FrontRunners: Higher Power

The Maserati Gransport (www.maserati.com), a stately, swift update of the company’s Cambiocorsa coupe, presents a pedigreed Italian package with greater power and sharper looks than its $92,300 brother—for just $11,000 more.

The GranSport comes with the same 4.2-liter V-8 as the Cambiocorsa, which, it should be noted, is no slow, plain Gino to begin with. The GranSport’s version has been tuned to break the 400 hp barrier, and top speed nudges past 180 mph. Acceleration is a whisker quicker than the Cambiocorsa’s, but the most significant upgrade is the transmission. In response to cringes and gasps from automotive critics, Maserati has reprogrammed the F/1 system so that it no longer lurches and ponders in automatic mode. Paddle shifting has become Schumacher crisp.

Driving from Modena to Milan—110 miles that, in lesser vehicles, would be a clammy sprint—is 60 minutes of easy motoring in the GranSport. The car rides securely, politely, and comfortably, and even in the rain with wipers at full slap, there is no need to fumble for the chain at our neck and seek the solace of St. Christopher.

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