2006 Maserati GranSport
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 Coupé. 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 Coupé 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 GranSport Spyder was unveiled at the Frankfurt auto show in September 2005. Sales begin in March 2006.
The GranSport looks much like the automaker's Coupé. 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 Coupé, 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 Coupé — 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.
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