Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Maserati GranTurismo Pictures 2008
The black sheep of the family—Mario—instead became a painter, although he left an indelible mark on the marque. Wandering about Bologna’s main square one day, Mario came face to face with a statue of Neptune, whose barbed trident he promptly expropriated as the logo for his brothers’ first car, the 1926 eight-cylinder Tipo 26.
Why Mario would associate a racing car with the Roman god of the sea is one of those synaptic misfires mostly appreciated by liberal-arts majors. But it proved a good choice. By the time the brothers introduced their stunning A6GCS road car, Maserati automobiles had become associated with a distinctive concave grille with chrome vertical fillets, lending their products the countenance of a jawfish gagging on tadpoles. Voilà! The marine connection was complete.
Fast-forward to 2008. Were Mario still painting today, he’d fling his palette in joy to behold an identical aquatically themed grille, with huge chrome trident still attached, adorning Maserati’s latest, greatest luxo-coupe. The GranTurismo is a Maserati Quattroporte with two fewer doors, a 4.8-inch shortening of the wheelbase, and Pininfarina styling so seductive that the kid running the Ann Arbor carwash wouldn’t afford passage until he photographed it with his cell phone.