Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
For those of you with extroverted personalities but who think a Ferrari is just a tad too flashy and a Mercedes SL is just plain boring, there's this 2005 Maserati GranSport that'll blow up your skirt. With a Ferrari-based, 4.2L V8 , a floppy-paddle 6-speed transmission, impeccable four-seat interior, and loads of Italian flair that just can't be faked, this is the exotic coupe that you can drive every day.
From the brilliant minds at ItalDesign (specifically, design legend Giorgetto Giugiaro) that brought the world the Ghibli, the mid-engined Bora, and the 3200GT, comes this hyper-focused grand tourer sports car. This legendary beauty (colloquially known as the 4200GT) feels right at home whether it's whipping through the Trofeo series or cruising down Rodeo Drive on a sunny day, and with added power, improved aerodynamics, stiffened suspension, and a simplified sporty interior of the GranSport, you're looking at one of the best production cars to come out of Modena in the last 30 years. With an original sticker price over $100k, you'd better believe this sportscar is beautifully finished. Buyers at that price level don't put up with the niggles that plague lesser cars and the Italians seem to excel at creating paint that's so smooth and glossy that it still looks wet enough to smear. The Italians call it "Rosso Mondiale," which means "Worldy Red", and never has such a grandiose moniker been earned more than on this sexy Italian femme fatale. With just 58,905 miles on the clock, it is in fantastic condition with very few signs of use, because cars like this always see above-average levels of care. There might be a small chip or nick in the usual places, which only comes from using it as intended, but there is nothing that keeps this car from stopping onlookers dead in their tracks. Yes, it's really that pretty but it's only fully evident when you see it in person. We're talking 'Sofia Loren in 1964' levels of beauty here. All the chrome trim is metal, not plastic, and it has a cool, heavy feeling that screams high-quality, and while the Italians have long been the butt of jokes in the quality department, this 17-year-old Maserati seems to be defying the passage of time.
Traditionally, the interior of a Maserati is going to be leather-bound and opulent, but as the make's grand-touring flagship, the designers elected to keep things sporty and simple, yet still somehow managing to retain that je ne sais quoi Italian elegance. Wrapped in grippy black leather, soft dark gray suede inserts, and bright red piping, the seats are beautiful, comfortable, and hold you in place even when the driver's stretching out the limits of this coupe's suspension. In the usual Italian fashion, the stitchwork is exquisite and the hides are almost sinfully soft, and even after almost 60K miles only show minor imperfections (most of which are on the driver's seat). Plush black carpets, ornate door panels, real carbon-fiber trim and a sensible control layout are all plusses for the GranSport, which by virtue of its name, was designed to be a sporty yet comfortable at the same time. Big, simple gauges are easy to read ahead of the grippy steering wheel, while the center stack and console contain controls akin to the switches in a fighter jet, and the floppy paddle shifters behind the steering wheel make the Cambiocorsa transmission come to life. Yes, there are plenty of buttons and tech to satisfy the guy who loves gadgets, and it all works properly, and for entertainment a Pioneer AM/FM/CD/AUX head unit was added in the factory slot. A few nods to the car's ancestry can be found in the Trofeo trident emblem on the center of the wheel, the classic timepiece in the center of the dash, aluminum foot pedals, and even the back seat area with twin buckets is just drop-dead gorgeous. It also includes a good-sized boot that shows no signs of wear and tear, and there's plenty of room back there to account for those long drives through the French Riviera.
There's some Ferrari DNA in the F136R 4.2 liter 32-Valve DOHC V8, which is rated at a lofty 395 horsepower. It loves to rev, and there's plenty of torque available at any speed, which helps with the GranSport's easy-going nature. The paddle-shifter 6-speed automated manual transmission is a bit more civilized than a regular manual, and it was recalibrated in the GranSport, making it very easy to be smooth and fast in this car. The re-tuned, double-wishbone, light alloy SkyHook active suspension is an absolute joy to drive, handling the sports car in-and-out of the corners with ease, and with a lower ride height and wonderful grumble from the X-pipe dual exhaust, the car sounds positively heroic. Weight distribution is just about ideal, with almost equal mass between the front and rear wheels, so despite being a luxury coupe that's loaded down with options, this car doesn't mind hustling through the corners
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