Maserati Gran Cabrio marks a new and important chapter in Maserati’s history. It is a Maserati unlike any seen before.
Imagine being at the roadside on the Via Emilia - the heart of a region famed for its motoring links - on a cool summer morning. You hear the unmistakable sound of an engine before a powerful car appears. On the car’s grille sits the Maserati badge. The car is a cabriolet. There can be no mistake: it is the GranCabrio. The name, GranCabrio, evokes Maserati’s renowned traditions and experience, tying the new vehicle to the GranTurismo concept and bringing to life past GranSports. At the same time, the name underlines how much the car differs from every model that has preceded it. The GranCabrio redefines the idea of a cabriolet. The open-top, four-seater GranCabrio offers the chance to share a fantastic driving experience with those you love, one enhanced by top quality materials, the aroma of prestigious woods and refined leather. GranCabrio is Maserati’s exclusive take on the need to live exciting experiences in company as opposed to the mania of owning things just for the sake of it. GranCabrio is designed for those who take pleasure from good taste and who appreciate Italian power and elegance. However, they do not want to be limited by using the car just as a couple or not being able to at all because there is a new addition to the family. In the GranCabrio the joy of sharing experiences reaches previously unattainable heights.
The engine on the Maserati GranCabrio is an eight cylinder, 4691cc V90° capable of developing 331 kw (450 hp) at 7000 rpm and with a peak torque of 510 Nm at 4750 rpm. The power unit uses the advanced technology typical of all Maserati engines. This allows the declared power figures to be reached, ensures smooth gear changes and a quiet engine. The timing is actioned by two overhead camshafts per bank and four valves per cylinder controlled by hydraulic tappets. The overhead camshafts on the aspirated side are controlled by a low pressure, continual phase variator, a technical solution that, together with the optimisation of the combustion chamber, allows 82% of the maximum torque from 2500 rpm for a superb overtaking, even in high gears.
The Maserati GranCabrio features a six-speed, ZF automatic transmission with a hydraulic torque converter to give extremely fluid gear shifts while maintaining the characteristics of the sporty V8 engine. The transmission has four modes and is also fitted with self-adapting control that adjusts the type of gear change to the driving style and road conditions. In Manual mode, gear changes are sequentially made by the driver via the steering column mounted paddles or the gearstick.
The engine noise is emphasised by the sports exhaust managed by the by-pass valve. Pushing the Sport button opens the pneumatic valves if the car is on the move and the engine above 3000 rpm. This means that the engine can be exploited to the full, giving a rewarding engine roar. This becomes even more gripping with the hood down, making the car one with its surroundings.
The weight distribution on the Maserati GranCabrio is slightly biased towards the rear with 49% over the front and 51% over the back with the hood up. With the hood down, the front-rear split is 48-52%. This set up was achieved by stationing the engine behind the front axle and results in true and predictable handling that makes driving easier and renders the car more stable. The new loadbearing chassis is constructed from a blend of materials with an eye on keeping the weight down. The framework is made from toughened steel apart from the bonnet and front bumper bar, in aluminium, and the boot lid in heat treated plastic that uses Sheet Moulding Compound technology. The chassis was developed to provide maximum stiffness even without a roof. The result is that the Maserati GranCabrio is able to offer the same driving pleasure as any quality closed-top car.
The Maserati GranCabrio is fitted with the electronically controlled Skyhook suspension as standard. This system employs dampers with an aluminium body that continually adjust the damping. This solution means that the set up adapts instantly to the driving style and the road conditions to offer the utmost in on-board comfort. The Skyhook system acts by using acceleration sensors that detect movement on all four wheels and the body. A control unit processes the data it receives from the sensors, analyses the driving style and road surface and instantly adjusts the dampers accordingly via their proportional valves.
The car’s already superb dynamic handling is constantly monitored and optimised by the Maserati Stability Programme (MSP). The MSP kicks in to correct even the hint of a skid by reducing torque. Working with the ABS and EBD, the system stops the wheels locking under braking, distributes the braking between the front and rear axles. It also prevents the wheels spinning on low grip surfaces when accelerating or climbing (ASR and MSR).
The Maserati GranCabrio’s canvas hood was a technological as well as aesthetic choice. The soft top solution means a lower centre of gravity because the bottom of the car is heavier. This enhances the car’s dynamic handling. The hood weighs only 65kg and the materials, mechanism, its operation time and stowage are all top quality. The GranCabrio transforms from a splendid coupé into a cabriolet in just 28 seconds if the car is travelling up to 30 km/h.