The Maserati GranTurismo is dead. Does it deserve a successor?

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November 18, 2019 09:30 AM

The Maserati GranTurismo is dead. Does it deserve a successor?

The trident-wearing, Pininfarina-styled two-door was oft-misunderstood, but still moderately successful.

Graham Kozak

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The last Maserati GranTurismo, at least for now, is this specially painted car dubbed the Zéda.

By the time you read this, the Maserati GranTurismo and its drop-top counterpart, the GranCabrio, will already be dead; the Pininfarina-designed model’s impressive 12-year run, which kicked off in 2007, has come to an end. But this is not the end of striking two-door Maseratis (we hope).
According to the automaker, the end of GranTurismo production opens up space in its Modena, Italy, plant; that facility will eventually build the next-gen GranTurismo and GranCabrio, which will be revealed next year. What’s more, these new offerings will be electrified—and will include Maserati’s first fully electric vehicle.
We’re not taking any of this for granted; the recent FCA-PSA merger has put a number of products on hold (or in the case of new Alfa Romeo product, killed them outright), though we’re told that no brands will be axed. So far as we understand it, Maserati’s strategy still maps with the plan we outlined last year: The Trident will roll out a new GT coupe—likely drawing some inspiration from the Alfieri concept—to debut in 2020, followed by a cabrio in 2021. That coupe will get a full-EV variant (while several other Maseratis will get plug-in hybrid powertrains).

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But does the GranTurismo merit a successor? Our gut reaction is, naturally, yes, especially if it packs the visual punch of the Alfieri concept. And even though it was not a perfect car—it was fairly heavy and lacked a manual transmission option—its looks and naturally aspirated V8 sound made the 2018 model year example we drove irresistible. Judged as a sports car, it was always going to come up short. But it is, as its name suggests, a classic grand tourer, albeit one with a sporty edge (and fantastic exhaust note). Long-distance, high-speed comfort was its objective, not the quickest possible lap times.
All told, Maserati says 40,520 of these cars (28,805 coupes and 11,715 convertibles) were built over its run. (For for some historical perspective, the Maserati 3500 GT, essentially the first mass-produced car from the marque, was considered successful with just 2,226 examples built between 1957 and 1964.)  That feels like a surprisingly strong showing for a car that was somewhat out of the mainstream—and one that occupies a fairly well-defined niche. It was designed to compete with the likes of the BMW 8-Series and Mercedes-AMG S63 coupe and, if you want to go up a price class, the Bentley Continental GT or Aston Martin DB11. None of these are exactly high-volume products.

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Behold, the Maserati GranTurismo Zéda’s one-off color-fade paint job.

Of course, you don’t wind down production of a model like the GranTurismo without a special edition; to send off its long-running GT, Maserati has built a single example of what it’s calling the GranTurismo Zéda (that’s Z in the dialect of Modena). The big eye-grabber here is the one-off color fade paint job. We’ll let Maserati explain:
“Observing the model from the rear section to the front, the surfaces change and become richer, shifting from a light satin finish to a burnished ‘metallurgic’ effect. The midsection slowly morphs once again, deepening all the way to Maserati blue. The blue also evolves, becoming energetic, electric, it seems alive, it seems like a mirror.”
Maybe it’s one of those things that makes more sense in person. In any case, it will give us something to ponder until the new Maserati GT arrives next year.

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Source:https://autoweek.com/article/car-news/maserati-granturismo-dead-does-it-deserve-successor

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