Maserati adds some sport to the GranTurismo

Maserati GranTurismo SportThe Maserati GranTurismo is a four-seat coupe made by one of the most legendary marques in the business. With a base price of $126,850, it’s exclusive and, with a top speed of 180 mph, it’s fast. What more could customers want? Apparently, they want more of everything: Maserati just unveiled a tweaked Sport version of the GranTurismo for 2013.

To make the Sport appreciably sportier than the base GranTurismo S, Maserati bumped the horsepower power in the 4.7-liter V8 from 433 to 460. That also tops the limited-edition MC and MC Stradale (both with 444 hp).

The interior gets redesigned seats and a new steering wheel. On the outside, the GranTurismo Sport gets a new front fascia, with massive jowl-like air intakes accentuating the traditional Maserati oval grille. The headlights now include LED daytime running lights. Maserati calls the new look a “significant restyling,” which is a bit of an overstatement. Still, the car they started with was arguably one of the best looking coupes on the road. What’s that saying about things that aren’t broken?

The 2013 GranTurismo Sport has more purpose than most tweaked “sport” models, since it will actually replace the GranTurismo S as the base model in the Maserati coupe range. The GranTurismo has only been around since the 2010 model year, but apparently Maserati feels the need to revamp it to stay competitive in the six-figure grand touring field.

Maserati will not release performance figures until the car’s unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show, but the Sport’s added horsepower should give it a boost. The question is whether it will be too close to the MC and MC Stradale. The track-biased Stradale is only sold in Europe and only has two seats, but the less-hardcore MC isn’t as specialized.

The MC has a similar front end to the Sport, less horsepower (but more than the outgoing S), and comes with tweaked suspension and a smattering of carbon fiber trim. That all costs $143,400; if the Sport ends up costing near the S’s base price, will it be worth it?

Maserati buyers may not care; they will most likely line up to put their names on the waiting list for the GranTurismo Sport just because it is the newest Maserati. Like any other piece of tech, everyone wants to have it first. After all, whether you buy an S, Sport, or MC, you are buying the same car. All of them have the same beautiful styling and the same Italian pedigree. The biggest problem will be explaining the difference between the models to confused bystanders.

The GranTurismo Sport will give Maserati buyers more of what they want starting in September 2012.