During the 2005 model year, Maserati took a further step into serious sports-car manufacture when it added a new GranSport model to accompany the Coup�. Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2004, the GranSport promised "thoroughbred GT spirit," according to the renowned Italian automaker.
Beneath the GranSport's hood, a 396-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 teams with a six-speed Cambiocorsa sequential manual transmission. The V-8 in the regular Coup� yields 390 hp. Maserati says the GranSport's dual-exhaust system generates an "instantly recognizable deep, full-bodied rumble." A Sport button on the console operates a pneumatic valve that makes the exhaust sound even more evident. An optional Skyhook suspension system offers continuous damping control; its function varies depending on whether the transmission's Normal or Sport mode is selected.
A convertible version of the GranSport is not yet available, but one is scheduled to go on sale during the 2006 model year.
The GranSport looks much like the automaker's Coup�. The rocker panels are boldly creased and a chrome grille is installed. A choice of six body colors and xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights are available.
Considerable wind-tunnel testing resulted in a drag coefficient of 0.33. A new front bumper incorporates a pronounced lower spoiler, while the deck lid has a lip spoiler. The GranSport rides 10 millimeters lower than the Coup�, and 19-inch wheels are standard.
Leather, carbon fiber, alloy and fabric are used in the GranSport's four-person cabin. The driver faces a thick-rimmed three-spoke steering wheel, and the upper dashboard is trimmed in leather. Primary controls, including the blue Start button, are grouped on the central console. Heated front seats are optional and a CD stereo is standard.
Under the Hood
The GranSport's 4.2-liter V-8 produces 396 hp — 6 hp more than in the Coup� — at 7,000 rpm. Paddles behind the steering wheel can operate the six-speed Cambiocorsa sequential manual transmission, which has four modes: Normal, Sport, Automatic and Low Grip. Acceleration from zero to 60 mph takes a claimed 4.85 seconds.
GranSport safety features include all-disc antilock brakes and side-impact airbags for the front seats.