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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, on Saturday I went to my local dealer and took the new GranTurismo ("GT") for a drive. The GT was launched in Japan only a couple of weeks ago, and the dealer arranged a Maserati Day on Saturday to get people familiar with the car. They were nice enough to hand out a Maserati laptop carry case for those of us spending sometime behind the wheel of the GT :D

I'll break down the review into various sections and try to compared the car to both the 4200/Coupe and the GranSport.


Summary

In essence, I believe the GT is a big step forward compared to the Coupe' and a car that presses the right buttons: it's beautiful inside and out, it's fast, it feels very well made and it's a pleasure to drive.


Exterior

This is from everyone to see, but clearly the GT is a unique design that combines a very aggressive front (perhaps too much?) with the bulbous front wheel arches and a very smooth back (a little Aston Martin-esque if you allow me to say so) but it certainly is a head turner.

The one I test drove came in Fuji White, which I am sure will be a popular colour in the Japanese market but it's probably not the best colour for this car: too plain. A dark metallic colour (blue being my favourite) would be much better.

Compared to the Coupe', I'd say the looks are less traditional and more contemporary. The Coupe/GranSport are to me cars that incorporate the essence of traditional italian car beauty: an understated yet distinguishable look with smooth continuous curves. The GT is sharper, brash dare I say, more in your face type of look and attitude and so cuts away from the past. The Coupe's look was derivative off the 3200GT though it lost some of that uniqueness when it dropped the boomerang style rearlights.

I love the way the GranSport looks and the Coupe/GS will surely be regarded as beautiful cars years and years in the future, but the GT has just got much more road presence and stance.


Interiors

Just like the exterior, the interiors are much more modern in the GT. It is still very Italian but there are several sharp lines in the cabin, very different compared to the traditional Italian feel of the Coupe interiors. The combination of leather and aluminium is strong on the eye, which wasn't helped by the bright red interiors, but I felt it was still fairly understated compared to some of the German offerings.

The seat, despite being less sporty than the GS' seats, offer a lot of comfort and made me feel very stable in it, which would come handy when taking the car through its paces.

The techie bits were all within easy reach and seemed fairly usable. Only negative is that the in-built phone doesn't work in Japan, so the centre console has small telephone number buttons that do absolutely nothing.

I tried the rear seats and felt they were on par with those offered in the Coupe/GS in terms of comfort and space. The rear seats usability is relatively good then, which was a very important point for me.

Overall, the interiors seemed of higher quality to the Coupe/GS, though I am not sure whether that's due to the fact the car was brand new and that I'd always ever sat on a used Coupe/GS.


Sound

When I drove the car, I was a little disappointed to notice there was hardly any exhaust noise and only noticeable engine noise when pushed. I love the fact that you can hear my GS (especially in Sport Mode).

However, once outside, I could hear the engine and exhaust note and they sounded like a true Italian sportscar, so I figure it's all down to the GT having better in-car noise reduction.


Handling

Here I have to say, the car feels a little heavy, certainly compared to the GS. And it is heavier so no surprise there. However, I felt the car was more stable than the Coupe/GS, felt quite Germanic in that sense (in a good way - if that's possible ;)). The GT felt almost on rails, even over rougher surfaces than my GS and felt very comfortable in where it was going. Hard to explain but the GT felt less nervous (actually not nervous at all) and although that may take some of the "fun" away from it, I really enjoyed being more in control of the car.

When doing some slightly aggressive overtaking manouvre, I felt the car was quick, solid and produced a pleasing engine grunt. I couldn't really stretch its legs much as I only did city driving, but it still felt composed yet powerful.

The steering had a nice dual feel to it: quite light and easy at low speed, getting firmer as the speed grew. Makes it for an easier drive than with the GS but I didn't feel I lost the wonderful steering wheel feel that the GS offers.

Pressing the Sport Mode button didn't seem to make much difference, just like in a Coupe' if you ask me. I'd hope the Sport setting is more noticeable in the GT S, just like it is in the GranSport. We'll see.


Transmission

I am not a fan of autos (eg. our second car, a Nissan Murano, has a CVT which is way better than a traditional automatic IMO) and particularly not a fan of autos for performance cars. The box seemed to work well enough but as it has set rpm levels at which to change gear, it doesn't understand the conditions you are driving it and so will always be suboptimal compared to a driver changing gears.

