Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Maserati Granturismo Sport Launched in Malaysia

Very recently Naza Italia, official distributors for Maserati in Malaysia launched the Maserati GranTurismo Sport. This grand tourer is a fabulous looking, and sounding car. It comes with a 4.7liter V8 which makes 460hp and 520Nm torque running the rear wheels via a 6 speed automatic transmission. This is actually a great car for one to head down south to Singapore or up north to Krabi for those inter-peninsula jaunts that genuine petrolheads should occasionally do.

Anyway, what we found out from the launch are:

  • The 2013 Maserati Granturismo Sport will be priced from RM1,118,000.00. Affordable from the likes of last year's sales figures for Malaysia (see below).

  • Malaysia is the third largest market for Asia Pacific. Quite surprising as Asia Pacific includes Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China. These countries are full of billionaires and Italian car collectors.

  • Maserati sold over 3,500 cars worldwide last year (2012) and aim to sell 50,000 cars by 2016. This will be achieved when Maserati launches their SUV, a smaller 4 door saloon and a smaller entry level coupe.

  • Last year Maserati sold 27 cars in Malaysia. This year Naza Italia is aiming for 40 with the launch of the Granturismo Sport. There are 27 people who basically bought something other than a Porsche, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls Royce. This also means that supercars are still affordable in Malaysia. Ridiculous tax and duty aside. It also tells you that instead of whining and complaining, we should all work harder and try buy our supercars in such a competitive climate.

  • The Maserati Granturismo Sport will be the entry level Maserati for Malaysia. It seems Naza Italia has decided that Malaysian Maserati customers will not go for the 'basic' Granturismo. The basic Granturismo has a smaller 4.2liter, 405hp car. I suppose since you're going to spend a million Ringgit you should have at least 460hp. And what's an extra 400cc of road tax while you're at it.

  • Maserati will not be competiting in any motorsport events in Malaysia for the time being. This I should know as I personally asked Mr Gaetano Marino, Regional Director Maserati Asia Pacific about it. Maserati Trofeo is a nice one make series that is pretty interesting for those that are interested. I also wish a customer would participate in one of Sepang's endurance races with one (like one or two Aston Martin customers who have done so).

(Seated, left to right - The very dapper Encik Wan Ahmad GM Naza Italia, Mr Gaetano Marino Regional Director Maserati Asia Pacific, Datuk Wira SM Faisal Tan Sri Nasimuddin Joint Group Executive Chairman / CEO Naza Group of Companies and Datuk Maruan Mohd Said Senior VP 4 Wheels Naza Motor Group)

Anyway, the Maserati Granturismo Sport is a fabulous car. It has that beautiful Ferrari designed V8 engine that barks out a heavenly sound. It is nothing like the V8 in a Ferrari as it does without the flat plane crank that Ferrari uses in its cars. It rumbles. It does not shriek. More like an Aston Martin V8 or a Mercedes-AMG V8. Not as bassy as the AMG, but velvety. You got to experience it for yourself. AND I have to mention that the flappy pedals behind that fancy steering wheel must be one of the nicest and most tactile pedal shifters I have felt in a while. 

The event was just a launch and preview of the Granturismo Sport. Now hopefully Maserati would let me drive one so that I can get to write to you guys about it.  

Oh, there was a very tall lady wearing a sash - Miss Universe Malaysia 2013 who is Maserati Malaysia's spokesperson.