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Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic
Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic PDF Print E-mail
True to Maserati?s commitment to introduce a new model at each international car show, the Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic premi?red at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show.

Now, the long-awaited debut of the new Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic has been welcomed by the many Maserati enthusiasts in Hong Kong. The major novelty is the combination of the automatic transmission with the most powerful wet sump Maserati V8 on the GranTurismo ? until now offered as 4.2 litre with automatic transmission and 4.7 litre with an electro-actuated gearbox. Thanks to the combination of the 440 bhp produced by the powerful 4.7 litre V8 engine and the smoothness of the ZF 6-speed automatic gearbox, the Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic stresses the original gran turismo concept while at the same time offering peak performance.

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The Skyhook suspension system featuring continuously adjustable dampers provides great driving comfort. Passive safety is further enhanced thanks to the introduction on the GranTurismo range of a new generation passenger air-bag with low risk deployment functionality.

Style

Consistently with the unmistakable design of all Maseratis, the Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic features some marked stylistic differences which make it immediately recognisable: the new under-door mini-skirts featuring a prominent shape, which enhances the dynamism of its profile and the new 20-inch wheel rims with ?Trident? design, which recall the strength and elegance of the car.?

Further enriched equipment increases the onboard pleasure for the driver and the three passengers, thanks to the Bluetooth wireless technology, offered as standard, and the Ipod interface, available upon request, which complete the Maserati Multi Media System. In addition, the advanced Bose Surround Sound audio system adds to the elevated quality of life on board. The eleven speakers have been designed especially for the car?s interior and deliver concert hall levels of performance.

The GranTurismo S Automatic?s cabin mirrors the true identity of the new Maserati coup?. Comfort levels have been improved and the luxurious touches taken up a notch. There is a sumptuous feel to the interior, one that offers an even wider range of personalisation options. The driver and passengers will enjoy being in a refined cabin that has been crafted using time-honoured techniques.

Poltrona Frau supplies the supple leather found inside. This superbly finished leather is the result of months of attentive treatment. The buyer can opt for one of ten colours of Poltrona Frau leather, thirteen possible colours for the stitching, seven for the carpets (that include two new tints in Red and Bordeaux) and three types of prestigious wood to choose from (Walnut, Rosewood or the new polished Wenge); a variety that will satisfy even the most demanding client and render the cabin of any GranTurismo S Automatic a one-off. Added to these are five lacquer finishes or Smoked Quarz and Alu Grey.
The sports profile front seats are roomy and can be controlled electronically while the ?Easy Entry? system shifts both seats to make getting in hassle free. All in all it is a spacious and sophisticated place to be.

Technology

The Maserati Granturismo S Automatic is driven by an eight cylinder, 4691 cc engine that develops 440 bhp at 7000 rpm and produces a maximum torque of 490 Nm at 4750 rpm. The timing is activated by two overhead camshafts per bank and four valves per cylinder controlled by hydraulic tappets. The overhead camshafts on the aspirated side are controlled by a low pressure, continual phase variator with actuation times of less than 0.15 seconds.

The increased power and torque is due to the higher capacity and the exhaust valves controlled by the driver. When on the move and at over 3000 rpm, pressing the ?Sport? button opens the valves to allow the exhaust gases to escape more quickly; the lower back-pressure means the engine reaches a peak power output of 440 bhp.

The GT soul of the GranTurismo S Automatic shines through with the six-speed automatic transmission. The effect of the self-adapting automatic gearbox is especially felt at low to medium revs but does not affect power delivery higher up the rev range and allows changes to be made until 7200 rpm, a rate that no other automatic gearbox in the world can equal.

There are four function modes: Auto Normal is for comfortable cruising, Auto Sport is for those who like a sportier ride, Auto ICE is for low grip conditions and then there is Manual mode. In manual, it is the driver who chooses when to change gear via the steering wheel paddles.

The Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic reacts brilliantly thanks to its spot-on weight distribution: 49 per cent of the car?s mass sits over the front end and 51 per cent on the rear. This set up was achieved by shifting the engine behind the front axle and it gives the driver an unparalleled sense of security in any conditions.
The load-bearing chassis means greater rigidity and its high-resistance, box-steel structure allows the suspension to track every dip in the terrain. This enhances the car?s dynamic handling and ensures a more comfortable drive.

Suspension
The Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic?s precise handling benefits from front and rear wishbone suspension. The system?s ?anti-dive? and ?anti-squat? geometry prevents the front from dipping under braking and the rear end from squatting when the accelerator is pressed.

The GranTurismo S Automatic comes with the Skyhook system as standard. This technology uses shock absorbers with an aluminium body to continually adjust the damping. Skyhook automatically selects the optimal level of damping and integrates with the MSP safety system and the calibration of the car?s automatic gearbox. The result is that the car is able to adapt to the characteristics of each driver; the GranTurismo is a car that fits like a glove.

The Skyhook system acts by using acceleration sensors that detect movement on all four wheels and the body. A control unit processes the data it receives from the sensors, analyses the driving style and road surface and instantly adjusts the dampers accordingly via their proportional valves.

However, as the Skyhook and transmission is data from the sensors is fed to the same point, Maserati engineers have integrated the two systems. So, the GranTurismo S Automatic is able to tweak the suspension settings so that the driver feels even less movement through the chassis during gear changes.

Opting for the ?Sport? setting results in a stiffer ride, less roll, more contained load transfer, greater agility and stability as well as allowing startling performance figures. The dedicated on board computer reduces gear shifts by 40 per cent and Skyhook switches from controlling the ride to focusing on the set up (body control), making the GranTurismo S Automatic easier to handle and giving it more grip. Together, the two systems combine to handle and giving it more grip. Together, the two systems combine to offer more precise, livelier gear changes.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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