The new Maserati GranTurismo is a huge improvement

By | March 4, 2024

The new Maserati GranTurismo is a huge improvementMack Hogan

By the time the last Maserati Gran Turismo disappeared from the market in 2019, it was clear that it was no longer welcome. Despite the beautiful appearance and a beautiful Ferrari V-8, the car was dated. Maserati chose to take a few gap years to get its act together, rather than sell an uncompetitive product that looked strange in the showrooms. The result is the redesigned 2024 Maserati GranTurismo. It’s a huge improvement, but that may not be enough.

The GT has always been a niche player. It emerged from a company that had not yet experienced its growth spurt. There was no mid-range Ghibli, no SUV, no connection to an American brand to fuel expansion. The month after the GranTurismo was unveiled in Geneva, Maserati announced its best sales month ever in the United States: 242 units. An increase from the previous record, 235. Both figures represent less than three hours of Ford F-Series sales. The company has grown since then, but by the time it made the Levante and Ghibli, the GranTurismo was already past its sell-by date. The company doesn’t publish sales figures for individual models, but it would be shocking if the GT averaged more than 1,000 units per year in its twilight era. Porsche now sells eight to ten thousand 911s in an average year.

Maserati Granturismo matte gray from 2024Maserati Granturismo matte gray from 2024

Mack Hogan

That gives the GranTurismo 2024 plenty of ground to make up. Maserati isn’t likely to challenge the 911’s sales numbers, but an Italian luxury brand needs an almost viable GT car in its lineup. a flagship that will not look embarrassing next to any Porsche. So the GT gets the twin-turbo “Nettuno” V-6 with pre-chamber ignition from the MC20 supercar, good for 483 hp in the base version ($175,995) or 542 hp in this “Trofeo” tester (base price $206,995). Want more? Then upgrade to a battery-electric GranTurismo ‘Folgore’, which has a 92.5 kWh battery and an 800-volt architecture. They have our attention, even though we haven’t tasted that version.

The Folgore only exists because Maserati moved the GranTurismo to Stellantis’ Giorgio platform. Technically, it is the “Giorgio Sport” evolution of the platform that is best known as the basis for the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio. But that does make this a distant cousin of the Jeep Grand Cherokee L. This is life in a 2023 mega-company.

The good news is that part sharing isn’t obvious from the cockpit. The new interior looks fantastic and feels, well, good enough. It won’t wow you or be a serious upgrade for the average BMW, Alfa or Audi driver, but it’s no longer the worst in its class. Plus details like a giant metal paddle shifter and driving mode switches on the steering wheel give it a sense of purpose.

2024 Maserati Granturismo2024 Maserati Granturismo

Mack Hogan

Those driving modes are important, as the GranTurismo needs to be both comfortable and composed for long highway drives, and exciting when the road gets twisty. Maserati achieves this flexibility using standard air springs, standard all-wheel drive and drive modes that truly transform the car. In comfort mode, the GranTurismo is a soft, easy highway cruiser, with excellent seats and serious endurance. But when you throw it into sports, the theater begins.

The Nettuno likes to rev and fire off loud booms and bangs. It rises to its redline on a wave of turbo torque – in this case, 460 lb-ft – and it’s worth squirming all the way out. The floating V-8 of the last GT was its main asset; that still applies to the GranTurismo’s engine. Despite being a few cylinders lower, the Nettuo is as explosive, charming and sweet-sounding as you’d expect from a $200,000 Maserati. It’s just as loving here as in the mid-engine MC20.

But while the GT has that car’s engine, it doesn’t have the simplicity of purpose. The GT has to operate like a highway cruiser, and that means it’s less sharp than its supercar stablemate. The air springs are still, well, air springs. Too soft to provide the flat cornering you’d expect from an Italian purebred 542bhp. In any case, the eight-speed automatic transmission is fast and smartly programmed, although you still want to use the paddle shifters. If you shift properly, the MC20 shoots to 60 in 3.3 seconds, partly thanks to the all-wheel drive.

2024 Maserati Granturismo2024 Maserati Granturismo

Mack Hogan

That’s fast, and not particularly fast these days. The steering is precise, but not tactile. The body movements are well controlled, but the roll is unavoidable and the GranTurismo is not ‘sharp’. It’s not a car that pushes the absolute limits of any driver’s power or grip. It’s a car for a quick but easy drive through a canyon, where you concentrate on the sound of the engine rather than the vibration of the steering wheel.

It’s a fair trade-off. The GranTurismo isn’t a car that track rats or canyon regulars buy. Most of them will spend most of their lives sitting in traffic, or trudging through Beverly Hills, and the GT is quite nice for that. It has a luxurious interior and looks great, with a plush ride and a solid sound system.

The infotainment and controls are the only drawback. They are furious. The test car’s touchscreen had a large dead spot where it took dozens of tries or long holds to get my finger to register. That resulted in the unpleasant experience of having a beautiful Sonos Faber audio system set to MAXIMUM, CHEST-SHAKING BASS mode, and even though I could see the button to turn it down, I couldn’t press it. The push-button switch was also inconsistent and sometimes required multiple attempts to get it to drive. Holding on helped.

2024 Maserati Granturismo2024 Maserati Granturismo

This unresponsive button taunted me.Mack Hogan

Minuses aside, I loved driving the GranTurismo every day. It was a solid commuter with enough theater and power to thrill me when the road opened. It’s not the car I’d use to explore America’s best canyon roads, but it’s a car I’d happily take on a long trip to visit my aunt, where I have to drive two hours on boring highways and an hour on a great California mountain pass.

That would be enough if this car cost $130,000 or even $150,000. But $206,995 is a high price of admission, and that’s before options. If you want lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with stop and go and all the other driving aids it will cost another $8300. What is the Italian word for yay. Because while this is a much improved, handsome and beautiful car, I’m not sure it’s worth forty grand more than a 911 GTS. Or the same money as a 911 Turbo. For those who like the design and are willing to pay more to be different, the GranTurismo 2024 is a great option. But for everyone else, “most improved” doesn’t mean “best option.”

2024 Maserati Granturismo2024 Maserati Granturismo

Mack Hogan

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