Coachbuilt GranTurismo returns to Geneva in cabriolet form.
Based on the Maserati GranTurismo, the Touring Sciàdipersia Cabriolet aims to show that Italy's longstanding tradition of coachbuilding is still alive and well. And as ancient as this vehicle's underpinnings may be –the coupe introduced in 2007 on a platform dating back to the 2003 Quattroporte – it does have the added benefit of donating "one of the last great atmospheric V8 engines” still on the market.
The 4.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 is based on the same that's been powering Maseratis and Ferraris since 2001. This latest iteration is borrowed from the top GranTurismo MC, producing 454 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque – not as much as the same F136 engine produced in, say the 458 Speciale (with its 597 hp and 398 lb-ft), but more than it offered in the California.
Regardless of output, the engine's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission to deliver a 0-62 time of 5.0 seconds and a top speed estimated at 179 mph.
A rebodied sports car as elegant as the Sciàdipersia (whether in coupe or cabrio form) is about more than performance, though. It's about grand touring in the grandest of style, which Touring Superleggera's latest delivers in spades. The design draws its inspiration from the Maserati 5000 GT that the same carrozzeria built in 1957 for the Shah of Persia, updated for the modern era over half a century later.
The styling is dominated by a low-mounted grille, flanked by small circular headlights – eschewing the larger, more dominant place they typically take on modern automobiles.
From there it's all straight edges, leading around the expansive open four-seat cabin all the way back to the (slightly dropped and narrowed) Kamm tail to create a subtly bowed profile.
It's a clean design that's at least as elegant as anything Maserati itself is producing these days. And while it may not be to everyone's taste, it doesn't have to be: Touring will take half a year to complete each of the 15 examples it will produce, split between coupes and cabrios according to its elite clientele's demands. And we're almost afraid to ask how much each will cost.