For the man who’s applied himself in life – education, employment and finance – a world of utmost sophistication is at his beck and call. It’s a lifestyle of bespoke suits, beautiful women, fine dining and first-class travel. And what better mode of transport for the man about town than the uber-refined Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic? There comes a time in every male’s life that he must farewell his youth – with fondness and a little bit of sadness, no doubt – and accept the inevitability of aging with dignity and grace. So, out go the skinny jeans, Chuck Taylors and mo-hawk, to be replaced with chinos, loafers and a sensible haircut with short back and sides.
Of course, a skateboard, BMX bike or banged-up Hyundai Excel just doesn’t cut it as acceptable means of transportation for the male adult. A Toyota Camry will get you from A to B in perfectly adequate fashion but when you’re a self-made man, why would you settle for ordinary when you can make a statement with extraordinary? The remarkable Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic is an automobile of maturity – a Grand Tourer for grown-ups, if you will. It’s a man’s man: classic, refined, understated and multi-faceted, a lot like Clint Eastwood. And when FreeStyle Rides was given the opportunity to drive the Maserati, it certainly made our day.
Exterior styling, by renowned Italian design house Pininfarina, exudes power and luxury in equal amounts. The GranTurismo S Automatic is classically good-looking, in that old-school Hollywood way. It’s a big coupe, with a commanding but not overbearing presence on the road. Finer design details are simply exquisite: the squinting headlights; the trio of chrome air inlets set behind each front wheel; the distinctive LED tail-lights and rear diffusers, the 20-inch Trident-design wheels… the list is long and impressive. The bodywork is like a finely tailored Savile Row suit; every seam, every fold, every crease is just right, like it was custom-made for the Maserati, and not just a mass-produced, off-the-rack outfit.
The Italian sports car cut a fine figure as we drove around the heavily industrial streets of inner-city Sydney. It’s a handsome devil but there’s still an air of approachability; a lot like Hugh Jackman. Admittedly, it didn’t incite the jaw-dropping of a Lamborghini or the rubber-necking of a Ferrari. Instead, everywhere it went the GranTurismo received respectful nods of approval and appreciation. And that’s the key point; the self-assured Maserati just doesn’t need to attract the sort of attention its Italian supercar counterparts seem to crave. In a world of trends and fads, our black-on-black GranTurismo was a statement in simple elegance. The interior is like the boardroom of a Fortune 500 organisation; you immediately get the sense that some serious business goes on in there.
As lavishly appointed as the interior is, including the Bose 11-speaker surround sound audio system, 30GB hard drive and iPod interface, perhaps the most impressive aspect is the level of personalisation available. Essentially, Maserati allows each client to create a made-to-measure cockpit for their GranTurismo S Automatic; the car becomes an expression of their unique taste and style. Should you ever be fortunate enough to find yourself walking in to, as opposed to past, a Maserati dealership, you can opt for one of ten colours of leather, thirteen hues for the stitching and eight for the carpet, as well as three types of wood trim. Quite simply, the variety on offer can mean that the cabin of any given GranTurismo S Automatic could be a bona fide one-of-a-kind. And to prove this is a motor vehicle for the mature man, the Maserati’s deftly finished interior offers genuine seating for four adults. From the confines of the GranTurismo’s luxurious foyer, the 4.7-litre V8 displays all the controlled aggression of a businessman closing a big deal. However, as you listen to the Maserati power by you from outside its conference room, unleashing all of its 323 kW and 490 Nm, all hell breaks loose. Imagine for a moment that your boss is Donald Trump and you’ve just lost a major client – “YOU’RE FIRED!”
While the Maserati emanates strength and authority on the road, it does so without compromising on luxury and comfort. It’s a Grand Tourer in the true sense of the concept — a high-performance luxury car designed for long-distance driving, right down to the six-speed automatic gearbox. Stick the shifter into “D”, sit back and just eat up the highway kilometres as you travel interstate for business. The GranTurismo S Automatic can hit a top speed just shy of 300km/h. Alternatively, in Manual mode, you have full control over the gear changes via the rather nifty shift paddles on the steering column.
They say that the clothes maketh the man and nothing says “confidence” and “success” like a gent in a finely-cut suit. But does the well-travelled man walk, take a taxi or (gasp!) ride the bus? Of course not – he takes care of business in his Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic S.
VEHICLE: 2010 Maserati GranTurismo S
ENGINE: DOHC 40-valve 4.7-litre V8
GEARBOX: Six-speed automatic with four function modes: Auto Normal; Auto Sport; Auto ICE; Manual
SUSPENSION: Double wishbone suspension with electronically-controlled Skyhook system (front and rear)
BRAKES: Brembo six-piston callipers with 360mm cross-drilled rotors (front); 330mm cross-drilled rotors (rear)
WHEELS: 20-inch Trident-design lightweight alloy wheels
• 323 kW @ 7,000rpm
• 490 Nm @ 4,750rpm
• Top speed = 295km/h
• 0-100km/h = 5 seconds
VIDEO: 2010 MASERATI GRANTURISMO S
Story: Elias Velis
Photography: John Churchill
Video: Steven Guzman