The Maserati GranCabrio is one seriously handsome car. It’s certainly the most exotic car available for less than £100,000 and the drama of the gaping, shark-like radiator grille, wide and low nose and Trident badge could only have been penned in Italy. This is a very long car – and it looks svelte from all angles, and there’s a choice of colours for the soft-top, giving customers the flexibility to alter the appearance of the GranCabrio quite considerably.

Style

The GranCabrio is one of the most elegant-looking cars on the road, with everything just right in its proportions and classy, subtle design cues like the signature triple air vents in the front wings. The range topping MC has its own unique additions to the Pininfarina bodywork to improve aerodynamics for better high speed stability as well as redesigned front and rear bumpers, all of which make it look more aggressive. The interior has a hand-made, bespoke feel to it with all the luxuries you’d expect from a near-£100,000 car. However, it is let down slightly by the controls for the stereo and sat-nav, which are beginning to look a little dated.

The Drive

No hairdresser’s ride this and notwithstanding the rag top, the GranCabrio is – like all products bearing the Trident badge – in reality a highly addictive blend of GT and sports car. Every drop-top looks good when it is coasting down a tree-lined avenue at a casual catching-a-tan pace, but this one also feels good when you feel like having a more juicy drive. All it takes to light up those fat Pirellis is a stab at the pretentious-sounding ‘Maserati Stability Program’ button which temporarily renders traction control jobless. The noise the V8 makes with the roof down is music to the ears and with the selector in Sport mode the experience becomes even more addictive. The engine note gets louder and deeper, and the exhaust pops and gurgles when you lift off the throttle.

On narrow roads the GranSport feels a bit inhibited – the steering’s quite slow calling for lots of twirling around tighter turns and there’s no disguising the weight of this car on really twisty roads.

Engine

The Maserati GranCabrio is powered by the 4.7-litre engine from the Granturismo S. Delivering 440bhp at 7000rpm and 490lb ft at 4750rpm, the gorgeous sounding V8 takes only 5.2sec to shove the Gran from zero to a spine tingling 62mph. Though not an out-and-out sports car like Ferrari, top speed is 177mph with the top up and 171mph in case you are brave (or mad) enough to keep the roof down. The weight distribution, too, will change as you raise or lower the lid, but it always remains rear-biased, which is exceptional for a front-engined car.

The Maserati GranCabrio is one of the most stunning looking cars on sale. It’s not perfect, with a tiny boot and thirsty engine, but this is still a hugely desirable four-seat convertible which turns as many heads as a Ferrari.

On The Road Price: From £98,315.

Maserati.co.uk