2011 Geneva Motor Show Preview: 2011 Maserati GranCabrio Sport

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 21, 2011

Maserati unveiled today the 2011 GranCabrio Sport, its latest masterpiece which will be unveiled next week at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The GranCabrio Sport takes the standard vehicle to a new level of performance and handling. Under the hood we find a 4.7-litre V8, coupled with the ZF six-speed automatic transmission and capable to deliver an impressive 331 kW (450 horsepower) and has 510 Nm of torque.

The car has an impressive top speed of 285 km/h. Maserati’s Friction Reduction Program has made the GranCabrio Sport’s engine more reactive to the driver’s most-nuanced inputs, while reaching a 6% reduction in fuel consumption.

According to the manufacturer, the six-speed transmission is equipped with the super-fast MC Auto Shift software and was developed especially for the GranCabrio Sport from the transmission in the Quattroporte Sport GT S.

The handling was improved thanks to the upgrade and revision of the Skyhook active-suspension system as well as the adoption of the grooved and drilled dual-cast brake discs.

Regarding the design, the new car comes with the GranCabrio’s distinctive nose with a black grille and a Trident with red accents, new headlights with a black look and white sidemarks, as well as redesigned body coloured front corner splitters and side skirts.

Moreover, the car will be available with a new body colour called Rosso Trionfale inspired by the red Italian national colours used on 1950s racing Maseratis – in 1957, Juan Manuel Fangio won his fifth F1 World Title at the wheel of a red Maserati 250F.

Interior Design

With the drilled aluminium pedals and the new design for its seat-face, there is no doubt that the aggressive appearance of the exterior is present as well in the open-topped cabin. While the brand’s Active Shifting paddles are currently equipped as standard, there are changes being implemented in its gear-shifting system, especially with the Maserati GranCabrio Sport. Inspired from the Trofeo racing car, the paddles are longer compared to the standard steering paddles that are column-mounted.

As a result, shifting is made easier during enthusiastic driving. In addition to the gear system changes, the Maserati GranCabrio Sport will also be offering two colors in rich leather for the interior. The first is Bianco Pregiato which has a purer white color compared to the current pearl color.

It can be used anywhere in the interior with the exception of the top part of the dashboard. The second color is called Grigio Chrono which is darker grey and was created to serve as a complement to the body color of Rosso Trionfale. To ensure that it is easy to distinguish the GranCabrio Sport from the GranCabrio, the badge for the GranCabrio Sport will be placed on its dashboard and in front of the passenger.

The passenger seat in the front meanwhile is equipped with the adjustable lumbar support, which is now standard, and allows it to match the driver’s seat. All four seats however will have the latest M-Design seat stitching.

This design not only reflects the grille designs seen on the class Maserati but even replicates it for the central seat panel, which has been fashioned using the finest leather from Poltrona Frau. Its Trident-embossed headrests can even be improved as it allows personalized stitching with a selection of 13 colors that contrasts with the seat’s leather.

Press Release

The all-new Maserati GranCabrio Sport

Maserati has taken the GranCabrio convertible to a new level of performance with the new Maserati GranCabrio Sport.

With more power, a faster gearshift and a distinctively aggressive look, the Maserati GranCabrio Sport has given Maserati a harder-edged convertible to sit alongside the GranTurismo S and the Quattroporte Sport GT S as the performance flagships of their respective ranges.

Publically unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Maserati GranCabrio Sport combines an upgraded 4.7-litre V8 engine with a 10 horsepower increase to 450 hp and improved fuel economy with the faster MC Auto Shift transmission.

With a 285km/h top speed and a 0-100km/h sprint of just 5.2 seconds, the Maserati GranCabrio Sport is brimming with performance and luxury refinements both inside the cabin and underneath its award-winning body panels.

Its six-speed transmission includes a super-fast MC Auto Shift mode and has been developed for the Maserati GranCabrio Sport directly from the transmission in the Quattroporte Sport GT S.

The handling has been enhanced for greater speed, too, with an upgrade and revision of the Skyhook active-suspension system and the adoption of a more-responsive brake package.

Visually, the Maserati GranCabrio Sport is characterized by a more-pronounced dynamic look. This look begins with the GranCabrio's distinctive nose and continues with a host of small, perfectly integrated changes throughout the body and the interior.

Exterior Design

Maserati's design team worked to provide a more-aggressive look that sat in harmony with the GranCabrio's critically acclaimed styling.

