Sleek styling, useful practicality, exciting to drive, exotic badge
Running costs, quality concerns
While the sexy shape of Maserati’s V8 Coupé always promised Porsche 911-style thrills, only the Gran Sport version launched in 2004 came close to delivering the goods. Using the Coupé as a base, Maserati took inspiration from its Trofeo Coupé racing cars, tweaking the V8 engine to deliver more power, fitting lower, stiffened suspension, adding some extra drama to the cabin and some aggressive styling touches.
Discrete front and rear spoilers, prominent side skirts, a chrome-mesh front grille, and distinctive 19-inch wheels distinguish it from the regular Coupé. The result is a car that sounds and accelerates like a thoroughbred Italian exotic – no surprise given that the engine is related to that in Ferrari's F430 – but can be bought for the price of some far more humdrum German rivals.
A two-seat Spyder version was added in 2006 but both models were phased out in 2007 when Maserati launched a new coupé, the Granturismo.