An­other sleek Ital­ian

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - LUXURY CARS -

IT is dif­fi­cult to im­prove upon per­fec­tion but Maserati has done just that with its lat­est show­stop­per.

The Mo­dena-based thor­ough­bred car­maker has lifted the wraps off the GranCabrio.

Based on the GranTurismo S, the con­vert­ible is the com­pany’s first four-seater soft-top. The sleek new­comer makes its world de­but at this month’s Frankfurt mo­tor show and ar­rives here in the third quar­ter of next year.

Ed­ward Rowe, a spokesman for Maserati im­porter Ateco Au­to­mo­tive Ltd, says cus­tomers are al­ready queue­ing for the car.

‘‘We have a list of peo­ple who have seen the spyshots and they have ex­pressed an in­ter­est,’’ he says. And the cost? Rowe says the price is yet to be con­firmed by Maserati but ‘‘it will have a mar­gin above the GranTurismo’’, which will mean some­where well north of $300,000.

In true Ital­ian fash­ion, Maserati has gone against cur­rent think­ing by mak­ing the GranCabrio a can­vas soft-top in­stead of an elec­tri­cally fold­ing tin-top de­sign favoured by other Con­ti­nen­tal car­mak­ers.

The com­pany says this al­lows for a full four-seater ca­pac­ity, good lug­gage space in the boot and also helps em­pha­sise a link with past open-top Maserati con­vert­ibles.

The GranCabrio joins some clas­sic mod­els that have played an im­por­tant part in the Mo­dena car­maker’s il­lus­tri­ous his­tory.

This in­cludes the 1950 A6G Frua Spy­der, 1960 3500GT Vig­nale Spy­der, 1964 Mis­tral Spy­der, 1968 Ghi­bli Spy­der and Gior­getto Gi­u­giaro-de­signed Spy­der in 2001.

The ar­rival of the GranCabrio brings the Maserati model count to three, in­clud­ing the Qu­at­tro­porte and GranTurismo.

True to its her­itage, the GranCabrio will fea­ture a high-qual­ity leather in­te­rior and so­phis­ti­cated rollover safety gear un­der its flush­fit­ting ton­neau cover.

The con­vert­ible shares its 323kW/490Nm 4.7 litre V8 with the GranTurismo, which should en­sure more than ad­e­quate per­for­mance.

Neil McDon­ald

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