PART 1: FLASHBACK AT GRANTURISMO

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THE Maserati GranTurismo S

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Flashback at the GranTurismo

In the current pandemic where motor shows have ground to a vertual halt,  we revisit the London Car Show, many years ago, which feels like eons. We'd spent quality Press time with the Maserati crew and we [Goodtimes International (GTI)]  now remind our readers about the good points of Maserati brand from our Press Pack.

Introduction

The GranTurismo S is the ultimate expression of the Trident coupé’s sportiness. The new interpretation of the perfect balance between sportiness and comfort shifts the emphasis onto performance and driving enjoyment.

The new 440 HP V8 4.7 litre engine, electro-actuated gearbox with fast MC Shift, transaxle layout, sporty exhaust and brakes made with dual-cast technology make the GranTurismo S the new flagship for Maserati sporting flair, with acceleration from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 183 mph, the highest ever reached by a standard production Maserati.

The compact and lightweight 4.7 litre V8 engine develops its maximum power output of 440 HP at 7,000 rpm and its peak torque of 490 Nm at 4,750 rpm. It features a high specific power output and more torque at lower speeds, with a fantastic dynamic capacity to reduce and increase the revs quickly, typical of racing engines.

The increase in power output and torque has not affected the versatility of the power unit, which continues to be highly flexible and responsive in all driving situations. The power unit sounds deep and throaty, but the exhaust valve pneumatic control can also be activated to make it discrete and comfortable.

An electro-actuated 6-speed gearbox is paired with the 4.7 litre V8 engine. It features MC-Shift software which harnesses the new engine’s power output, ensures gearshift speed and quality and represents a point of reference for the entire sports car range.

The engine and gearbox on the Maserati GranTurismo S are arranged in the transaxle layout, typical of high-performance sports cars: the technological DNA of all Maseratis. The front-mounted engine and the gearbox, located to the rear, are rigidly connected by a tubular element containing the driveshaft.

This solution gives excellent weight distribution, 47% over the front axle and 53% over the rear axle, which translates into excellent driving dynamics and top performance.

Looking through the spokes of the new 20” rims on the GranTurismo S, the high-performance braking system developed in collaboration with Brembo is instantly recognisable. The system features front brake discs made with dual-cast technology — a dual casting of cast iron and aluminium, paired with aluminium mono-bloc 6-piston brake callipers.

This technology, introduced for the first time in the automotive field on the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S, unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt Motorshow, optimizes the braking system’s performance, by emphasizing pedal feel and increasing resistance to fading, even in the most extreme conditions.

From behind the wheel, the Maserati GranTurismo S feels taut and compact, thanks to the suspension layout developed specifically to support the new weight distribution. Vehicle roll has been reduced significantly as a result of the modified springs, bars and dampers, and this has benefited handling and performance.

The exterior of the Maserati GranTurismo S is characterised by a number of aesthetic modifications that, although discrete, are highly effective and make the car body appear sportier without abandoning the sleekness of the lines masterfully designed by Pininfarina. The spoiler, integrated in the boot lid, and the new-design side skirts help to improve the flows around the car. On top of that, the Maserati GranTurismo S boasts new specially designed 20” rims, inspired by the Trident, Maserati’s symbol.

The sporty look is complemented by the generously proportioned oval-section exhaust tailpipes, the grille and black headlamp parabola; the Trident on the grille and the Saetta logo on the “C” pillar are decorated with red prongs, following the tradition of Maserati race cars.

The interior, upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather and Alcantara (used for the steering wheel and centre of the seat with the option of extending it to the whole of the headlining), reflects the sporty flair of the Maserati GranTurismo S; the figure-hugging front and rear seats are distinguished by their new dynamic design with horizontal piping on the seats and seatbacks.

As an alternative to the standard leather/Alcantara trim, interiors are also available in Poltrona Frau leather, for customers wanting a more classic flavour. Full-grain Peccary leather is also available, for a sportier, yet refined look and high lateral containment.

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The same extensive range of materials and colours available for the GranTurismo applies to the Maserati GranTurismo S: there’s a choice for standard interior trim between “Alu Grey” and “Smoked Quartz”, while three types of wood (Rosewood, Walnut and Tanganyika) and five varnished hues (Black Piano, Rosso Sigillo, Blu Laque, Bianco Ice and Giallo Decoro) are available as optional extras.

There is even more. Dashboard and door panels/rear sides can also be upholstered in AluTex, an aluminium-coated fibreglass fabric with a hi-tech, modern look. What makes AluTex so special is the autoclave process it undergoes during manufacturing — a fine powder of pure metal is applied to the surface giving fibres an unusual brilliance and three-dimensional effect.

                             

New V8 4.7 litre, 440 HP engine

The maximum speed of the 4.7 engine is 7,500 rpm, with the possibility of reaching 7,600 rpm in dynamic gear shift conditions at the limiter.The main technical innovation on the Maserati GranTurismo S lives under the bonnet, where the latest version of the new family of wet-sump power units is fitted. The new and more powerful 4.7 litre V8 engine develops a power output of 440 HP at 7,000 rpm and a peak torque of 490 Nm at 4,750 rpm.

Instantly recognisable thanks to its red cylinder head covers, the new 4.7 engine was developed specifically to increase the car’s performance and provide the driver of the Maserati GranTurismo S with an even more exhilarating driving experience.

