Maserati GranTurismo S

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By common consent, the Maserati GranTurismo is one of the most gorgeous cars on the planet, but some people believe that its too much of a tourer and not enough of a sports car.

Maserati always promised a more hardcore model, though, and its on view at Geneva.

The GranTurismo S has a different engine and gearbox, stronger brakes and subtle changes to the bodywork and interior.

The S employs the 4.7-litre V8 engine from the Alfa Romeo 8C rather than the regular cars 4.2 V8. Its tuned to give 436bhp and mated to a super-quick paddle-operated manual gearbox, which is mounted at the rear of the car to improve weight distribution. The standard GranTurismo has an automatic gearbox bolted to the back of the engine.

High-performance brakes, developed by Brembo for the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S, also make their way on to the high-performance GranTurismo, and there are discreet body changes to make it look more sporty without spoiling its elegant lines.

New, more supportive seats are fitted front and rear and feature horizontal piping.

The car will come to the UK in the autumn and will be between 15% and 20% dearer than the standard GranTurismo. Thats likely to mean a price difference of about 10,000, pushing the cost of the S close to 90,000.

Maserati and the environment
Maserati also announced a five-year plan to reduce the emissions of its vehicle range at Geneva although it hasnt set any specific targets.

Changes will focus on making all engines more efficient and the possible use of biofuel, if it proves possible to use it without hampering performance.

In addition, all cars will undergo a weight reduction programme, which Maserati hopes will increase performance as well as reduce fuel consumption.

Maserati is also pushing ahead with plans to use recyclable materials in the interiors of its vehicles. These include natural textiles, wood and leather.