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Maserati's On Fire With Its Two New Drool Inducers

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On: Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 3:04PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Maserati's On Fire With Its Two New Drool Inducers

Fortunately for everyone involved, these Maseratis aren't actually on fire. But there was a time, not all that long ago, that Maser's products were akin to leaky propane stoves near a live fallen power line, just waiting for the fickle hand of fate to light 'em up like flash paper (Biturbos, I'm talking about you).

These days it seems—Ferrari’s self-immolating 456 Italia not withstanding—that quality is on the upswing across (most of) Fiat’s brands, including Maserati, Ferrari, and the soon-to-reach-our-shores-for-better-or-worse Alfa Romeo, and Fiat itself (though I never thought I’d use “Fiat” and “quality” in the same sentence without it being weighed down by loads of typewritten snickering).

Anyhoo, for those of you who hadn’t noticed, Maserati has built itself quite a range of models here in the U.S. of A, most of which start with “Gran,” just like you do when tactfully explaining to your mom’s mom why you won’t wear the Christmas-themed cable-knit pullover she made for you that’s three sizes too large and has sleeves of differing lengths.

Both of the vehicles Maserati unveiled at the New York Auto Show are two-doors of the GranTourismo variety, and we will be deprived of neither: the GranTourismo MC—for “Maserati Corse,” the company’s racing department—and the GranTourismo Convertible Sport, “a more finely tuned performance version of the highly successful four-seat GranTourismo Convertible.”

“Tailored specifically for the North American market” is how Maserati’s PR department leads off when talking about this model, and follows by saying the firm has “custom developed the GranTourismo MC to provide North American customers the increased power, intuitive handling, and aerodynamic gains of the European GranTourismo MC Stradale, while presenting a car that maintains four-seat practicality and everyday driving performance.”

[Whew! What a finely crafted way to say “We Europeans felt bad that we kept all the cool cars to ourselves, so we’re throwing you this bone.” Better, right?]

Though Maserati lopped “Stradale”—meant to denote the “street” version of a competition car—off the MC’s name they left that car’s 4.7-liter all-alloy V8 alone in the transition, meaning we can now enjoy 444 horsepower, 376 lb.-ft. of torque, a 185 mph top speed, and a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds (that makes it the “fastest production Maserati in North America!”).

The GranTourismo Convertible Sport—OK, I’m not going to type that all in again; henceforth it shall be known as the GTCS—isn’t the performer the MC is, but it does have a more mellow version of the same V8.

Based on the regular GTC (that’s no “S”)—introduced in 2010 and “the first four-seat convertible in the company’s 97-year history”—the GTCS is “enhanced through major upgrades to everything that touches the driver.” And as a more attractive mate would be an upgrade, kudos to the folks at Maserati for figuring out how to make that happen.

And check this out: “Three passengers… partake in the excitement”! [Isn’t dirty selective-quoting fun?]

Seriously, though, they did something with the suspension, transmission, and the exhaust system (Now with a “free-flowing sport sound that stirs the soul”!) to make it sportier, plus they did some stuff to the outside to do the same. [Though they didn’t do anything that will make it look less like a furious catfish.]

Maserati says both cars are on sale now and will arrive in North America beginning in August. With names like these, though, it sounds like you’re going to have to get your money in sooner rather than later to get your chance at one.

Oh, and though they don’t sell them, be sure to pick up a good fire extinguisher once you leave the dealership in your new Maserati. You never know…

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