First Drive: Maserati GranCabrio

Richard Bremner

No question - this new, drop-top Maserati has to be one of the best-looking convertibles to hit the streets for years. Its sensuously curvaceous bodywork houses a 440bhp V8, a slick-shifting six-speed automatic with paddle shifts, electronically controlled suspension and room for four. Unlike many high-end convertibles, whose cramped rear seats are designed for a species that has yet to emerge, the sumptuously upholstered space in the rear half of the Maserati's cabin really will accommodate a couple of adults, and pretty comfortably too if they're 5ft 8in or under. The Italian company sees this space as a major advantage over the GranCabrio's competition, and it is, but it's the elegant Pininfarina styling that's more likely to lure buyers to showrooms. Especially as the Maserati's convenience is badly undermined by a boot that will struggle to accommodate the spoils of a weekend shop for two.