Maserati Gran Turismo Cabrio, 2012: A quick, intoxicating masterpiece

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Text/Images by Conrad Dodd

Sometimes, something grabs you. It causes an overwhelming feeling. It's unexplainable, illogical. For me, the Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio incites bewildering fascination.

The designers at Pininfarina have been turning out automotive masterpieces for 80 years, and this one is no exception to what we’ve come to expect. It’s head versus heart. The car is shockingly stunning.

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Genius consistencies prevail in the sexy design theme. The taillights, headlights and side-window openings all have a similar sleek shape making the car unmistakable from any angle.

The paint is brilliant, and when measured is as thick as my arm compared to many other current manufacturers' specs. The 20-inch wheels come in several available styles all some interpretation of the Maserati trident.

This makes for another brilliant visual titillation when tied to the grill, headrest stitching, and badging that all donn the trident as well.

Behind the wheels are the highly noticeable Brembo 6 piston calipers resting on self-ventilating drilled and huge 360mm slotted discs.

Maserati will allow you to order the calipers in seven colors, with the car I reviewed Ferrari Rosso (Red). Fantastic.

Maserati also made some changes in the name of exterior modernization, with sharp-looking led head and taillights. The interior is distinctly Italian with everything covered high quality in Poltrona Frau leather. I haven’t seen better in anything short of the Bugatti Veyron.

When ordering any Maserati, the owner can choose the piping, stitching, carpet, dash, wood, and a handful of other items in any color. It's frightening proposition when matched with the terrible taste of some Italian car lovers I’ve met.

The Maserati features are what you’d expect from this price point: Navigation, heated seats, back up sensors, and paddle shifters. The Msserati is also is actually a four-seat car with a reasonably sized back seat.

The GranTurismo Cabrio has 444 horsepower and weights 4,600 pounds. That's pretty heavy for an Italian two door, but it still manages 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

This is the best sounding car I’ve driven. I recently drove an Ferrari F430, and it was a Brittney Spears pop jingle compared to a Maserati symphony.

The car is quick, but not fast, and the ride is stiff but not rough. The car is very well balanced, thanks to the 4.7-liter V8 mounted entirely behind the front axle.

The body is considerably more ridged than the 2006 GranSport Cabrio I drove a few months ago. The admiring looks from everyone prompted me to drive a little slower. This is a car to be seen in. It makes me feel important. I love it.

Facts & Figures: Maserati GranTurismo Cabrio, 2012

Price as tested: $153,050; 444hp @ 7000 rpm; 376 lb-ft @ 4750 rpm; 0-60 mph, 4.8 seconds; 1/4-mile, 13.4 seconds; Top speed, 177 mph.

Likes:

The sound is intoxicating.

The styling is enticing.

The feeling it gives you to be seen in one is stately.

Dislikes:

The performance isn’t what I’d like to see for the price point.

Worst ignition key ever.

I don’t own one.

Bottom Line:

"I started this article saying this car is 'head versus heart.' My head says, 'For this kind of money I could get a lot more speed.' However, the bottom line with this car is that my heart says, 'Shut up and drive.' If you can, buy one."

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