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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to a driving event organised by Maserati GB today at a track used by various UK magazines - Evo, Autocar etc. It's a former US air force base which has been converted into a nice circuit with an extremely long straight on the old runway. I drove the GT auto first to get an idea of the circuit layout and get a comparison point for the S. As I already own a GT I didn't want to spend a lot of time in it as I am familiar with it's handling characteristics. The GT was impressive but it's not set up for fast chicanes and the body roll tends to make you drive more cautiously. Had I had longer seat time I'm sure I'd have improved my times as I got more familiar with the circuit. With a few laps under my belt I switched to the S.

The test car was a left hand drive model as right hand drive production does not commence until the factory comes back from the summer holiday shutdown. Resplendent in Nero Carbonio with Neptune alloys in Grigio Mercury, red callipers, black alcantara headlining, black carpets, and black leather with the new Pekary leather inserts the car looked superb. I have to apologise as I forget to take my camera with me.... doh! I started off in auto mode with sport mode engaged as a baseline comparison to the auto GT. Straight off in the first few bends it was evident that the suspension is stiffened up though not by as much as I was expecting. The test car was fitted with the Skyhook system which has been recalibrated I'm told for this car. The ride is still extremely comfortable with less roll though it's still not capable of cornering flat like a 997/F430/Gallardo etc. This is where the size and weight of the car come into play but a good compromise has been struck between outright handling and comfort IMHO. It could definately carry more speed into the corners than the GT thanks to the stiffer suspension and greater torque. On a free flowing country road I think it would be in it's element and cover ground very swiftly indeed. It's not a natural trackday choice I'd suggest but then that isn't it's target audience. The additional torque of the 4.7ltr engine is very apparent as the car now subjectively feels quick. Part of this is down to the fabulous exhaust noise which permeates the cabin as the revs rise making it difficult to resist pressing the throttle pedal extremely hard indeed :D The F1 box is superb in auto mode. I thought my F430 was good but this utilises the software of the 599 and is almost seamless. It's so good that my Maserati instructor had to remind me to try the manual mode before my time was up. Switching manually is sublime with throttle blips on downshifts and smooth upshifts. The large paddles are great and easy to find all of the time and once I started using them it was good fun timing the correct shiftpoints.

Which would I recommend? If you only have one car then the GTS is superb choice as the F1 box gives the best of both worlds and would make the car a serious commuting proposition on workdays and a fun "sports" tourer at weekends. If you have another toy in the garage then the auto box car is a good choice for a relaxed daily driver that doesn't give too much away to it's more powerful stablemate.
 

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A few questions if you don't mind:

- is the power progressive or push you in your seat instant?

-did anyone tell you that the fixed suspension is preferred rather than the skyhook?

-do you think the full leather seats and the lack of side bolstering is noticeable on the turns and maybe its better to go with alcantara to grip you better?

-is it a car that makes you want to drive it just of the heck of it or is it just a "nice" car
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The power is progressive I'd say, not neck snapping like a 997 turbo or Gallardo Superleggera. The test driver said his preference would be skyhook. Without a back to back comparison I couldn't comment though I've found skyhook to be pretty good on my GT. The demo car I drove had the inserts finished in Pekary leather which is pretty grippy and the seats felt more comfortable than the regular GT. I think you'd take it out for a drive just for the heck of it as the sound and overall experience is very satisfying.
 

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Appreciate the response, I was a little taken back by your comment that you weren't giving up to much from the standard car. I thought the differences would be greater where you wouldn't make that comment. I guess they're noticeable, but not night and day noticeable from what I gather.

Reading these reviews are killing me, I hope to drive one soon as that will be the determining factor of putting down a deposit. I'd would be moving from a CLK63 Black Series so I want to make sure the fun factor of the GranTurismo S is there even though I'm giving up a lot of power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The differences are noticeable but it's not a case of clear blue sky between the two if you know what I mean. The S has more torque so should be faster for overtaking manoeuvres. The paddle shift gearbox is certainly a big plus point in making it more of a drivers car and the subtle body mod's enhance an already desirable car.

From what I've read of the black series and Top Gear tv reviews of it I think you'll find the GTS much less of a powerhouse.
 

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Interesting review - particularly how well you felt the Auto mode was driving. There's been varying reviews around the traps ranging from pretty good to very ordinary. I suppose it depends on what you're used to.

Assuming it's consistently as good as you say and could be used as a daily driver in traffic , have we had any feedback from Maserati on how well the new twin disk clutch would stand up to daily stop-start traffic in Auto Sport mode? I'm thinking in terms of those who will stick with the one car as a daily driver and a plaything on weekends , thereby favouring the GT-S.

Cheers,

Ed
 

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I think that's a little early to know Ed, as the deliveries of the GT S have just started (or about to start).
 

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Very encouraging review as I am keen to get one next year and trade in my QP. For my part I would only have the one car so it would need to play the Toy role as well as be a daily driver so it needs to have the power and torque to be able to do that. From my drive of the regular GT I feel I would be disappointed with it as a weekend plaything, it simply does not accelerate fast enough. From reading isuk's review the S might have the power to make this a real proposition and it is encouraging to hear good things about the transmission, which in London traffic could be a deal breaker for me.

What I would love to know is how the car handles on its non skyhook single rate springs and dampers. My QP GT-S does not have the option for skyhook and has the single rate system, which I am very impressed with and frankly do not see the need for skyhook in that car. By all accounts the engineers felt this was a better set up. I know the GT is different but given that it is not a track car wonder whether skyhook is actually necessary or is simply more of a marketing opportunity. I think there is a review on Drivers Republic which is for the non skyhook car and they seemed very happy with it. Would be interesting to compare.

