Maserati Gran Turismo Coupe
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Now that’s Italian. Maserati today unveiled its new GranTurismo, a larger, more classically styled replacement for the Coupe model that marked the brand’s return to the U.S. in 2002. The new four-seater draws on the company's rich design heritage and will undercut its closest competitor, the $170,000 Bentley Continental GT, by about $40,000 with an estimated price of around $130,000.
There are currently no plans for a convertible version, though Jeffrey Ehoodin, Maserati’s U.S. spokesman, acknowledged that a two-seat, convertible Spyder would make sense to round out the lineup.
The GranTurismo will be shown in public at the Geneva International Motor Show in March and will make its U.S. debut at April’s New York International Auto Show.
Designed by Italian firm Pininfarina, the 2008 GranTurismo is currently slated to arrive in September, with about 300 to 400 cars slated for U.S. dealers in the initial model year.
Company officials said the new model draws design inspiration from the Maserati A6 GCS of 1953-55, a race car whose wins included the famed Mille Miglia in Italy.
Ehoodin acknowledged that the previous Coupe performed well but didn’t reflect the styling heritage of Maserati. “We went back to the classic proportions,” Ehoodin said. “The new car is beautiful and very modern, not retro at all, but you can clearly see the lineage, and that’s not something the previous coupe had.”
The GranTurismo will share its basic platform with the Maserati Quattroporte sedan and also its stirring 4.2-liter, 405-hp V8 engine, manufactured at Ferrari’s engine plant in Maranello, Italy. Eventually, the GranTurismo will likely add the new 4.7-liter Maserati V8 that will first be seen in the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, of which 99 will be sold to U.S. owners beginning this fall.
The GranTurismo is designed as a direct shot at the Bentley Continental GT, a worldwide hit with critics and buyers. Maserati executives said that the GranTurismo will easily out-handle the heavier Bentley, while delivering a much more accommodating backseat.
Acceleration and other performance figures were not announced, though the GranTurismo should logically be a touch quicker than the slightly larger, heavier Quattroporte. That sedan runs from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.3 seconds and reaches a 170-mph top speed.
Just as importantly, the car will get the Quattroporte’s new-for-2007, six-speed automatic transmission by manufacturer ZF — a potentially huge improvement over the clunky, automated manual featured in the now-defunct Coupe and Spyder models. That same transmission delivers seamless shifts in models like Jaguar’s XK and XKR. Steering-wheel paddle shifters will be an option, as in the Quattroporte.
Company officials hope the new model will continue to advance Maserati’s momentum in the U.S. In the past few years, sales have doubled, from about 1,100 sales in 2004 to 2,300 in 2006. The company, which came under Ferrari’s corporate wing in 1997, was returned to Fiat’s corporate control in 2005; Fiat also owns the Italian brands Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Lancia.
Maserati has 47 dealers in the U.S., 36 of them operating in tandem with Ferrari dealerships, and is looking to add more; Alfa Romeo is expected to add a third Italian brand at many of those dealerships when it stages its own U.S. comeback around 2009.
“The GranTurismo is the first clean-sheet product of Maserati on its own,” Ehoodin said. “We’re a mature brand now, and the old barriers to Maserati sales are coming down.”
I have emailed different Dealerships but no one has made any contact with me.
Has anyone experienced this, can someone please shed some light on what I could do about this? Thank you!!
Btw, I own a 2005 BMW as well purchased brand new and have not experienced this at all.
Thank you so much for all of your help with suggestions! I had a feeling that this was going to be 'pricey' to fix...seems unfair as it is a 'defect' and nothing we've done...(no neglect on our part) I feel the same as you, one would think that spending $100k on a car would at least get some reliable customer service...they ignore it BECAUSE they know it's a problem...they are aware in other words. I was looking at the Quattroporte but have changed my mind as well...this hurts in more ways than one! I am all for support in the class action suit...I am not a 'sue happy' person...but this is soooo unfair! I have kept my car in the garage and when I take it somewhere...it is kept in garaged parking...(I;m so picky about that) also, My car has only 9000miles on it I have treated it like a newborn baby...this was my first expensive car I've ever owned...it was a dream and I was fortunate enough to get one brand new! I will definitely contact Karen Hayes I may have someone else in mind...the President of Maserati...in Italy...now you have given me hope and something to hold onto and fight for! Please keep me posted and I will do same for you! Never say never though...maybe we can make 'change' happen, its worth a shot...I love my Maserati! Stay in touch okay! Kathryn
Has any one finally filed a lawsuit regarding the trim defects?
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