2013 Maserati GranTurismo MC: Nothing beats a fine Italian

 

Maserati lead

There are only a handful of professions in the world that qualify as dream jobs to almost everyone: ice cream taster at Häagen Dazs, photographer for the Victoria Secret’s lingerie catalog, and automotive journalist. (Okay, there may be one or two more, but you have to admit those are pretty good ones.) As automotive writers, we get the opportunity — and the absolute thrill — of driving vehicles the likes of which we could never afford. Some rides, like a Rolls or a Bentley, help us understand what it’s like to ride down the highway on a cloud, while others let us experience über fast driving in something low slung and fabulous like a Lamborghini. And then there are the vehicles in the middle; those that allow us to experience the finest cabin materials and comfortable ride, but at the same time provide non-stop excitement from the throaty exhaust as we open her up on an empty stretch of road. This is the category in which the Maserati GT MC falls.

Maserati is to cars what Cartier is to jewelry. We lust after these works of art because of the performance, the styling, and the history. For almost a century (December 1, 1914, is the official start date) Maserati has produced motor vehicles that not only rival the fine lines of Michelangelo sculptures, but also set speed records that have stood for decades. You can’t say Maserati without also saying Fangio, Nuvolari, and Moss. When you buy a Maserati, you’re buying a past that is unparalleled by just about every other marque. As an owner, it is your responsibility to protect its proud history, as well as your duty to pass it along to others. To own one of these fine automobiles and not know its heritage would be a sin. To fully love the Italian, you must understand it completely.

The truth is, you don’t so much own the GT MC as it owns you. One look, one touch, and you’re hooked. Maybe it’s the carbon-fiber door handles, or the deep-cutout air intakes in the lower front fascia. It could be the 20” black Trofeo wheels with the clever trident spokes that match the Maserati emblem. It might even be the fact that the vehicle’s stance, smooth body, and perfect proportions scream Italian design even before you see the badging on the nose. Whatever it is that hits you, it’s strong, and is intended to remain in your memory for years to come.

The GT is one of four vehicles in the Maserati lineup, but inside those models are three or four trims. For the GT, there’s a GranTurismo, a Sport version and the MC (Maserati Corse), which was our test model. Carbon fiber is a big theme here. We mentioned the spoiler and door handles already, but also the hood is carbon fiber underneath the paint. For those who need a refresher course, carbon fiber is a composite material usually found in race cars. It’s 10 times stronger than steel, incredibly light weight, and is expensive due to its multi-step creation process. That’s why you’ll only see that unmistakable pattern on expensive exotics and race cars.

With the GT, function is equal to form. The curvaceous Pininfarina-designed shape features body lines and aggressive rear wheel arches that help move air around the body as efficiently as possible to deliver both speed and decent fuel economy. The front LED lighting on the GT MC makes you think of words like bellissimo and magnifico. Then you walk around to the back and catch a glimpse of the large, dual exhaust pipes and realize she may be pretty, but she means business. Don’t tease, or you’ll pay for it later. However, if you decide to make the commitment, we promise you there will be no greater reward outside of the Pearly Gates.

OK1MKP8220While we could stare at the GT MC all day, it’s just as intoxicating to climb inside. If you thought there was a lot of carbon fiber on the outside, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. CF is found on the dash area, the doors, the center console, the steering wheel, and even the paddle shifters. The adage “if some is good, then more is better” certainly applies here. If the extensive use of CF didn’t blow you senses enough, take in the Alcantera suede found on the door trim and headliner. Not enough? How about the Soft Poltrona Frau leather with contrasting double stitching and the Maserati trident embroidered in the head restraint. We also thought the navigation system was quite user friendly, and even the Bluetooth audio and phone were unexpected but welcome surprises. The instrument cluster was easy to read, and we appreciated the fact that a vehicle of this caliber incorporates handy steering wheel controls. Often in vehicles in this class, buttons and knobs sometimes can overwhelm the driver and the interior. We never felt that way inside the GT. Every switch was clearly marked, and the ergonomics were intuitive. And the extra-length paddle shifters made it just that much easier to switch gears no matter what the position of the steering wheel.

OK1MKP8700 The driver’s seat is comfortable, and the power seat controls allowed us to acclimate to the perfect position. Yes, there are two seats in the back of this coupe, with actually a bit of leg room as well, but leave the chauffeuring of chatty occupants to a Rolls or a Bentley. There are better sounds to amuse you than idle human chatter. Such as what, you ask? How about the Bose audio, which provides decent sound, or the tuned exhaust that, at the push of the Sport button, delivers a growl that would scare a lion away.