in Motoring Insight

The word Maserati conjures up all sorts of things in your mind. Most will still think of the ultimate Italian supercar, with looks that are outstanding, and those Maserati badges are spectacular design pieces in themselves.

But it isn’t that long ago, Maserati had to join the “diesel-brigade” and to ensure its survival started producing diesel-engined cars, namely the Ghibli. The Ghibli Diesel did have Maserati badges, but most felt, including me, it really wasn’t a proper Italian sporty luxury car. I can see why they did it, but it just didn’t work.

Move on to very recent history, and Maserati is making some crackers. I recently drove a couple at a Maserati GB Press Event at the very luxurious Grantley Hall, near Ripon. First off the starting blocks was a Grecale Trofeo, a medium sized SUV. It is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo petrol engine, and produces 530hp, all coupled to a 8-speed automatic gearbox. It goes from 0-100kph in 3.8 seconds, and a top speed (where allowed) of 285km/h

The Grecale is a great looking SUV, with some very sharp exterior lines. The interior is up to a very high standard and so luxurious.

The second car I drove was the amazing Maserati MC20 Cielo, a two-seater convertible, and just right for a nice sunny day in North Yorkshire. This too has a 3-litre V6 engine fitted, that produces a whopping 630hp, goes from 0-100kph in a staggeringly quick 3-seconds and a top speed of 320kph, which I did not get anywhere near on the test drive. Just a nice and steady time was had, taking in the sunshine and the fantastic local scenery.

The mid-engine configuration is situated just behind the seats, and is rear-wheel drive. Despite it being a two-seat supercar, it is easy to get in and out of, is comfortable, and you don’t feel as though it’s going to give you backache or loosen your teeth. Very clever use of suspension and body stability makes sure this doesn’t happen. It seemed very happy at very low speeds going around some narrow country roads, and at no point did it try a take over, and make you feel as though you had to go quicker. It is very docile and a dream to drive.

The exterior design is just a work of art, you could walk round it a hundred times, and you’d spot something different every time.

It looks fantastic from every angle, just gorgeous.

But of course gorgeousness does come at a price. A basic MC20 costs in the UK £230,000, but add on a few necessary options (Maserati call it “personalisation”) and you can soon be up to over £300,000.

Maserati is now in a much better place than it was a few years ago, now making cars that people actually want, expensive maybe, but certainly in demand.a

Grantley Hall and Maserati – where luxury and posh, met luxurious and posh…

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