There are worse ways to spend one’s day than cruising around in luxury sports cars, which is exactly why we jumped at the opportunity to test drive Maserati’s Model Year (MY) 18 line-up. Sealing the deal was a trip out to Pretty Beach, followed by an exquisite lunch at the acclaimed Pretty Beach House. Suffice to say, luxury was omnipresent, from the plush seats to the fine food to everything in between. Each car in the fleet was a winner, but our personal favourites were the Ghibli, GranCabrio and GranTurismo. Read on to see what the premium Italian automaker has been up to. And try not to drool on your keyboard.
Arriving at the meeting point, our eyes widened as we caught first glimpse of the Maserati MY18 line-up. Anyone who knows anything about Maserati knows that they’re the epitome of luxury sport, and the fleet before us duly abided by the brand’s sleek and formidable standards. Soon enough, we were cruising at high (but legal) speeds in a Ghibli GranLusso. The Ghibli is Maserati’s best selling sports saloon, and with good reason. Now rocking a brilliant new exterior, advanced driving assist technology, electric power steering and an upgraded V6 petrol engine (good for up to 430 hp), the Ghibli remains an utterly smooth, stylish and aerodynamic operator. It was perhaps our favourite of the MY18 range.
Similar to the Ghibli is the Quattroporte. In fact, the two models share the same core architecture and many of the same features, with the Ghibli being a little shorter in length and thereby lighter on its feet (or tires, if you will). Equipped with new LED headlights, enhanced vertical elements and all sorts of innovative tech, the sleek beast is now more optimal than ever before. It’s no wonder that this remains Maserati’s flagship car year after year.
Another personal favourite was the GranCabrio convertible. It comes in two versions–Sport and MC (Maserati Corse)–and both are stacked to the gills with lavish specs. We’re talking new bumpers, a new grille, new front air ducts, and a new infotainment system with uber-responsive touchscreen. Under the hood is a naturally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 engine that generates a substantial 460 hp. Putting that powerful engine to the test, we let the wind flow through our hair, the car delivering essentially no drag as we accelerated. Controls and infotainment alike were utterly user-friendly. Meanwhile, thanks to a Stanard Harman Kardon Premium sound system, the music we were blasting didn’t seem to lose an ounce of fidelity.
Also available in both Sport and MC versions is the 2018 Maserati GranTurismo. The epic four-seater coupe was another personal fave, with a lineage going all the way back to 1947 (when the brand introduced its first grand tourer). By taking a few choice design cues from Maserati’s original 1947 classic, and then throwing in all sorts of modern upgrades, the GranTurismo rapidly becomes a best of all worlds stunner. Like the GranCabrio, this one is powered by a naturally aspirated, lightweight V8 engine, which was hand-assembled by Ferrari. Featured on the beautiful engine is a cross-plank crankshaft that’s exclusive to the brand, and responsible for what’s been voted as the “most sexy sound to ever come from a car”. Of course, between the suave, bold exterior, comfortable seats and exceptional handling, pretty much everything about the GranTurismo is downright sexy.
Last but far from least was the Maserati Levante, the brand’s stunning take on luxury SUVs. Available in two versions, the Levante flaunts a toothy front grille and lean, curvy HID headlights. Thanks to a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, acceleration and control are a total breeze. Driving home the luxury theme is a roomy interior awash with leather upholstery and state of the art technology.
Speaking of plush leather upholstery, Maserati enjoys an ongoing partnership with fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna, who crafts bespoke interiors for the Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante GranLusso models. Not only that, but the two premium Italian brands have also established a new Capsule Collection inspired by the GranLusso trim package. Consisting of elegant clothing, bags and accessories, the Capsule Collection exudes sophistication with every fine stitched detail.
As if jaw-dropping cars and luxurious accessories weren’t enough, Maserati also whipped out two mind-blowing Bulgari watches, each one crafted in partnership with the Italian automaker. Touting prime, vintage designs, the Octo GranLusso and Octo GranSport watches just go to show that top-shelf mechanics aren’t strictly confined to motorsports. One might even say we were flanked by high-end brilliance on all sides and in all forms, including the delicious lunch!
Stunning peninsula views. Unforgettable food. Beautiful watches. Chic leather goods. And some of the sweetest cars on the planet. There are far worse ways to spend one’s day, indeed. Thank you, Maserati. This one will be hard to top.