Weekends: Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport

S exy is an over-used word in today’s market. Everything from beer to floor mops has employed the old adage, “sex sells” to promote their products as standing above the rest. In the case of the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport, there is simply no requirement to say the word. The car oozes sexy from every nook and cranny, without ever turning on the engine. When you do twist the key, a crowd will soon gather around whether you want them to or not. By its very nature, this is a seriously erotic automobile.

So it was that I took delivery of the newest Maserati drop-top at the factory in Modena, Italy. No sooner had I driven away from the front gates and lowered the roof, the whistles and cat calls started pouring in from all sides. Surprisingly, it was the car drawing their attention and not the driver. Featured in the new Rosso Trionfale exterior colour with impeccable Bianco Pregiato white leather trim, it’s like putting bright lip gloss and 6-inch stilettos on a Victoria Secret’s model. No additional detailing is required, but once in place, it may just set the world on fire.

Power comes in the form of a 90˚ 4.7-liter DOHC 32-valve V8 all-alloy engine. Performance numbers indicate 454 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 384 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,750 rpm. Zero to 100 km/h takes 5 seconds with top speed reaching 285 km/h. A fraction slower that it’s coupe sibling, the difference is .2 seconds in acceleration to 100 km/h and 15 km/h in speed. Drop the top and forget about it. The experience is superior in every way!

Cornering is terrific in the GranTurismo Convertible Sport and I sense no body flex given the ragtop nature of the car. Maserati has done a masterful job of making both the coupe and cabrio versions feel tight and perfectly balanced. Exiting corners with a slight wag of the tail is all that’s required to put a smile on my face to the point of laughter. MSP Stability Control steps in as needed and the Sport Skyhook suspension is great at keeping me on course and in control. Giddy is a sensation I experience on a regular basis in this car.

Stops are quick and light. A hard push of the brake pedal activates 4-wheel disc Brembo brakes. Four slots on each disc keep it clean, while 16 holes around the perimeter ensure even wear of the brake pads. Gearbox choices include Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport and Ice. Surprisingly; I select ice on several occasions as we pass over the mountains between Bologna and Firenze, Italy. Snow is falling and I hate losing time to bad weather. Pressing on, even as the road tightens and slushy rain engulfs the asphalt, we never miss a beat.

The history of IL Borro Resort, Spa and Winery in Tuscany begins as far back as 1039 AD. Located in the heart of Italy, this tiny medieval village gets its name from the nearby riverbed and ravine. Small by today’s standard of what defines a village, it has been at the center of many skirmishes as its hilltop location and the surrounding ideal wine growing climate have ensnared many a would-be conqueror for more than a millennia.

The resort itself is arranged as several different properties spread over the 700 hectare estate. Entering the main front gates and driving down the picturesque tree-lined driveway, I arrive at guest check-in. Soon we are back in the car heading out of the gate and driving down a long narrow wooded street past the 19th Century villa and on to the old village itself.

Accommodations range from 3 villas and 6 apartments in main Villa, to the 12 exclusive apartments located within the town. As a guest, walking is the only way to cross over the stone bridge and arrive at my 1,000 year old apartment, completely modernized, of course. The setting is spectacular with a full kitchen, living and dining room, two large bedrooms and multiple bathrooms. I even have my own private backyard that looks across the ravine to the restaurant and estate. It’s incredible to be surrounded by such rich history and gracious beauty.

Fine dining takes place at the Restaurant IL Borro located immediately across from the town. Breakfast is served at Vin Café; I enjoy a full buffet style European brunch before heading out to explore the Tuscan countryside. Later, I will take a personal tour and tasting at the 300 year old wine cellar.

If ever there was a setting in which to test the capabilities of the Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport, Tuscany is it! I leave IL Borro behind and quickly find myself traversing the highways of my dreams. Corners are tight and sweeping, the bucolic setting blasted by the prevailing crackle and wail of the Ferrari-built engine. I press the Sport button, pop open the roof and slip on my shades. Soon I pass a group of Italian men at a small market and the whistles and cheers start up again. It’s still not for me, and that’s more than ok. I am, after all, the one driving the car of their desire.

2013 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport

Model: 2-door coupe
Configuration: front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 4.7-L 8 cyl. / 6-spd automatic
Power/torque: 454 hp/ 384 lb-ft
Fuel (capacity): Premium (86L)
Fuel economy ratings: 22.5 L/100km city; 9.8 L/100km hwy
Observed fuel economy: 15.9 L/100km over 650 km
Competitors: Aston Martin DBS Volante, Audi R8 GT Spyder, Ferrari California, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet

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Where to Stay:
IL Borro Resort, Spa and Winery in Tuscany
Località Borro, 1 San Giustino Valdarno Arezzo, Italy

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