Home Modern Cars 2024 Maserati GranTurismo First Drive: The Maserati From Central Casting

2024 Maserati GranTurismo First Drive: The Maserati From Central Casting

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A fast and luxurious coupe that’s ready to cross continents.

Grand touring is in Maserati’s blood. The storied Italian marque’s back catalog is filled with elegant two-doors designed to whisk their occupants and their luggage across continents at high speed and in great luxury. And the new 2024 Maserati GranTurismo hews to that tradition. It’s elegant and fast, with plenty of room for two people and their bags and wants for nothing when it comes to luxury appointments.

What Is It?

The 2024 Maserati GranTurismo looks a lot like its Pininfarina-designed predecessor, its overall design evolutionary rather than revolutionary. And that’s exactly what in-house Maserati design chief Klaus Busse intended. “I will not be offended if anyone says it looks like the previous car,” he says. “That was the whole idea. The previous car was an icon, so we didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

But while the new GranTurismo appears familiar from a distance, with the same general proportions and a similar greenhouse to its predecessor, up close and personal, it’s absolutely its own thing, a more sophisticated take on the previous car’s theme in terms of its crisp detailing and surfaces pulled tightly over muscle underneath. Inside is a tasteful new interior with a new digital instrument panel and the same twin screen navigation/infotainment/climate-control setup used in the Grecale SUV.

Slightly longer and wider overall than the previous model, but half an inch shorter in the wheelbase, the 2024 GranTurismo rolls on a brand-new Maserati platform that will also underpin the next generation Quattroporte. What makes this platform’s architecture so critical to Maserati’s future is that it was designed from the outset to accommodate both internal combustion engine (ICE) and EV powertrains.

Convergence platforms like these invariably involve compromises as engineers attempt to find solutions that work for both—you have to be able to package an ICE and all its ancillaries, including a gas tank, while also having room in a structure that’s strong enough to carry a big, heavy battery. Maserati GranTurismo chief engineer Davide Danesin doesn’t disagree, but his team hit on a novel approach to mitigate the downsides. It looked at every component in the car’s structure, and if the engineers could make a part work with the EV powertrain with no more than a 5 percent weight penalty over an ICE-optimized part, the part was shared. If not, the EV platform got its own unique pieces.

The Hardware

There are two ICE 2024 Maserati GranTurismo variants—the Trofeo and the Modena. Both are powered by the wet-sump version of Maserati’s brilliant 3.0-liter, twin-turbo Nettuno V-6, which drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both have multi-link suspension all round and air springs with electronic damping control, plus vented brakes with six-piston Brembo calipers up front and four-piston units at the rear, and both roll on 20-inch front and 21-inch rear aluminum wheels shod with, respectively, 265/35 and 295/30 Pirelli P Zero or Goodyear F1 tires.

Visually, the Trofeo gets the usual complement of spoilers, side skirts, and more aggressively rendered front and rear bumpers that are part and parcel of the typical performance-variant makeover. Inside, you find perforated leather with a herringbone motif on the dashboard and seats. Black leather interiors get contrasting chevron stitching in yellow, red, or gray. But there is some substance behind the go-faster style, too.

The Maserati GranTurismo Trofeo gets an electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential in place of the Modena’s mechanically actuated unit. It also has one extra drive mode, Corsa, which switches off the stability control and stiffens the damping one notch beyond Sport. And the Trofeo engine’s turbochargers are slightly bigger, the additional boost increasing the engine’s output from 490 hp at 6,500 rpm and 443 lb-ft at 3,000 rpm in Modena spec to 550 hp and 479 lb-ft.

This all means, Maserati says, the GranTurismo Trofeo will sprint from 0-60 mph in less than 3.5 seconds, and to 124 mph in 11.4 seconds. Those figures make it 0.4 second and 1.6 seconds quicker, respectively, than the Modena version. The GranTurismo Trofeo is also 13 mph faster overall, capable of hitting 200 mph. On paper, ordering the Trofeo gives you bragging rights, but on the road, out in the real world of speed limits and bumper-to-bumper traffic, that extra performance is inconsequential.

Sure, in the Trofeo you notice a little extra oomph under hard acceleration, a touch more immediacy to the throttle response in the mid-range. But the Modena doesn’t feel any slower on a twisting two-lane road, especially when the Nettuno V-6 is in its happy place zinging effortlessly between 4,000 rpm and 6,000 rpm, and you have Sport mode selected and are using the large steering-column-mounted paddles to shift manually.

In fact, of the two models, the one Modena felt a little lighter on its feet than the several Trofeos we sampled, more playful through the twisties, with more delicacy in its steering and more fluency in its direction changes. We weren’t the only ones who noticed the difference, and company engineers were a little puzzled as to why. With pretty much identical underpinnings, the two 2024 Maserati GranTurismo variants should feel the same, they insist. One thought: Maybe the Trofeo’s e-diff, with its quicker and more nuanced responses than the Modena’s mechanical unit, loads the front axle differently on corner entry.

Overall, Maserati’s new GranTurismo feels as confidently relaxed and capable as you want a continent-crushing grand tourer to be. It loafs along at 100 mph in eighth gear, the Nettuno V-6 turning just 2,300 rpm. On light throttle, one cylinder bank will shut down to help the car achieve what Maserati says is best-in-class fuel efficiency.

Left to its own devices in the default GT drive mode, the eight-speed transmission’s kickdown response feels just a tad leisurely, but once it’s dropped a few gears and the tach needle is above 4,000 rpm, the Maserati lunges forward with a bellow. The GranTurismo is also happy mooching around at low speeds on light throttle, though under these conditions the Nettuno V-6 sounds decidedly grumbly, more that it does in a Grecale Trofeo SUV or MC20 supercar driven the same way.

The ride quality, at least over the rough and tumble roads on our test drive route outside of Rome, doesn’t have the oily sheen of an Aston Martin DB11 V8. The vertical motions are sharper, even in GT mode, and the body motions are not quite as cleverly controlled. There was also noticeable impact harshness from the tires on occasion, though we must note all the testers were shod with Pirelli P Zero Winter tires, which have a different construction and tread pattern to the the summer tires for which the GranTurismo’s suspension has been tuned.

The Trofeo’s Corsa mode definitely allows you to have fun with the throttle, but it’s best left for roads you know and where you have room to play. It doesn’t take much ambition to get a twitch from the rear axle when you go to power, but the chassis telegraphs its punches well. It has all-wheel drive, but the GranTurismo feels like a classic rear driver. And that’s a good thing.

Equipment levels are high. In addition to the 12.2-inch configurable digital dash, 12.3-inch infotainment screen, and 8.8-inch comfort-control screen, all GranTurismos come standard with a configurable head-up display, climate-control voice activation, media, navigation, and phone control via the “Hey Maserati” function, a digital rearview mirror, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Also standard is Maserati’s Active Driving Assist, a Level 2 autonomous system that includes an emergency lane-keeping function that will steer the car rapidly back on the correct side of the road should it sense an impending collision. The system is activated via buttons on the new touch-control steering wheel.

Scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. this spring, the new 2024 Maserati GranTurismo is a car that is very much on brand for the Italian marque. It’s a modern, stylish, and capable execution of a vehicle format with which the Trident brand has a long and lauded association. And the company achieved this while building on a vehicle architecture that allows it to also create a fully electric version with few compromises. Put simply, its cleverness runs deep.

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