Maserati Granturismo in India Preview

India has finally got a whole list of supercar manufacturers vying with each other for the cheque books from the Indian millionaires. The likes of Koenigsegg and also Aston Martin and others have joined the rank. We also have got the famous Italian manufacturer, managed by Fiat, Maserati. In Indian, Maserati may not be that well known, however, they definitely have got some sort of foothold due to the existence of Fiat in here. Needless to say, another subsidiary, Ferrari have also marked their presence in the Indian car industry. So, its an any man’s game out here. Long before Maserati could actually deliver their first car to their Indian customer, here are a few details about the much talked about Maserati Granturismo in India. Starting from the tag Granturismo or even GT for that matter, there are very less cars with that tag with the exception being the Porsche Carrera GT and the BMW 5GT.

Outlandish speed claims, loud styling and a bunch of even louder exhausts is what would define supercars. They are those type of cars which everyone would want to own but would be afraid to drive in the usual traffic. Even after being a product from the land of automobile design, Italy, Maserati have been pretty much quiet about their design philosophies and stuff plus they also have got  GrandPrix and Motorsport history to back them. Maserati have being in existence from the last 100 years and during this times, they have changed the ownership reigns many a times. Maserati are more closer to Ferrari than they are with Alfa Romeo, another of Fiat’s acquisitions. Most of the supercars can be called as related to both the track as also being adopted for everyday use. They virtually eliminate the need for separate cars for track and road use. In comes the Maserati Granturismo with the last name giving it the sense of being a true road going vehicle. This car is Maserati’s fastest production car till date and looks the part. It has got a low stance so critical for sportscars or even hyper cars. Then there is the race car inspired front splitter and matt black gorgeous 20 inch wheels. Well, wheels are always the specialty of the Italians and if you don’t believe us, then take a close look at the wheels of the Linea and Punto. A 1950s Formula 1 car is what one can term the nose job on the GT as . At the rear, there is an integrated spoiler with blacked out inserts and then, just like the Lamborghini Aventador, the twin tail pipes are mounted right in between the rear bumper. The tail lamps are also very artistically done. Moving onto the interiors reveal that there are race seats with Alacantra outlines to them.

Carbon fiber trimming is the other thing which seems to be the mantra inside. The best part is that none of it would be changed when the car would finally be coming down to India and were it not for the endless list of options that Maserati are giving away this car with, then almost all the cars reaching here would be having the same interior trim, the factory spec one. Unlike other sports cars, Maserati hopes that its customer would visit the race track once in a week and have provided race strapped harness. These also look very sporty, to say the least. Seating for only two is provided and unlike many of the sportscars sold here, there is no optional rear seating arrangement. So, the basic competitor would be the Audi R8. Interior materials may not feel that rich to look at, however, they do have a feeling of long lasting quality. Plus true to the sports car format, there aren’t too many buttons around to distract the driver. The steering wheel is a big unit compared to the many other sports cars which come with smaller ones. The audio, cruise functions are located on the steering wheel and there is a combination of black and white. A few chrome pieces are strewn here and there inside the cabin. A small analog clock sits in the middle of the dashboard, a la VW Passat style.

There is no dearth of space and the seats do hug one tightly. There is enough of support and also the snug configuration enables the driver to be stuck onto the seat even when cornering hard enough. As for the boot space, who cares about one in a sports car.

The stock GT has also got a Stradale version. This version is said to have tighter body control and the steering feel is also exemplary. BMW, pre the electronic power steering revamp, anyone? The nose of this car stands in attention once one turns the steering and it is more like an eager puppy. The front and the rear wheels are in sync and it is said that the lack of any body roll would be disconcerting to first time sports car buyers. By the way, the stock car does exhibit body roll and is more of in sync for newer sports car buyers than its Stradale version. Handling can be quantified or rather termed as progressive enough for the amount of money that one is paying to own one of these specimens. For all this handling prowess, Maserati have tuned the adaptive dampers to be equally pliant in the ride quality stakes. Moreover, the sports car, just like others in its ilk does have a low ground clearance. This would definitely be a no-no for the Indian roads but then the millionaire buying it would obviously wouldn’t want to take it out for a spin almost everyday. For the everyday use, there would be the ubiquitous 7 series or even a Maybach. Sports car like wail is prevalent at all speeds and this is something which the owners would have to live with.

The V8 motor that has been used under the hood has been borrowed from the Ferrari range and the F430’s to be precise. This 4.7 liter engine produces a huge 450 Bhp of power at 7k rpm while the torque of 520 Nm is delivered at an equally lofty 4800 rpm. Just like the way Lamborghini uses a sequential robotized manual gearbox, in the exact same fashion, even Maserati make use of this. There is always this menacing growl that the engine produces right from startup and this lets one to know that there is something big under the hood and which is raring to go. Though it hasn’t got that Ferrari like high pitched trumpeting blare and neither does it have the mad top end towards the end of the power band. This car more than gives an invitation to come and play with it. The throttle response is terrific and while the R8 may seem like a civilized car, the Maserati Granturismo in India would be an edge of the seat types car. Rewarding the driver with a sweet sound is what this car promises to do and not only does it go from 0-100 kmph in a claimed 4.3 seconds, it also breaches the supercar mark of 300 kmph very easily, within 33 seconds. The Race mode is better suited for the track and is akin to launch control. The weight distribution on this car is more towards the rear with a 48:52 bias. Steering the car on full throttle is what it loves and though the power delivery can sometimes turn out to be peaky enough, it is manageable, unlike some Lambos out there which require a deft hand to be managed.

Carbon ceramic as also fiber brakes are being offered with this car. It has got the sharp claws digging into it to rein in any speed. Moreover with the kind of power that the car is capable of, it is but anything to expect the finesse that is required to stop this 1770 kgs car. Electronic nannies are definitely present in substance for ensuring that things don’t get out of hand and this is one of the few sports cars available which have got the traction control system to be entirely turned off. Now, that would call for some tail sliding antics for sure. Maserati haven’t persisted with the all wheel drive system that many of the sports car manufacturers go in for. We suppose it’s a sticky job and when you have a car which handles and behaves the way a BMW does, then there is no need for all wheel drive systems which would add up to the overall weight factor and in all would blunt performance for sure. There are many aftermarket accessories being offered, the first being dual aftermarket exhausts and ones which would go in for some kind of trumpet blasting for sure and be loud enough to wake up the entire neighborhood one fine sunny morning.

Expected fuel efficiency that the GT would return falls in the 4.5-5.2 kmpl range. Considering that the fuel tank holds a good 90 liters of fuel, the range of 350 kms isn’t a far reality before the car needing a refuel. Maserati are very keen on marketing this car in the right way and for a good starter, it isn’t being done through the Tata-Fiat coalitions. Moreover, Maserati plan to have about 6 dealerships by the end of 2012 and this would point to a better sign of things. The Maserati Granturismo price in India would be approximately Rs 1.37 crores. This amount is applicable all over India and is the ex-show room amount. Moreover, the waiting period after ordering one Maserati GT is approximately 6 months due to the fact that these cars are hand made and once a customer places an order, the car is moved into the assembly line. Well, its atleast less than a Ferrari which usually takes about a year or so to be delivered and during this time, strangely enough, the customer gets the owner’s manual and also some greeting cards.

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