Cheers

Carl
 

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Not sure where I read it from but apparently the Maserati test drivers seem to prefer the standard suspension over the skyhook on the GT S.


Don't quote me on that though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've got skyhook on my GT and am very impressed with it. In normal mode it gives a very smooth and comfortable ride with softer damper settings. If you press on in this mode you notice more body roll at speed. The moment you activate the sport button the dampers noticeably firm up and the character of the car changes making spirited driving much more fun along with the vast improvement in throttle response (100% response for only 40% of pedal travel). If you are driving on badly surfaced roads at lower speds as part of your daily commute then it's worth getting an extended demo in a skyhook equipped car.
 

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Not sure where I read it from but apparently the Maserati test drivers seem to prefer the standard suspension over the skyhook on the GT S.


Don't quote me on that though.
Yep you're correct, there have been several articles where the writer spoke with Maserati factory officials and they claimed the fixed was the preferred suspension. All I know is when I drive the Quattroporte GTS with its fixed suspension I think its perfect, so if the fixed is on the GranTurismo S is in that mode or a hair firmer I would be happy.
 

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I drove the new Granturismo S I have to say its impressive it comes with the the MC shift witch was very much needed. its a new kind of beast, yet it still lacks in power.. PLEASE MORE POWER!! not as fast as a MC Victory but the handling is incredible! a bit faster then the automatic, but the handling is much better in the S. The engine was roaring the wheels were screatching and ass pucker affect was in full force rating 0-10 I give it a ........... 8.45 compare to the rating of the MC Victory (9.0) 10 ratings given to MC 12, Enzo, Challange Stradale, but the 430 Scuderia got a 10.5 dont ask why : )
 

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Don't think the Aston V8 has got anything on the S but do agree that we need a lighter sportier model in the line up.

Question is: would Ferrari let Maserati develop such a car? I don't think so. (than again, I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist regarding Ferrari's dealings with Maserati).
 

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I drove the new Granturismo S I have to say its impressive it comes with the the MC shift witch was very much needed. its a new kind of beast, yet it still lacks in power.. PLEASE MORE POWER!! not as fast as a MC Victory but the handling is incredible! a bit faster then the automatic, but the handling is much better in the S. The engine was roaring the wheels were screatching and ass pucker affect was in full force rating 0-10 I give it a ........... 8.45 compare to the rating of the MC Victory (9.0) 10 ratings given to MC 12, Enzo, Challange Stradale, but the 430 Scuderia got a 10.5 dont ask why : )
I'm a former GranSport owner so I have a fairly good understanding of what a great car it is. Its cool that we have a GranSport owner comparing the two cars as the "S" was essentially designed to get back that customer, but your power comment I'm suprised at as paper number wise, the acceleration times are essentially the same. Are you saying because of the added weight of the new car it gives the sensation of feeling slower than it really is? Is the power the sole reason for why you think its not as good as the GranSport?
 

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Don't think the Aston V8 has got anything on the S but do agree that we need a lighter sportier model in the line up.

Question is: would Ferrari let Maserati develop such a car? I don't think so. (than again, I am a bit of a conspiracy theorist regarding Ferrari's dealings with Maserati).

The more realistic competitor in my eyes is the Aston Martin DB9/DBS V12s - the V8 Vantage really doesn't quite fit the "sporty GT" daily driver class. Some would argue that all of these cars are in no man's land and don't know what they want to be (GT or sports car) but I like the idea of a sporty luxury GT.

To my way of thinking no one car gets it all right . Maserati GT-S has the curves, the soundtrack, the interior (other than the substandard "plasticky" console/GPS) , the usable back seats but loses out in terms of power to weight/speed , reliability and F1 tranny. The only reason I mention the transmission is that IF we're talking a daily driver the regular clutch/pump issues and lack of proper auto mode for stop start traffic will turn off some and quite possibly lead to faster clutch death.

The DB9/DBS has the looks too (although appeals to a different eye to the Maser) , great soundtrack, the interior , better power/weight and acceleration , nice ZF auto similar to standard Maser GT but loses out with useless back seats (which greatly reduces appeal as a GT) and somehow also manages a pathetic boot , quirky dash/gizmos/gimmicks . Reliability is said to have improved markedly since the new factory but I'd still question it as with any "hand built" car.

I had a chance to drive the GT-S today but couldn't make it due to work commitments unfortunately..........the car will now go on to the Melbourne Motor show and won't be seen here again for a few months. Once I do get around to buying my car the only 2 cars I will be testing will be the Maserati Granturismo-S and the Aston Martin DB9. The other option is to buy a regular GT and tune it up. Other competitors such as Bentley Continental GT and Merc CL500 aren't nearly as appealing.

Maserati could dominate this class if they brought out a version of the standard GT with auto transmission (and manual option) that has some balls. It has the stunning looks , does the grand tourer concept the most justice , carries 4 people in comfort , sounds great and has all the luxuries. All it needs is some modern materials to reduce weight and a V8 that's allowed to let rip.

Leave the f1 tranny to a car that deserves it and come up with a genuine sports car rather than having your top of the line "sports car " as the GT-S that cannot keep up with a decent Mercedes. The said sports car could then take it to cars like the Vantage , Audi R8 etc.......and give them some curry.

As Bigfoot says though - it's a matter of Ferrari letting Maserati off the leash so to speak and it's unlikely to happen unfortunately.

Ed
 
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