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2012 Maserati GTC: We're Impressed.

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On: Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 8:14AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2012 Maserati GTC: We're Impressed.

In the world of luxury sport convertibles, there are plenty of options available, and the choice you make depends on how deep your pockets are and how much of an impression you want to make. If you have the cash to spend, there is almost certainly a car that can meet or, more than likely, exceed your expectations.

Choices like the Jaguar XK convertible and Porsche 911 cabriolet offer plenty of open-air performance, while cars like the Mercedes SL and the new BMW 650i drop-tops promise to provide plenty of all-around style, comfort, and enough excitement to get the blood pumping on most empty highway on-ramps. But, maybe all of those very capable cars are just not enough.

Tell someone you have a Bimmer or Jag, and you might get a small reaction... But let's be honest, if you're going to drop 100 grand on a convertible you probably want to make a bit of a splash. So that leaves either the "entry-level" Aston Martin V8 Vantage convertible (which is a very nice car, but still comes across as a poor-man's DBS) or something a bit more... Italian... specifically, the 2012 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible.

Lowering the three-layer insulating top reveals a sea of leather and comfort, for a while anyway. The seats are firm, and border on uncomfortable for extended trips. The nav system and stereo are intuitive enough, while the ZF six-speed automatic does as about as good a job as one can expect from a traditional auto. Cargo space is at a premium, but there is plenty of room for four legitimate adults.

Performance numbers alone don't tell the true story of the GTC—though it never hurts to examine them just to see how this particular Maserati measures up. The GTC does offer significant performance with its Ferrari-derived 4.7-liter DOHC aluminum V8. It puts down a very substantial 433-horsepower at a very lofty 7600 rpm and 361-lb-ft of torque at 4750 rpm, very impressive indeed. The only issue is that Indy-car sounding engine has about four Indy cars worth of weight to push around. The GTC weighs in as a heavyweight with a meaty 4571 pound curb weight.

But even with all of that heft, the GTC does move out with the best of them. 60 mph comes up in an impressive 4.9 seconds, 100 mph in 11.7 seconds, 140 mph in 26.1 seconds, and a standing quarter mile is achieved in 13.5 seconds at 107 mph. Top speed is a drag limited 176 mph, presumably with the top up. Braking from 70-0 mph is achieved in 150 feet, while the GTC posts 0.88g around a 200-ft diameter skidpad. Gas mileage (if you have to ask...) comes in at 12/20 mpg city/highway. All of those numbers are at or just below average for the luxury performance convertible niche.

But as previously mentioned, numbers don't tell the whole tale of the GTC. There is just something about the name Maserati. It just rolls off the tongue and sounds as if it belongs in a Dos Equis commercial being driven by The Most Interesting Man In The World. When you see one on the road, it isn't immediately recognizable, but there is no doubt that it is a special vehicle. But is this Maserati GranTurismo Convertible worth the $140,200 base price? Well, that depends on how much you have in the bank, and just how much of an impression you want to make.

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NEWZPHLASH | 1:32AM (Fri, Aug 5, 2011)

0-60 is 4.9 seconds....Impressive!


DipStick | 3:38PM (Thu, Aug 11, 2011)

one of the better looking drop-tops out there

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