Motor Mouth: Maserati GranCabrio Sport

Maserati's GranCabrio Sport could just be the most beautiful car in the world, says Sathnam Sanghera.

by Sathnam Sanghera
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

There are alternatives to coffee when it comes to your morning reviver. The late John Mortimer was said to like a glass of champagne first thing. My late grandfather swore by the spiced paratha - sleep being the last thing on your mind after a red chilli has blasted your head off. As for me, I cannot think of a more invigorating way to begin the day than getting into a Maserati GranCabrio Sport.

My test model was due to be delivered at my parents' house at 7am and my alarm didn't go off, but it didn't really matter because the deep guttural sound emitted by the modified twin exhausts woke me up when it was still a mile away. And it sounds even better when you're behind the wheel. And better still when you take the roof off.

The last time I was so taken by a noise, it was coming out of a woman weighing 20 stones and going by the name of Aretha Franklin. If this car were on the stage at The X Factor, it would win, hands down. And you know what, it's no Susan Boyle in the looks department. There is not a single perspective from which this car doesn't break your heart and make you weep with desire. Pininfarina has in recent years lost ground to Aston Martin. The last Maserati I drove was so desultory that it put me off the brand for years, but the GranCabrio, with its carbon front spoilers and side mirrors, coloured brake callipers, 20-inch rims, stitched leather seats and drilled aluminium pedals makes a serious claim to be the most beautiful car in the world - like Miss World, both inside and out.

Does the driving experience match? Well, if like me, you are not a speed demon and want to be flattered, yes. It is more than fast enough when you want it to be, but get it off sport mode by pressing a button to the right of the steering wheel and it feels no less practical than, say, my editor's Renault MPV. The only downsides are a boot the size of an iPhone, small rear seats which, while larger than those in some competitors, are still only big enough for a child and, of course, the fact that you won't get a wink of kip for the first month of ownership because you will constantly be waking up to admire it through your bedroom window.

5 OUT OF 5

Maserati GranCabrio Sport
Engine: 4,691 cc, V8
Power: 444 bhp @ 7,000 rpm
Torque: 376 lb ft @ 4,750 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed auto
Fuel economy: 19.5 mpg (combined cycle)
CO2 emissions: 337 g/km
0-62 mph: 5.2 seconds
Top speed: 177 mph (with roof on)

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