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2012 Maserati Gran Turismo
by Dave Stall

2012 Maserati Gran TurismoThose who have never slipped behind the wheel of a Maserati are missing an enjoyable experience. What’s interesting is that Maserati uses the same components all the other manufacturers do; wheels, suspension, engine, transmission, seats, etc. yet the difference between a Maserati and the competition is astounding.

The exterior styling is absolutely gorgeous. From tip to tail, this car flows while sitting still. Mounted on 20-inch custom wheels with race proven suspension, it has a 444 horse powered V8 backed by a paddle shifting 6-speed automatic transmission.

I’ve always detested paddle shifters. Why drive an automatic transmission manually? Maserati set me straight. On this vehicle the paddle shifters are mounted on the steering column, not the steering wheel. The Italians have been saying forever, “You never shift while turning, so why do you need the paddles moving with the steering wheel?” The positioning of the paddles here made me a believer. I drove this car in manual mode the whole time I drove it and had a blast.

One of the other bonuses of  paddle shifters is the exhaust sounds. Why does that have anything to do with a transmission shifting? Take one out and the see what happens when it does the down shifting. It made the hair stand up on my arms! With paddle shifters there is have complete control of this car in and out of turns, hills and open road. The MC stands for Maserati Corsa, this is their racing division.

Inside is luxury fitting for an Italian Mark well deserving of its heritage and racing prowess. Those who opt for the MC get reworked aerodynamics, single rate suspension, -- unbelievably smooth yet firm – up-graded 4.7-liter V8, sport exhaust, carbon fiber interior treatment, door sills, dash, console and steering wheel, front bumper with integrated splitter, side skirts, hand formed hood, steel body for strength and rigidity, integrated lip spoiler mounted on the trunk lid, and new fenders with trailing edges and air outlets. There is a lot more information so check it out.

I took the car for a trip to Borrego Springs (very hot) in the convertible. What a ride it was through the mountains. This is where the Maserati shines. Diving in and out of the turns, and on the long flat sections and stretching my legs! Yee Haa!

I stopped for lunch at Carlie’s and then into the coupe MC and back to San Diego.

This car handles the turns like a pro yet even though it has single rate suspension it drove live a dream on the open road. I found nothing wrong with this car; even the price for what’s offered is doable. The base non MC is $126,500 add the MC package and it jumps to $143,850 plus tax and license.

Check out You Tube – search Mr.Davestall – to see the video I did on KUSI.
 


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