The technical solutions adopted for this unit have emphasized the qualities of the most recent Maserati engines, namely the high specific power output and the ability to increase and decrease the revs quickly, typical of racing engines.

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The aim of the intensive development work of Maserati’s engineers was to ensure maximum fluidity of operation in everyday use and a definite sporty character as soon as the driver’s foot touches the throttle pedal.

The engine on the Maserati GranTurismo S is a 90˚ V8 with a total displacement of 4,691 cc. The timing is regulated by four chain-driven overhead camshafts (two per bank), with four valves per cylinder controlled by hydraulic tappets. The camshafts on the intake side are fitted with a low pressure continuous phase variator, with complete actuation times of less than 0.15 seconds.

The increase in displacement from 4,244 cc to 4,691 cc has been obtained by increasing the bore and stroke values, paying particular attention to the longitudinal packaging of the engine, with a piston bore/cylinder centre distance ratio on a par with the best competition.

The increased-diameter thin steel cylinder liners are coated with Nikasil. Against the increase in displacement, the steel cylinder liner solution helps contain the weight and the dimensions of the engine, especially lengthwise. This is an ideal solution for a car with transaxle layout and with the engine fitted behind the front axle, since it allows the weights to be distributed ideally between the front and rear ends.

The single-chain valve gear contributes to the improved longitudinal packaging. It also ensures exceptional engine reliability, the ultimate in silent operation, low friction to the benefit of consumption and the possibility of achieving precise timings that translate into optimised cylinder fill capacity and hence performance.

The 90° crankshaft, fully balanced with an appropriate selection of connecting rods and pistons, ensures that the engine operates with low vibrations and a characteristic and resonant sound, emphasized by a highly permeable intake system and exhaust system with controlled actuation to enhance the sound of the car in full compliance with type approval requirements and environmental aspects.

The aluminium crankcase-engine block has 5 main bearings to ensure a highly rigid structure and low friction losses. The arrangement of the upper part of the engine, namely the internal fluid-dynamics and cylinder head cooling system, is designed to make the intake manifolds highly permeable and provide effective cooling of the intake content and perfect intake and exhaust acoustic intonation. This translates into maximized volumetric efficiency and, eventually, into improved engine performance.

The skilful harmonization of the intake and exhaust geometry combined with the use of continuous-actuation phase variators on the intake camshafts, optimised combustion chamber and engine calibration itself means that 82% of torque can be obtained starting from as little as 2500 rpm. This translates into exceptional pick-up capacity even with long gears, allowing comfortable driving on motorway journeys and, in general, the engine’s full potential to be exploited over the entire operating range.

The cylinder heads are also made of aluminium alloy and integrate the system carrying secondary air into the exhaust manifolds to obtain low emission levels. All the conduits (water, oil, secondary air) are made directly in the engine castings to create a highly rigid, space-saving system and provide a strong guarantee of quality during assembly and hence high reliability. Incorporating the ancillary systems (water pumps) with the engine’s main castings and the highly rigid design of all the wide-wall elements results in low engine noise levels and high component reliability.

In keeping with the philosophy of the most recent Maserati engines, the 4.7 litre power unit adopts a lubrication system with wet paper elements, first introduced with the launch of the Quattroporte Automatic, and also adopted on the GranTurismo with automatic transmission and now applied for the first time also on a model fitted with an electro-actuated gearbox. The lubrication system features a wet sump where the engine oil is collected in a sump integral with the crankcase and circulated by a single oil bath pump. Compared with the previous dry sump solution, the wet sump uses a single pump to recover the oil, thus reducing weight and operating noise considerably, for an improved balance between driving comfort and performance.

The engine’s electronic management is carried out by the BOSCH Motronic ME7 system with dedicated sensors. These supply the control unit with constant input data for processing the fuel, advance and throttle valve angle parameters to control the power unit.

The new engine is ready to comply with future Euro-V regulations for Europe and LEV2 regulations for the USA thanks to the adoption of an innovative metallic matrix catalyser with perforated sheets which combines permeability with reliability.

The sporty exhaust — The V8 makes itself heard

The Maserati GranTurismo S gives a voice to its 440 HP with a special sporty exhaust system, designed to emphasise the deep throaty growl of the new V8 engine, but also provide the level of on-board comfort expected from a granturismo.

The steel exhaust system consists of two exhaust lines, one for each bank of cylinders, compensated with a central silencer. Two pneumatic valves, controlled electronically by the engine control unit and operated by the driver through the “Sport” button on the centre dashboard, are fitted close to the two rear silencers.

In normal conditions the valves are closed forcing the exhaust gases along a long and tortuous route so that they lose their energy and are emitted outwards with very little noise. This all changes when the “Sport” button is pressed: the valves which were initially closed, open up through a pneumatic control and the flow of exhaust gases is channelled down a route that leads directly to the outside. This provides enthusiasts with a distinctive resonance.

In aesthetic terms, the modified design of the two exhausts with dual oval chrome tailpipes make the new system instantly recognisable.

As on all Maserati models, the Maserati GranTurismo S adopts an exhaust system with metallic rather than ceramic catalysers. This solution reduces the density of the cells inside the catalysers and as a result lessens the section resistant to exhaust gas flow.

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THE Maserati GranTurismo S