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2018 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Review: A Fine Wine Borders on Overripe

Published September 27th, 2018 by Unknown

The verdict: Like an aging Italian wine, the 2018 Maserati GranTurismo is still smooth, tasty and satisfying — if a little behind the times.

Versus the competition: The GranTurismo is ready for its update, as almost all competitors have shifted to turbocharged engines, transmissions with more gears, electronically adaptive suspensions and advanced connectivity options. The GranTurismo instead banks on its looks, heritage and ongoing cachet, of which it has plenty.

What's the difference between a sports car and a grand touring car? It's a subtle distinction, but an important one when discussing expensive or exotic machinery like the 2018 Maserati GranTurismo convertible seen here. This grand touring car, a "GT," is meant to be fast, but it's not meant to be a track star. You could take a GT onto a track for some fun, but you're much more likely to take one down a coastal road to dinner on the shore with a couple of friends along. GTs tend to have more seats, a softer ride and handling, and more creature comforts than sports cars. The Maserati GranTurismo I spent some time with recently fits this role perfectly.

The public thinks Maseratis are pretty special. The Italian luxury brand (owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) slots in above FCA's Alfa Romeo brand in terms of prestige, but much of the road-going public still thinks of Maserati as something akin to Lamborghini, Ferrari or McLaren in terms of exoticness. It's not exactly true — Maseratis are indeed nice cars, but their bespoke specialness isn't quite at the level of those rarified beasts. At least not nowadays, and FCA is OK with this, ramping up Maserati to far more volume than it has ever sold in the past.

The GranTurismo convertible is not really part of that volume plan, however. This is something of a holdover from the older days of Maserati — this specific car actually predates the formation of FCA. It was created from a platform introduced nearly 15 years ago, and it hasn't seen a major update since its introduction in 2008. According to FCA's grand five-year business plan, it's due to be replaced by 2022 with a fully updated coupe and convertible based on the gorgeous 2014 Alfieri concept. That means the GranTurismo is going to soldier on for another few years as seen here, which warrants a closer look.


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