A series of relatively small upgrades in critical areas have created an integrated, dynamic design that immediately differentiates the Maserati GranCabrio Sport from the rest of the GranCabrio range and identifies it with both the Quattroporte Sport GT S and the GranTurismo S.

It introduces a new colour, Rosso Trionfale - a classic red that pays tribute to the championship-winning Maserati racing cars of the 1950s. It's a colour that highlights the Maserati GranCabrio Sport's strong personality, yet maintains its elegant and slim look.

The strong, distinctive GranCabrio grille receives even more character with a new black colour, while the grille's Maserati Trident receives the red accents that are reserved for the fastest car in each of Maserati's model ranges. These red accents are also found on the Quattroporte Sport GT S and the GranTurismo S.

The headlights now have a black look with white reflectors, while front corner splitters and the redesigned side skirts are both body coloured. The Shadow line, with its dark look around the base of the window glass, stresses the dramatic look of the car, strengthening its personality and pointing out the sinous lines of the body.

Besides adding to the aggressive style, the side skirts and the corner splitters were developed in the wind tunnel and add significantly to the car's aerodynamic efficiency reducing aerodynamic resistance and improving fuel consumption.

The dynamic look is finished with redesigned 20" Astro-design wheels and a pair of menacing, black oval exhaust tips. The wheels each feature three Tridents and create a lighter look to accentuate the higher performance.

Interior Design

The more-aggressive look is carried over inside the open-topped cabin, with a new seat-face design and drilled aluminium pedals.

The Maserati GranCabrio Sport introduces changes to the gear-shifting system, with Maserati's Active Shifting paddles now standard. The paddles, drawn from the Trofeo racing car, are longer than the standard steering column-mounted paddles and make shifting easier in enthusiastic driving.

The Maserati GranCabrio Sport debuts two new interior colours in rich leather: Bianco Pregiato and Grigio Chrono. Bianco Pregiato is a more-pure white colour than the existing pearl colour and can be used everywhere except the top of the dashboard. Grigio Chrono is a darker grey, developed to complement the new Rosso Trionfale body colour.

To differentiate it further from the standard GranCabrio, the Maserati GranCabrio Sport badge will be positioned on the dashboard in front of the passenger.

While the front passenger seat matches the driver's seat by receiving adjustable lumbar support as standard, all four seats incorporate the new M-Design seat stitching.

This design reflects classical Maserati grille designs and replicates the design in the central seat panel, all crafted with Poltrona Frau's finest leather.

The Trident-embossed headrests can also be enhanced with customized stitching and customers can choose 13 different colours to contrast the leather of the seat.


The Maserati GranCabrio Sport uses the latest version of Maserati's sonorous, all-alloy 4.7-litre V8, taken straight from the high-performance GranTurismo MC Stradale.

This naturally aspirated engine produces 450 horsepower (331kW) at 7000rpm: that is10hp more than the GranCabrio. It is also rich with torque, with a peak of 510Nm (20Nm more than the GranCabrio) arriving at 4750rpm. Eighty percent of its maximum torque is already available at just 2500rpm.

The performance increases are a result of Maserati's Friction Reduction Program, which has made the Maserati GranCabrio Sport's engine more reactive to the driver's most-nuanced inputs. This program included a revision of the oil sump's fluid dynamics and the application of a Diamond-Like Coating to the tappets and the super-finished camshaft lobes.

Besides added power, torque and responsiveness, the Friction Reduction Program has lowered the Maserati GranCabrio Sport's fuel consumption by six percent to a combined total of 14.5 litres/100km.

The new exhaust tips also help the Maserati GranCabrio Sport to give a richer engine sound when the bypass valves are activated. The valves are always open in Manual-Sport mode, while they are open above 2500rpm in Auto-Sport mode.

This exhaust system allows Maserati to hit its target of improving the car's performance and also give its customers access to a new open air musical theatre and a rich sound experience.

However, the valves are closed in Normal mode, giving the driver and passengers a quieter ride.


The Maserati GranCabrio Sport is the first Maserati to match the upgraded, 450hp version of the 4.7-litre engine with the day-to-day luxury of a fully automatic transmission.

This six-speed transmission includes the super-fast MC Auto Shift mode and has been developed for the Maserati GranCabrio Sport directly from the transmission in the Quattroporte Sport GT S.

The MC Auto Shift mode contains a launch-control mode and is active in both Manual Sport and Automatic Sport modes to provide faster gearshift times and to automatically "blip" the throttle during down-shifts.

