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Maserati GranTurismo Coupe engines, drive and performance

2007 - 2019 (change model)
Performance rating: 4.5 out of 54.5

Written by Parkers team Published: 20 September 2023 Updated: 25 September 2023

  • V8 petrol power your only option
  • Choice of power and gearboxes
  • High-performance MC Stradale

Originally the GranTurismo was available with two engines, which then dropped to one with the choice of two gearboxes, eventually thinning to one engine and gearbox combination on the facelift in 2017, at which point the high-performance GranTurismo MC Stradale was dropped from the range.

Maserati GranTurismo engines from launch in 2007

A car as gorgeous as the GranTurismo cries out for power and the standard 4.2-litre V8 engine delivers sufficient urge to satisfy the most demanding driver. The ability to reach the 62mph benchmark rate in just 5.2 seconds means this is agile transport at all times, with plenty of thrust available at the merest dab of the electronic drive-by-wire accelerator.

The S models get a more powerful 4.7-litre V8 engine with 440bhp. This drops the 0-62mph time to 4.9 seconds in the DuoSelect model and feels even more sublime than the smaller unit. The gearbox is disappointing though – it’s an automatic on the standard model with a manual model allowing you to change gear via steering wheel paddles. However, it never allows you full control and isn’t as enjoyable to use as a manual gearbox.

The S has a different system that uses two clutches to offer super-fast changes – hence the name DuoSelect. To confuse matters further there is also an S Automatic model which is fitted with the same gearbox as the standard car.

High-performance Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale launched in 2011

Taking inspiration from the firm’s racing cars, the MC Stradale was a focused performance version of the GranTurismo meant to represent the pinnacle of the range.

It featured the 4.7-litre V8 with 450hp and 510Nm, but thanks to its 110kg lower kerbweight it covered 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds making it the quickest GranTurismo ever.

Range dropped to one engine in 2012

The introduction of the Maserati GranTurismo Sport in 2012 cut the engine range down to just one: a 4.7-litre Ferrari-built V8.

This motor now produced 460hp and 520Nm of torque.

You did still have the option of a pair of gearboxes, though – a conventional automatic called MC Shift Auto and a specialised robotosized manual (known as MC Shift) that sits on the back axle and is capable of changing gear incredibly quickly, helping weight distribution for more balanced handling.

With the former MC Shift Auto the GranTurismo covered 0-62mph in 4.8sec, while the MC Shift-equipped car does it 0.1sec quicker; not a huge improvement considering the circa £4k premium at time of launch.

Facelift in 2017

The GranTurismo’s update for 2017 dropped the expensive, slow-selling MC Shift gearbox, with the sole drivetrain option available the 4.7-litre V8 coupled with the ZF six-speed automatic gearbox.

We had a chance to sample this combination on a GranTurismo MC, which is one of the two revised trims on offer, the other being Sport. The MC Stradale model has been discontinued.

The MC version covers 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, making it 0.1sec quicker than the Sport thanks to better aerodynamics from the sportier bodykit and a new exhaust that borrows design elements from the GranTurismo racing cars Maserati builds.

As you’d expect, it sounds fantastic, with a deeper and more guttural roar than Sport models.

The engine shines brightly here – it doesn’t have any turbochargers like you find on a lot of performance cars nowadays and you’re rewarded with brilliant throttle response and a wonderful noise to boot.

Its gearbox is showing its age here, though. We noticed it’s reluctant to change down quickly enough to keep up during faster driving, despite using the steering column-mounted paddleshifters. It works far better left in its automatic mode and driven more gently.

A Sport driving mode is on hand to sharpen up the whole experience, making the GranTurismo’s throttle response and gear changes quicker. It also lowers the rpm that the ‘flap’ in the exhaust opens at, which means you get sportier noise to go along with the drive.

  • Performs well overall
  • Excellent hydraulic steering
  • Lightweight for MC Stradale

Despite the use of advanced manufacturing techniques including high-strength steel and aluminium, the GranTurismo is a heavy car, tipping the scales at more than 1,800kg regardless of version.

That said, there’s still enough talent on board to make it a seriously memorable drive. There’s a lot of grip on offer and the steering is brilliant – its hydraulic assistance rather than electric means there’s a lot of feedback provided to the driver about what’s going on under the front wheels. That means it feels involving and confidence-inspiring.

It doesn’t do so well driven really quickly because Maserati’s relatively old stability control system wades in before you get close to the chassis’ limits, but then we suspect many drivers won’t ever stray into that sort of territory.

Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale handling

As a laser-focused performance model, the MC Stradale had a number of handling-enhancing features.

The main one was the option of an electronically controlled transaxle gearbox, which basically means it lives on the rear axle rather than bolted directly to the back of the engine. This helped weight distribution.

A set of carbon-ceramic brakes was also installed to stand up to the rigours of fast race circuit driving.