söndag 6 juli 2008

The Italian Job

Maserati returns to checker-flag form with its new GranTurismo

The road is littered with the hood ornaments of once-inimitable car marques that champion the past while artfully dodging the present. After decades of corporate upheaval, Maserati appears to have finally outrun that fate and, with its 2008 GranTurismo, rejoined the pantheon of Italian masters.
Behind the masterstroke is renowned Italian design firm Pininfarina—they of Maserati's reputation-forging hit, the sinuous 1946 A6 1500, among others. The GT's fluid yet muscular body, arching from its intimidating oval grille and low-sloping hood to its triangular taillamps, blends the allure of Maserati's racing history with the lithe curves of its recent Quattroporte sedan.
But this is not just eye candy; Maserati wants the GT driven often, and to extremes. Its partnership with Ferrari means that the recessed, low-displacement, high-revving 4.2 V8 (quiet, but with an enticing hum) are nearly identical to those sported by its crosstown cousin in Modena, Italy. With supercar weight-distribution stats, a silky 6-speed hybrid transmission, Brembo brakes, and a Bose sound system to drown out inevitable police sirens, the GT can instill even a grocery run with the white-knuckle drama of a Mille Miglia. But like a cigarette-toting Mastroianni, it will always retain its elegant poise. This is auto-making elevated to high art

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