Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gran Turismo Wears Designer Badge with Style

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gran Turismo Wears Designer Badge with Style

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Hughes

IF someone gave you a Maserati GranTurismo for nothing and offered to meet its running costs, you could be forgiven for assuming you had died and gone to heaven.

However, if you had to pay the necessary pounds 78,605 from your own pocket and then finance the ongoing bills, you might think twice.

That is not to say you wouldn't end up with the Italian supercar anyway but along the way you would check out the rival Jaguar XKR, Porsche 911, Aston Martin Vantage, BMW M6, Mercedes-Benz CL500 and several others.

The point is that while the Maserati is a highly-desirable motorcar, so are a surprisingly large number of its competitors.

It is also a fact that many of those who buy such cars could pay several times as much if they wished to but there comes a point at which even the super-rich say that enough is enough.

The resurgence of the Maserati brand in the UK has been led by the four-door Quattroporte, hence its name.

Now there is a two-door coupe called the GranTurismo, which aims to appeal to those who are unencumbered by family or the need to lug around the paraphernalia associated with them.

It is a self indulgence for those who place style and image above practicality and whose greatest assets are its gorgeous lines and designer badge.

Aficionados would argue the Maserati boasts the purest of styling, unlike the Jaguar XKR which has a touch of Mondeo about its front end.

Of course, Jaguar fans would retort that the Italian rival could be mistaken for a Peugeot 407 Coupe from a distance, so ultimate beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Apart from looking the business the Maserati is a powerful performer, as might be expected from a car with a Ferrari lump beating beneath its bonnet.

It is the group's 4.2-litre V8 that churns out 405bhp of raw power and 339lb/ft of torque, or pulling power.

This translates into a 0-62mph acceleration time of 5.2 seconds with a top speed of 177mph.

Obviously this is awesome stuff but so are the capabilities of its rivals, with the 4.2-litre V8 Jag employing the services of a turbocharger to boost pulling power to 413lb/ft, which results in a 0-62mph time of 5. …

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