By  on November 19, 2007

In an age where customized details are a boon to sophisticated consumers, the new Maserati Gran Turismo is to the auto industry what couture is to fashion.  

Designed by the legendary Andrea Pininfarina, the Gran Turismo was presented in March at the Geneva Motor Show and, thanks to a full package of class, style, curves, power and tailor-made accoutrements, immediately roared onto the road to success.

“The mission that I had with Maserati was to show a strong commitment to the values of the brand while moving forward,” says Pininfarina, chairman of the namesake company.

Founded in 1914 by seven brothers (some of whom were race car drivers themselves), the Modena, Italy–based Maserati is now under the Fiat Group umbrella. Its famous 3500 GT model launched in 1957 was a favorite of Anthony Quinn, Rock Hudson, Prince Rainier III of Monaco and Tony Curtis. The new Maserati, which is  popular with female drivers, thanks to its six-gear automatic version, competes with the Mercedes CL 500, the BMW 650i and the Jaguar XKR, among others. Unlike its competitors, though, Maserati’s total production of 5,700 units this year allows for a quality-over-quantity slant, with each hand-assembled car taking an average of two months to make.

And, while there is a standard palette of 19 color options for the exterior, Maserati’s technicians will reproduce diligently up to four million different shades for the truly picky. The matching game continues inside with the carpets, trimming and stitching. Anything from a family crest to a favorite flower can replace Maserati’s trident logo, which is hand-embossed on the headrests, while the seats are upholstered with Poltrona Frau leathers. To top it all off, Ferragamo has designed a set of five unisex travel pieces especially for the car’s trunk space. Inspired by the front radiator cowling, the luggage comes in two materials and four colors, including Maserati’s iconic blue.

When designing the car, Pininfarina made sure engineers didn’t allow the sporty aspect to overshadow space—the Gran Turismo’s total length is a comfortable 16 feet. The car also boasts a 4,244 cc V8 engine that propels the vehicle to 177 miles per hour and its headlights are composed of 96 LED, which helps take the stress out of nighttime driving.

More than 1,400 of the cars, priced at $165,000 each, will be delivered by yearend, while the 2,500 orders on hand already have exceeded expectations.

“The Maserati Gran Turismo echoes the philosophy of the great Maseratis of the past, in particular the 1947 A6 and the 1957 3500GT,” says Roberto Ronchi, chief executive officer and general manager of Maserati SpA. “The underlying philosophy appears evident from its name: The new Maserati Gran Turismo is actually a sports car that is a thrill to drive but makes no compromises when it comes to onboard functionality and comfort

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