So I wasn't too happy and when I told the salesguy, he asked me to go into partial manual mode (ie. using the paddles) and the whole experience went up a notch. The car became smoother and it felt more responsive, though the downshifts still don't seem to work as well (no throttle blipping :().

So all in all, I think the autobox can work well enough for average Merc buyer but not really what a Maserati driver would want.


Engine

It must be noted the car I test-drove only had 750km on the clock, so way before it's optimal engine performance.

Although I understand the engine is quite a bit different from the Coupe/GS' engine, the performance stats are very similar and felt responsive, revvy and the way an Italian red-blooded engine should be.

I got to have a look under the hood too but most of the engine is covered by a plastic cover, so it doesn't have the visual impact of the Coupe/GS, which I think is a thing of beauty.


Conclusion

I was well impressed by the car and the slight deficiencies in terms of the power to weight, transmission and sound should be addressed by the S version, which as you probably know, I have pre-ordered.



I may add to the review as I remember other things and probably after I get to go for another test-drive (I told the salesguy I want to take the GT on the highway).


Thanks for reading and apologies about the length of the post.
 

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Very nice writeup & congrats again on the GT.
 

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"Thanks for reading and apologies about the length of the post."

No apologies needed. These are the kind of write-ups I want to see more of so I can make my decision on the GT/GT-S or neither.

Thanks,

Ryan
 

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"Thanks for reading and apologies about the length of the post."

No apologies needed. These are the kind of write-ups I want to see more of so I can make my decision on the GT/GT-S or neither.

Thanks,

Ryan
egg zack lee dont apologize for an excellent write up cheers and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Booked a follow up test drive for March 10th. Will hit the highway and try to stretch the car's legs ;) :D
 

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GT Review

Great review. I have an 06 GS. For my test drive of the GT, I felt that it was like a stiffer 6 series, more Germanic as you said. The exterior styling is not to my liking in the GT. NEED to see the GT-S in person.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, I am just back from my second test drive with the GranTurismo.
I did about 45 minutes of driving, mostly on highways which despite being a little clogged at times, were fairly open for most of the time. The purpose was to determine how the car would go at high(er) speed than city driving and to stretch its legs a little.
By now, the car had more than 1k km on the clock and the salesguy told me to give it all I had :D
One thing I forgot to mention last time and which I confirmed today is that the driving position seems a little higher than in my GranSport. Or perhaps it's the fact there seems to be a greater glass area in the car: nonetheless, I felt the GT has better visibility than my car, without really making me feel the driving position was anything but spot on.
The overall impression was very, very positive. If anything, I even liked it more than last time.

Engine/Power
I tried all sorts of things: standing dash, dash from about 30kmh, from 50kmh and overall the car felt great. Lots of power even in the lower RPM range and ... well you know, the rest ;)
As said before, I have to say that I quite like the engine note, though the interiors are so well padded that you don't get too hear that much of it. Yet, standing outside, you can definitely hear the car.

Handling
The one thing I couldn't do is to go through highspeed corners, so I can't comment on bodyroll in those conditions. In lower speed corners, the car has got it together and quick lane-changes at moderate speeds are easy and feel secure. Honestly, the car is very stable, very well planted although even in sport mode you can feel it squat when dropping the hammer (fair enough, it's not a race car).
Having said that, when driving slowly, the looser setting on the steering wheel does make it a bit more tricky to swing around traffic, but it's no big deal really.

Gearbox
I seemed to be able to work the car's autobox better than last time and I never felt it in the wrong gear. Not sure if it was me or the looser engine had something to do with it.
This time I didn't use the paddles much so perhaps it was a case of getting to know the car a bit better.

Brakes
I tried some power braking and beside being able to stop the car powerfully, it was good to see that the car didn't twich under heavyish braking.

Comfort
Ergonomically, the GT is a good as it gets. This time I felt the dash a little too cluttered with buttons and stuff but all in all, it's a lot easier than those fancy iDrive-type systems.
Taking all into account, I think the interiors are a better place to be than my GranSport's.

Conclusion
If the S is anything as a jump forward (performance-wise) as the GranSport was to the Coupe, I think I've done the right thing to order the car.



Well, I am done here folks. Hope this was interesting :)
 

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"Well, I am done here folks. Hope this was interesting"

Very interesting.....thanks for sharing. Personally, I can not wait for some member reviews of the S when it is released.
 
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