Italian craftsmanship at it's best, that's the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible for you. Since the model's inception in 2008, the open-top Italian cruiser has undergone a fair amount of changes, but most are only really noticeable to non-car types when viewing the new and old models side by side.
The bold lines remain, as does the Ferrari-derived normally aspirated V8 and the 6-speed automatic transmission, and combined with that Italian heritage the car becomes rather desirable. It's a good thing the car is marketed as a grand tourer because most rivals in the same price range offer more impressive performance figures.
Plush Italian leathers and a combination of brushed aluminum or carbon fiber are the materials of choice inside a Maserati GranTurismo Convertible. The multifunction carbon steering wheel has the right materials but still manages to come across as looking boring, it's actually more along the lines of a neat and clean cabin with a minimalist feel. You have your speedometer and tachometer divided by a small driver information screen and there's also a plain-looking square 8.4-inch touchscreen in the center of the v-shaped dash – the sum total of things to look at – it really is that plain.
While there's a Ferrari V8 providing the go for the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible, it's not quite as fast as you expect, the one lone drawback of the competition all of them opting for assisted turbocharged power. The Skyhook suspension features three modes that toggle between ride comfort and sharper handling, and while the steering feedback is good the car isn't suited to fast and tight turns, although it can manage if it must. The transmission matches the rest of the car's character, it's solid and smooth, and combined with the linear power delivery that's typical of a normally aspirated V8, the drive is a rewarding experience. If there was ever a reason needed to take the topless Italian for a drive, it's that throaty V8 soundtrack.
The carbon surround shifter is a nice touch if optioned though. The seats are very good with integrated headrests and they have many adjustments to be able to set the perfect driving position. The car is long enough that the rear seats can accommodate passengers out of their teens. Trunk space is smaller as a result with just 6.1 cu-ft. of capacity.
Under the skin of the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible we find a 4.7-liter V8 that's every bit Ferrari as, well, a Ferrari. The normally aspirated V8 is rated to produce 454 hp with 384 lb-ft of torque and that's enough top get the 4400+ lbs. cruiser to 60 mph in as little as 4.9-seconds and the top speed comes in at the 186 mph mark. Power is sent to the rear wheels with a 6-speed automatic transmission doing cog-swapping duty, and its operation is silent and smooth. Manual shifting is available to put a little more control back into the driver's hands.
The interior trim can be fully customized to any taste and other options include aluminum, Alcantara and carbon fiber. The specification level is ok but just about every other rival has more and better technologies on board, usually as standard too, making it a tough choice for buyers. That said the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible just looks so good some might overlook this. The usual active and passive driver aids are found as standard like ABS, traction and stability control, front and side airbags, and there's also a parking assist feature and an available navigation system.
If you look at the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible for what it is, a luxurious open top cruiser with some great Italian heritage, then it's going to be exactly what you want. It may be Ferrari-engined and it is far from slow, but it's also not quite as fast as you many may want, but if you're ok with sub-5-second 0-60 dashes then the reward is the amazing V8 soundtrack. There are probably a few cars that are better and cost less, but they're missing that exclusive Maserati trident badge.