Sunday, May 20, 2018

The 2018MY Maserati GranTurismo is Now Available in Malaysia

The 2018 Model Year Maserati GranTurismo has made it to our shores. Naza Italia, the official importer and distributor for Maserati in Malaysia, has announced the arrival of the refreshed Maserati GranTurismo. First launched in 2007, this 2018 refresh is quite substantial as the model has basically carried on for that long a time. According to the brief, there is a more aerodynamic exterior styling made to the  Pininfarina-designed GranTurismo, and an intuitive new driver interface and infotainment system. 

The equipment included actually brings the beautifully designed grand tourer into this decade. The GranTurismo has been around for such a long time in this current form and it shows. So this upgrade is sorely needed until a total new grand tourer from Maserati arrives. 

That being said, the GranTurismo is still stunning and it is something to covet as it is one of the few cars that you can buy with a proper baritone sounding V8 engine inside of it. At least the driver experience gets a significant improvement in terms of equipment levels aside from the styling tweaks. For us here at Motoring Malaysia, the exterior looks and the V8 engine are perfect, it terms of that, the GranTurismo ages gracefully. Glad that they've tweak the interior and equipment levels now.

Datuk Wira Hj SM Faisal Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin, Naza World Group Executive Chairman, said, “The lightly face-lifted 2018 GranTurismo MC exudes modern sophistication and stays true to the car’s most quintessential traits and timeless elegance. As one of the last naturally-aspirated V8 engines in the segment today, the GranTurismo is a celebration of Maserati’s heritage and red-blooded racing pedigree.”

The Malaysian market will have only one variant - the GranTurismo MC (Maserati Corse). It replaces the previous MC Stradale. The GranTurismo MC is priced at RM 717,800.00 (without local taxes and duties) and comes with 5 years Standard Warranty coverage with no mileage restriction plus a free maintenance program of 5 years/ 100,000 km whichever comes first (Inclusive of *Maserati Premium Service Plus of 3 Years /60,000KM). 

For 2018, there are eight interior colours and five interior trim options – from Carbon Fibre to Black Piano and Walnut Briarwood. There are 16 colours available. A brand new three-layer colour is introduced (Blu Assoluto), while four more three-layer colours are available on the entire range. There is a range of 14 light alloy wheels in six designs, one of which is in forged aluminium, and an exterior carbon package is offered.

The Powertrain / Drivetrain
The actual centre piece of the MC is its naturally aspirated V8 engine. The special V8 is hand-built by Ferrari in Maranello. The 4.7 litre engine makes 460hp at 7,000rpm and 520Nm of peak torque at 4,750rpm. A lightweight at just 175kg, the power unit features a wet sump and a cross-plane or traditional type crankshaft. This provides unrivalled throttle response, free-revving characteristics and a thrilling Maserati signature sound rather than a flat plane crank which the Ferrari derivative of the engine has.

The MC's transmission is a Race Shift 6-speed robotised manual gearbox (which shares its electronics and some of its hardware from the Ferrari 599GTO). It usually operates in an "auto" mode, but the driver can switch this to 'sport' or 'race' (where it can do shifts as quick as 60 milliseconds in 'race' mode). The modes affects gearbox operations, suspension, traction control, and even the sound of the engine. The MC Stradale is said to be the first GranTurismo to break the 300 km/h barrier, with a claimed top speed of 303 km/h.

The 2018MY Restyle - 
Exterior Tweaks
The Pininfarina design was tweaked in-house by the Maserati Design Centre. The results, among others, are even better aerodynamic efficiency and compliance with the latest pedestrian safety regulations.

There are new front and rear bumpers. The headlights have been slightly restyled, while at the rear, a new parking camera has been integrated. The front bumper features a larger, hexagonal grille with a ‘shark nose’ profile and a chrome insert all around. The new nose was inspired by the Alfieri Concept car and adds a three-dimensional effect to the front view. The design also helps optimize airflow distribution and reduce aerodynamic drag.

The bumper’s lateral air ducts, introduced in the MC Stradale and adopted across the GranTurismo range in 2012, are redesigned for the 2018. By visually pushing the car’s weight towards the front wheels, they convey a heightened sense of dynamic stability, while also contributing to improved aerodynamic efficiency.

The GranTurismo MC is equipped with a carbon-fibre bonnet in body colour as standard. The bonnet also features downforce-optimizing air-vents. Additionally, there are iconic vertical air vents in the front wings, deep functional side skirts, titanium brake calipers and 20” MC Design – Grafite Opaco forged wheels. A pronounced rear lip spoiler is another dynamic highlight.

The headlights still maintain the same profile and LED/Bi-Xenon functionality, but feature discreet, internal restyling. This includes reshaped LED Daytime Running Lights, grooved housing in the Xenon lamp areas and the Maserati inscription in low relief.

The rear bumper has been redesigned especially the central diffuser, with the oval exhaust outlets appearing at the bumper’s edges. The exhaust system of the MC version is lighter and has a totally different shape and function. When in Sport mode, a valve channels exhaust gases so they completely bypass the silencer. This reduces back pressure and creates a sportier sound.

The MY18 GranTurismo is fitted with new, lightweight, fourth-generation Pirelli P Zero tyres. These contribute to a reduction in unsprung weight plus better suspension performance and tyre grip. The new P Zero is designed to improve braking distances in dry and wet conditions, respectively by 4% and 5%, while improving mileages by at least 30%.

The Interior Upgrades

The interior gets most of the upgrades actually. The MC gets four individual Poltrona Frau trimmed leather seats with integrated headrests. For 2018, the redesigned dashboard features a more sculptured design in the passenger area, complemented in high-fashion style by stitched leather finishes. 

There is now a high-resolution, 8.4” capacitive touchscreen which is the core of a more modern infotainment system. The GranTurismo system is in line with those featured in the other Maserati models and is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring functions.  Other significant interior refinements in the GranTurismo include the high-end Harman Kardon Premium Sound system and a new Maserati clock with double dial in a slightly more prominent position at the centre of the dashboard. All of which brings the grand tourer into something meant to be from 2018.

The central console area is still significantly neater, with fewer buttons than before (which controls the air-conditioning and seat heating functions to name a few). The lower part of the centre console has also been redesigned to accommodate a user-friendly, double rotary dial, now a standard feature on all Maserati models. Positioned next to the gear lever, it is a high-end component in forged aluminium. The driving modes button cluster is now in front of the gear lever.

Visit Naza Italia’s showroom in Petaling Jaya to view the GranTurismo, and test drive this latest version if you are interested.

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