The Maserati Gran Turismo is a true survivor of the motoring world. It’s clung on in there for 12 years, still rocking a naturally-aspirated V8 while rivals have downsized and sprouted turbochargers.
It’s a dinosaur by all accounts, but a loveable one. And so, now Maserati has finally ended production, we can’t help but be a little sad. Happily, to ease our grief, a special model has been created.
The Maserati Gran Turismo Zeda is a one-off creation which will tour the world while the replacement is cooked up. It’s finished in “futuristic exterior shades” which according to Maserati “tells the story of the dawn of a new era through colours and materials”. It’s designed to be a “bridge which connects the past, the present and the future of the Brand,” the company says.
That ‘future’ will involve electrification, with certain versions of the next Gran Turismo to be purely battery-powered. Internal combustion will still be on the agenda, however.
Along its flanks, the Zeda changes not just in colour (blue to black to white) but also in finish. The surface shifts from light satin to what Maserati dubs a “burnished ‘metallurgic’ effect”. It’s an unusual-looking thing, but since it’s not on sale, it doesn’t need to convince any punters to depart with their cash. It’s all about maximum visual impact.
Mechanically, nothing has changed, so there’s still a 4.7-litre Ferrari-built V8 under the bonnet. It develops 455bhp, which is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox - an ancient ZF unit which will go out of production along with the Gran Turismo.
The now-empty production line won’t stay dormant for long - it’s already being thoroughly reworked for the Gran Turismo’s successor, which will be launched in 2020. It’ll be a smarter and no doubt superior machine, but will it sound quite so wonderful? We remain doubtful.