Review: 2010 Maserati Gran Turismo S Automatic

Don Sherman

Maserati's latest progeny is a Gran Turismo coupe combining the hotter 433-hp 4.7-liter V-8 engine introduced last year for the Gran Turismo S with a contemporary 6-speed ZF automatic. This new third prong in the Trident's spear is a full-bodied 2+2 groomed with a balanced blend of poise and performance.

Voluptuous Curves, Sensual Sanctuary
Exterior alterations to the facelifted coupe introduced two years ago are limited to more aggressively flared rocker panels and new 20-inch cast aluminum wheels. The flow-formed rims are fitted with 35-series Pirelli P-Zero radials with staggered 245-front and 285-rear section widths and a Y speed rating.

Inside, changes are equally measured. There are new metal and wood finishes for the accent pieces that run through the door and instrument panels, plus a broader selection of leather trim colors. Several custom trim touches have been added to the Maserati Corsa menu of sporting accessories.

The shift lever has both manual and automatic gear change gates, while prominently labeled shift paddles are attached to the steering column. The 9000-rpm tachometer is marked with a 7500 rpm redline as confirmation that this Maserati has the lungs to sing with gusto on demand.

Honoring tradition, the Gran Turismo S is equipped with classic functional attributes -- such as genuine cast aluminum pedals with lightening holes and textured contact surfaces -- in lieu of gimmicks such as push-button starting and radar cruise control. The molded vinyl used to trim most of the instrument panel has the look and feel of genuine leather. Maserati's Media System has been upgraded to include a standard navigation display with traffic information delivery, Sirius satellite radio reception, Bluetooth wireless cell phone connectivity, and a cable hookup for portable media players.

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