First Drive: 2011 Maserati GranTurismo MC

Further enhancing the ground-effect talents are a lower ride height, stiffer springs, tauter fixed-rate dampers, and thicker antiroll bars, as well as minor camber and caster changes. Instead of the Pirelli PZeros fitted to lesser GranTurismos, the MC rolls on even stickier and wider Corsa footwear that boasts a shaved asymmetrical tread pattern.

With the electronics set to Race mode, the MC feels like a boxer flexing his muscles. While lesser GranTurismos are talented wafters and creamy gliders, the MC is a sharper tool made for precise driving with accurately timed inputs and prompt reflexes. The MC isn't interested in grand gestures, be they late corrections from the driver or excessive attitudes of the car. Instead, it wants to be kept on a shorter leash, calling for brief and concise orders, a smart driving line, and a rhythm that does justice to the potential of the suspension, brakes, steering, and drivetrain.

At about $140,000, the MC is significantly more expensive than the base GranTurismo. By itself, the difference in performance alone makes it hard to justify the $22,000 premium, but there's much more to this hard-edged Maserati than numbers. What this car does really well is celebrate the sense of the occasion. It is a purer, leaner, and sharper piece. The reprogrammed genes don't shine that brightly in a straight line, but they transform the handling and create the ability to throw the lever inside your head into competition mode whenever you choose. It is more involving, more rewarding, and more complete overall. And because of its more focused mission, its role in the history books will always be more meaningful.

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So I am guessing 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds. Not bad but kinda underpowered for a $140K sports car. Granted, it is a Maserati but it still pains one to watch a $50K Corvette leave you behind.

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