Thursday, October 4, 2012


Maserati of South Africa has launched the new GranTurismo Sport at a glitzy event in Johannesburg. Potential customers were treated to Maserati’s latest beauty, which is said to be an evolution of the GranTurismo S and GranTurismo S automatic, by Viglietti Motors CEO Meryn Eagles. Viglietti is the official importer of Maserati and Ferrari cars to Mzansi.

The GranTurismo Sport really is a thing of beauty. It is sculpted probably from the same limestone Adonis was, with the exception that it will take both genders to places they never thought existed before, and not just the ladies. With two doors and four newly-designed seats, the car is sold as a 2+2 seater, but in reality you are probably looking at accommodating two big adults upfront and two residents of the Shire behind.

Maseratis, although they do pretend to be, are not quite supercars. Sports cars yes, but not beyond. They are really the Aston Martins of the Italian world; pretty, nice to look at, raspy thunderous engine note, but really not much shove beneath the feet. And so it is with this new car, which carries a 4.7-litre 32-valve V8 with natural aspiration. Perhaps that’s where some of the power went. In any case, it delivers 338kW at 7000rpm and 520Nm of torque at 4750rpm.

Acceleration is claimed to be 4.7 seconds from standstill to 100km/h on the speedo, and a 300km/h top speed. In reality you’ll probably find something close to 5.2 seconds in Gauteng. The rear wheels are supplied torque through either a 6-speed Electro-Actuated gearbox (MC Shift) or 6-speed Automatic transmission (MC Auto Shift). Take the MC Auto for your sanity.

Another reason for this apparent lack of vuma from a car very closely-linked to Ferraris, is its contribution on the scale. It’s a very large contribution, something like 1 880kg. That’s similar to what cars like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG weigh, but with much less power.

“As a brand, Maserati is entering a new era,” said Eagles. “The subtle, but significant additions and changes to the GranTurismo Sport are but a small reflection of even greater things to come.”

Viglietti Motors was coyabout prices but you are looking at something like R1.7 million a piece. To be sure, you can call them. They are in Jozi and Cape Town.

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//PART 2