Review: Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale (2013)
One of the best looking GT cars around. Genuine four-seater, with space for adults in the rear. Comfortable for everyday use.
GranTurismo Sport is £20,000 cheaper and almost as good. Handling isn’t as sharp as some of its rivals. Automatic gearbox can be clunky and indecisive.
Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale (2013): At A Glance
With the advent of super saloons, like the BMW M5 and Audi RS7, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the era of exotic GT cars was over. After all, who needs a grand tourer, when you can buy executive saloons capable of 180mph? Well, the answer can be found behind the wheel of Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale.
Based on the standard GranTurismo, the MC Stradale combines a large and practical cabin with all the sights and sounds of an Italian supercar. Power comes from a naturally aspirated V8, sourced from Ferrari, with 460PS. The 4.7-litre engine is coupled to a six-speed electro-actuated ‘MC Race Shift’ transaxle gearbox, which will paddle its way from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds before reaching its peak at 188mph.
The powertrain offers the choice of automatic, sport and race modes, with each level delivering additional rewards by improving throttle response, the exhaust note and loosening the skid-control systems. Maserati has also trimmed the weight of the car to 1700kg and added a carbon-fibre bonnet to improve high-speed downforce and engine cooling.
The cabin is luxurious and practical, with generous helpings of leather and carbon fibre. Unlike the previous MC variants of the GranTurismo, the 2013 Stradale is a four seater, with enough room in the back for two large adults. The driving position is excellent and dash layout is straightforward. There are plenty of creature comforts too, with the option of a large touch screen multimedia system, air conditioning and Bluetooth connectivity. The exterior of the car can be customised too, with coloured brake callipers, carbon spoilers and 20-inch wheels.
As you’d expect, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale isn’t cheap, with prices starting at £110,000. However, if you want a truly awe inspiring grand tourer, with supercar performance, then it’s difficult to look beyond it.
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Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale (2013): What's It Like Inside?
- Boot space is 320 litres
It might look aggressive and intimidating from the exterior, but climb inside and you’ll discover that the GranTurismo MC Stradale is a civilised and comfortable car. Maserati has spared no detail in the interior and it feels as good as any Bentley or Aston Martin we’ve sat in. Sometimes sports car interiors can feel like a rushed afterthought, but thankfully that’s not the case here. The GranTurismo has a well crafted cabin, with an abundance of leather and carbon finishes.
Unlike the previous MC Stradale, the 2013 GranTurismo is a four-seater, with plenty of head and leg room for front and rear passengers. We tested the car with four adults and it had little trouble accommodating everyone. The rear of the car is the most impressive, from a passenger perspective, thanks to a pair of comfortable sport seats that are separated by middle armrest, with cup holders.
There’s another pair of sports seats in the front, with integrated headrests that give the impression the seat is hugging its occupant. Maserati has spent considerable time sorting out its cabin ergonomics and within a few minutes we felt completely at ease in the car. The dashboard is straightforward to understand and all of the buttons are easy to find.
The large touch screen multimedia system controls all of the audio functions and also features the option of an iPod interface. Admittedly, the touch screen isn’t the best or most accomplished, but it does everything it should and isn’t overly complicated. Sadly, being an Italian car, the Maserati’s sat nav only accepts the first part of a UK post code, which means you have to enter the full town, street and house number for any destination. It’s a minor annoyance, but a noticeable one nonetheless.
On the plus side, the driver gets an excellent view of the road and all four corners of the car can be easily identified. You also get a decent sized boot, with 320 litres, along with parking sensors, which makes driving to the shops surprisingly easy. Maserati also has a huge array of options for the interior too, including seat backrest covers to match the leather, customisable carping piping and a choice of stitching colours on the steering wheel, gear knob and headrests.
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What's the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale (2013) like to drive?
The GranTurismo MC Stradale is a true driver’s car, with sharp handling and a fantastic Ferrari sourced V8, with 520Nm of torque. Indeed, the MC Stradale feels like a classic from a bygone era, with a deep and rewarding powerband that builds with its thunderous, naturally aspirated engine. Technically speaking, the GranTurismo is an automatic, but if truth be told you’re better off using the paddles, because the auto ‘box is clunky and indecisive.
The GranTurismo MC Stradale is an extremely loud car and a quick downshift, with a blip of the throttle, is all that’s needed to bring the V8 into life with a thunderous bark. When pushed, the Maserati will gallop along with almost frightening speed, as you flip through the gears and push it into corners. It’s worth noting that the MC Stradale is a much more accomplished car on the road in comparison to the GranTurismo Sport and its weight reduction has enable Maserati’s engineers to install a lot more grip, especially in the corners. Indeed, oversteer was a problem that blighted many of the standard GranTurismos, but the MC Stradale feels perfectly balanced and rarely gives the impression that it doesn’t want to turn into tight bends.
Pirelli designed extra-wide 20-inch P Zero Corsa tyres for the MC Stradale and they work extremely well, locking the car into the apex and providing a wonderful platform to launch the car from a corner. The brake discs are 60 per cent lighter too, with the six (front) and four-piston callipers (rear) ensuring braking is balanced and controlled. If you feel really adventurous, you can push the ‘Race’ button, which frees up the traction control and ESP, while reducing gearshifts to 60 milliseconds. It’s tremendous fun, but you have to treat the car with a lot of respect because those 20-inch tyres can only cope with so much before snapping away in the blink of an eye.
However, you don’t have to drive the GranTurismo MC Stradale at breakneck speeds to enjoy it. We found it to be surprisingly easy to drive in built up towns and cities too. Maserati has done an excellent job of combining supercar performance with a comfortable and refined 2+2 coupe. What’s more, the boot is large enough for shopping and the parking sensors making it simple to manoeuvre the MC Stradale into the tightest of parking spaces.
In our opinion, this really is one of the best all round GT cars on the market, although the differences between the MC Stradale and the Sport edition of the GranTurismo are marginal at lower speeds, which makes it difficult to justify spending the extra £20,000. However, if you're a sports car enthusiast, in the market for the ultimate, fire breathing, Italian GT, then this could well be the car for you.
|4.7 V8||20 mpg||4.5 s||337 g/km|
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