To operate the MC Start Strategy (launch-control mode), the driver turns off the MSP in Auto Sport mode, then holds the brake pedal while pressing the accelerator. The driver should reach the optimum revs for a fast start (between 2300-2500rpm), and then simultaneously release the brake pedal and press the accelerator pedal completely. This manouvre is only recommended for use on a race track or in closed conditions of complete safety.

Like the Quattroporte Sport GT S, the MC Auto Shift gives the driver even-greater engagement by holding gears in the Manual Sport mode, even when the engine reaches its rev limiter, and introducing a digital in-dash display to indicate the ideal gear-shift timing.

The transmission gives the driver five distinct operating modes: Auto-Normal, Manual-Normal, Auto-Sport, Manual-Sport and Ice.

Chassis and Handling

The handling has received significant attention, with a new, sportier tune of the Skyhook active-suspension system and the adoption of grooved and drilled dual-cast brake discs.

The upgraded "Sport Skyhook" uses acceleration sensors to register wheel and chassis movement. It sends this data to a central processor, which also analyzes the road conditions and the driving style and instantly and precisely regulates the dampers to suit any situation.

With the Maserati GranCabrio Sport, the Skyhook system received upgraded management software and dampers to give a sharper focus on handling, grip and balance, while even the springs and anti-roll bars have been upgraded.

Derived from the GranTurismo's high-strength steel monocoque architecture, the GranCabrio and GranCabrio Sport feature aluminium structural reinforcements beneath the floor for extra rigidity at the cost of only 100kg compared to the GranTurismo S.

Attached to the front of this architecture are aluminium wishbones with forged aluminium hub carriers and struts, aluminium gas dampers and springs, while at the rear adds a radius bar for each wheel to control toe-in.

The changes to the brakes, with grooved, ventilated and drilled discs on all four wheels, have targeted a sporty, responsive and consistent feeling for the driver.

The grooves have been designed to keep the brake pads clean by avoiding dust build-up, which can reduce braking performance, while the drilled holes ensure the uniform wear of the disc and the pads for long-term consistency. This all helps the GranCabrio Sport to stop in just 35 metres from 100km/h.

Optional equipment

The Maserati GranCabrio Sport will have the MC Sport Line packages available immediately at its launch, including interior and exterior carbon fibre features. For example it is possible to change the front splitter to carbon-fibre, while the side skirts are also available in black.

The Astro-design, 20-inch wheels are also available in Shiny Anthracite Grey to create a darker, more-menacing look.

It is also possible to change the body-coloured waist line around the cabin from black (Shadow line) to the same Chrome-line that is standard on the GranCabrio.

The Chrome-line can also be fitted to the door handles, the capote mouldings and the exhaust tips.

Maserati GranCabrio Sport Specifications

Body: High-strength steel monocoque, under-body aluminium cross bracing
Layout: Front-mid-engine, rear-drive
Engine: 4.7-litre all-alloy V8
Power: 450hp (331kW) @ 7000rpm
Torque: 510Nm @ 4750rpm
Capacity: 4691cc
Bore x stroke: 94mm x 84.5mm
Compression ratio: 11.25:1
Maximum engine speed: 7200 rpm
Oil delivery: Wet sump
0-100km/h acceleration: 5.2 seconds
Top speed: 285km/h
Fuel consumption
Urban: 22.5 litres/100km
Extra-urban: .8 litres/100km
Combined: 14.5 litres/100km
CO2 emissions: 337 grams/km
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (ZF 6HP26) with MC Auto Shift
First: 4.171:1
Second: 2.340:1
Third: 1.521:1
Fourth: 1.143:1
Fifth: 0.867:1
Sixth: 0.691:1
Reverse: 3.403:1
Final Drive: 3.73:1
Differential: Asymmetric limited-slip (25% in traction, 45% in release) with bevel drive
Steering: Engine-speed sensitive power steering, rack-and-pinion.
Turning circle: 12.3 metres
Length: 4881mm
with mirrors: 2056mm
without mirrors: 1915mm
Height: 1353mm
Wheelbase: 2942mm
Front track: 1586mm
Rear track: 1590mm
Front overhang: 873mm
Rear overhang: 1066mm
Boot/trunk capacity: 173 litres
Fuel capacity: 75 litres
Dry weight (EU): 1887kg
Kerb weight (EU): 1980kg
Weight distribution
roof closed: 49% front/51% rear
roof open: 48%/52%
Brakes: 360mm front discs, 330mm rear discs
Tyres: 245/35 ZR20 (front); 285/35 ZR20 (rear)

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