2012 Maserati GranTurismo MC

It’s no secret that the six Maserati brothers would be enamored with today’s “state of play” of the sports luxury brand they manifested during the beginning of the 20th Century. Vehicles from Modena, Italy bearing the 3-pointed Trident emblem represent a definitive status quo equating to style, success and individualism. The exclusivity of a Maserati positions its owners in an honorable and noble taxonomy. Enter the 2012 GranTurismo MC coupe.

With the body of the hand sculpted from steel, the GranTurismo is one of the most beautiful and equally menacing two-door vehicles available in today’s luxury market; despite steep competition from the Porsche 911, Mercedes-Benz CL, Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Jaguar XKR and the BMW 650i. The heart and soul of the Maserati is a naturally aspirated 4.7-liter V8 engine. An MC Autoshift 6-speed transmission, replete with immense, winged paddle shifters positioned on the steering column manages up to 50% quicker power shifts. Located behind the front axle, the engine arrangement along with a few other key adjustments balances the weight distribution with 49% up front and 51% in the rear. You immediately sense when accelerating, that the GranTurismo’s layout is front, mid-engine.  Horsepower is up 11 hp to 444 hp and torque has increased by 15 to 376 ft-lb from the GranTurismo S.  Efficiency has been increased as well, with CO2 emissions down 13% and fuel consumption reduced by 6%.

Maserati has always maintained a Track to Street philosophy when building consumer vehicles. For that very reason, their racing packages, technologies and aerodynamics are instantly noted on the MC, which translates to Maserati Corse. Corse is of course (no pun intended) the company’s racing moniker. On the MC particularly, everything from the A-pillar forward is new, including the hand formed aluminum hood with air intakes, new fenders featuring air outlets and a new bumper to complement the signature oval grille. That having been said, the 2012 GranTurismo MC is the fastest and most powerful vehicle in the Maserati fleet. Also new are lighter 20” alloy wheels, side skirts, rear bumper, deck lid spoiler and a nimbler, sport exhaust system. Keep in mind that the GranTurismo’s heavier steel body compromises some acceleration, which nonetheless is 4.8 seconds from 0 mph to 60 mph. I would expect Maserati to add turbo or supercharging in the near future to satisfy pure enthusiasts who want more performance to go along with their luxury.

Once inside the cockpit of the MC coupe, you feel as if heaven was brought to earth in the form of carbon fiber. It’s absolutely gorgeous and well manicured. The steering wheel, with its leather and carbon fiber combo, is thick and utilizes thumb indentations honed for optimal turning radius. Contrast stitching, Trofeo-design shifters and an Alcantara headliner re-enforces the opulent cabin’s ambience. The seats are a bit slippery, however, when turning hard and fast. Yet, with a stiffer suspension those turns are handled with precision. By putting the transmission in sport mode, the exhaust’s by-pass opens up after 3,000 rpm, and in the manual sport mode it remains open. You won’t hear any unspoken silence when touring the scenic mountains around San Diego. An ice mode is available to start the transmission in second gear in wintry weather conditions.

The 2012 GranTurismo MC will retail at $143,400, which includes all of the aforementioned features.

Automotive Rhythms (AR) is the multi-national lifestyle firm that blends evaluations of the latest cars, trucks, SUVs, and bikes around music, fashion, travel and technology. Consisting of Internet, print, radio, network TV, online video and event properties, AR is a multi-media and marketing gateway for receiving real time data and information on new rides, car shows, vehicle technology, green energy projects, customization, motorsports, celebrity profiles and auto lifestyle experiences. www.automotiverhythms.com