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2009 Maserati Gran Turismo S Sport Coupe Review

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Maserati Introduces 2009 Gran Turismo S Sport Coupe in Modena, Italy

Special to The Auto Channel
By Marty Bernstein
AIADA Contributing Editor


The little municipality of Modena, Italy in the Po Valley, is known for its famous tenor – Luciano Pavarotti – who was born and died here; for its delicious balsamic vinegar – use it on ice cream for a real treat; and for an unrivaled automotive history of sportscar design, engineering, manufacturing, and speed.

It’s the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari, the godfather of speed, and houses the factories and offices of such Italian automobile notables as Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lamborghini (actually next door in neighboring Bolo-gna), Pagani, and of course Maserati. 

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The Newest Maserati: The GranTurismo S
Last year Maserati introduced the GranTurismo sport coupe and this year they’ve added refinements, made modifications, created improvements, tweaked, adjusted, and enhanced what was already a well received model. They added the “S” for super designation. A justly deserved approbation.

This is truly a super vehicle. A road and driver’s car with style, substance, speed, and sounds equaling total satisfaction. From the first look to the moment one sits on comfortable, leather seats you know a unique experience awaits. 

Click PLAY to watch a video of the press trip

Turn the key to start; the Ferrari-designed engine springs to life with a praiseworthy, deep rich voice that sends chills to the sensory portion of the brain. The message is loud and clear: this is gonna be great.

A unique driving experience is rather rare these days in the luxury car business. Everyone’s cars, without exception, are “nice.” But unique – ah, that’s different. Driving the S, you feel, and are in total control, of the operation and engineering of the car. You drive it easily and comfortably, it does not drive you with assorted mechanical aids and devices. 

There’s power, lots and lots of power in the big V8, 433 hp engine, which springs to action instantly whether passing on a narrow two lane road in the gorgeous Italian countryside or going through a centu-ries old arch on cobblestone surface. Top speed is 185 mph and 0 to 62 in 4.6 seconds.

Choose the way it’s powered – drive it in automatic or in paddle shifter manual mode. Both are affective and efficient. Either way, the everyday driver has a choice, and both are exhilarating. Press a button and the amazing sound goes from race-track-great to a gentle deep throated brrrrrrr. Add the big 20” wheels, styling accents and additions, huge Bembo brakes, and you’re sure to attract attention anywhere. 

On the 300 kilometer drive through Italy, where wonderful high speed luxury automobiles are seen daily, the Maserati GranTurismo S caused a sensation. Other drivers gave the thumbs-up salute; pedestrians smiled, waved and called, “bravo!” at coffee stops; throngs gathered to look and admire. 

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The GranTurismo S is due to arrive in America this November and will sell for a base price of $135,000.  The quantity available will be limited, but, according to a Maserati spokesperson, the Italian company “Will follow our variant production strategy - that is we begin with a base forecast for special run cars - in this case roughly 300 units, and have the flexibility to run the number up if demand calls for it. So 300 is not a hard cap but the one year production is.” 

To learn more about this vehicle, a special website has been created at It’s well worth a click through.

It’s been a long hard road for Maserati
From it’s founding in 1914 by the five Maserati brothers in neighboring Bologna, the company’s history is a series of highs and lows, good cars and bad decisions. Yet it always held a lingering reputation among wealthy car aficionados as a status symbol of wealth, prestige, and Italian draftsmanship. Part of its fame was acquired in auto racing during the early part of the last century, including a win at the Indianapolis 500. Falling on hard times with different private and corporate ownerships and managements, along with lackluster vehicles and poor quality in the ‘70s and ‘80’s – including a disastrous relationship with Chrysler, Maserati almost entered the extinct list of automobile brands. 

Today’s Maserati
But in 1992 Fiat, S.p.A., Italy’s largest car manufacturer, which also owns Ferrari and Alfa Romeo,  bought Maserati and began a multi-year, arduous, and investment heavy revitalization and reorganiza-tion, which has resulted in the resurgence of an invigorated Maserati. Roberto Ronchi, president and CEO of Maserati confided recently, “We made a profit last year for the first time since our ownership by Fiat.” 

Masterati’s new growth is the result of the production of luxurious vehicles in limited quantities for the su-per premium, luxury market. The Quattroporte, the flagship 4-door sedan designed by Pininfarina, had gained enviable sales given strong competition from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz along with Jaguar and Aston Martin. 

And now the Maserati GranTurismo S sets new standards for luxury sport coupes. The choice at dealer-ships is now limited to these two cars, but when I asked the Maserati CEO, Ronchi, “When will there be a convertible? Maserati has always had a convertible?” he responded with a smile. 

With great cars like these, Maserati is undergoing more than just brand resurgence; it is a renaissance, a reawakening of an auto brand that was comatose.  Bravo!