Maserati GranTurismo S '08

Maserati's Gran Turismo S - not to be confused with the driving simulator of the same name - was unveiled at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show as the high-performance version of Maserati's handsome Gran Turismo coupe.

Although there's not much that visually separates the two cars, there are significant differences under the sheet metal; the most noteworthy of which being the drivetrain.

For starters, the displacement of the DOHC V-8 in the Gran Turismo S was increased to 4691 cc, 500 cc more than the base car. Mated to this revitalized power plant was a state-of-the-art semi-automatic gearbox dubbed "MC Shift". MC Shift allowed drivers the choice between a smooth-shifting automatic transmission befitting pure luxury car or a quick-shifting sequential manual transmission where shifting is performed via paddles on the steering wheel.

And because it was a transaxle (with the gearbox mounted on the rear differential side), the front/rear weight distribution was drastically improved, making the Gran Turismo a better handling machine.

Chassis setting for the Gran Turismo S were specially matched to the higher performance nature of this vehicle via a firmer, reinforced suspension and 6-piston brake calipers. Despite the two cars looking virtually identical, the Gran Turismo S possessed a more athletic nature than the base car, while still delivering luxury an elegance that has made the marquee famous for the nearly 100 years.

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