar of the brand.