Posted by www.autocar.co.nz - NILE BIJOUX on 22 February 2018

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Large 12956 GranCabrioMCMY18

The 2018 update for Maserati’s top-tier grand tourer has landed on New Zealand shores, featuring a host of refinements and improvements.

Two versions of each car are now offered, Sport and MC. Both use the same powertrain but suspension, trim and equipment differ before adding personalisation characters.

The MC, or ‘Maserati Corse’, replaces the outgoing MC Stradale and offers five selectable driving modes.

The appearance of both has been subtly updated from last year, including a front end inspired by the Alfieri concept. Headlights have been redesigned, as have the front bumper’s lateral air ducts. A rear parking camera is now standard. The MC gets a more pronounced central splitter, and the redesigned front end helps lower the drag coefficient to 0.32.

Maserati GranTurismo MC MY18 2

The MC also gains a carbon-fibre bonnet, with “downforce-optimising air vents.” Additionally, there are iconic vertical air vents in the front wings, deep functional side skirts, titanium brake callipers (black in the Sport) and 20” Trofeo Silver forged wheels, now 10 per cent stronger and lighter.

The rear bumper has been redesigned to incorporate the central diffuser which differs between versions. Sport gets oval exhaust outlets at the edge of the bumper while the MC features round outlets coming through the central, transparent diffuser. 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 should make quite a racket.

Maserati GranTurismo MC MY18 10

Inside, there are further differentiating features. The 2018 Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio Sport are fitted as standard with a Maserati Centennial Pack which boasts two-tone Poltrona Frau leather upholstery, and a trident logo stitched on the head restraints. Seat backrest covers and seat frames are in carbon fibre.

By contrast, the MC variants have a mixed Poltrona Frau leather and Alcantara upholstery interior which extends to the sports steering wheel, instrument cluster, central armrest, door panels armrest/handles, central dashboard area, and tunnel gear pod.

The centrepiece of the dashboard is now a high-resolution, 8.4” capacitive touchscreen. That brings these models in line with other Maseratis, and it’s compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring functions. Both Sport and MC models now feature a Harman Kardon Premium Sound system as standard.

Maserati GranCabrio Sport MY18 31

The powertrain remains the Ferrari-designed 4.7-litre naturally aspirated V8 offering 338kW and 520Nm. Zero to 100km/h takes 4.7sec for the MC version and 4.8sec in the Sport. The power is handled by a six-speed ZF automatic gearbox.

The 2018 Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio ranges are on sale now, with the GranTurismo Sport starting at $224,990 and the GranCabrio Sport at $254,990. Add $25k for the Cabrio MC model and $35k for the Turismo.

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