Two plus two equals four, unless I'm very much mistaken in which case I get to sue my childhood school and finally take away something useful from that place.
But no, my New Year's resolution of making a million bucks (like every year) will have to wait, because everyone, including Google, agrees that two plus two is indeed four. Except car manufacturers, of course.
Car manufacturers will claim the same mathematical equalities as the rest of the world, except that their equalities are more equal than others. Let's take the new BMW 6 Series as an example: a modern GT like the best of them that seats 2+2 people. In theory. (To be exact not in theory, but in the marketing brochure.) In practice, putting two whole people in the back is harder than stuffing a camping tent back into its bag after erection.
In the name of fairness we can take any Aston GT, any Jag XK or just about any other supposed 2+2 and conclude the same, er, conclusion. Some car manufacturers are economical with the truth. Not Maserati.
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Maserati, you see, makes a 2+2 that does what it says on the tin (although it doesn't actually have a chrome tailgate badge proclaiming its seating capability). And not only that; the newly-launched-in-the-GCC Gran Cabrio Sport seats four people while lavishing them with more headroom than they'd get inside the Pantheon. The sky's the limit, literally. Just drop the top.
And that's its other selling point. Hold a button down for a while (quite a while), and the Gran Cabrio Sport turns from a beautiful swan into an even more beautiful swan. Since this is a Sport model, Maserati also adorns the grille with black paint, while the famous trident receives red accents. The subtle headlight treatment, too, is exclusive to the Sport, and the addition of restrained body modifications (side skirts, corner splitters) add a touch of aggression to the Gran Cabrio's impossibly elegant lines.
Maserati offers enough interior options for everyone's Gran Cabrio to roll out of Modena unique, but the Sport gets more exclusive still. The paddle shifters, for example, are longer so you can satisfyingly stab and heave at them from just about any steering angle, and the Sport badge on the dashboard reminds your pretty passenger how lucky she is to be riding shotgun.
Yet, none of those changes really matter at all, because what truly makes this car is the synergy between its seating capability and the powertrain. You see, four people cruising in the Sport is basically like bagging four tickets to see Don Giovanni at La Scala, every day. Except, instead of a fat guy sweating and screaming on a stage, you get a 4.7-litre V8 herding its 450 horses with thunderous snaps of a whip made from unicorn hairs, and the horses are all worked-up Ozzy Osbournes. I wish I could explain exactly how climactic the sound of this glorious V8 is, but all that I can come up with is that every other internal combustion engine now sounds like a Bunsen burner in comparison.
I'm just curious to know why Maserati fitted a Sport button to the Gran Cabrio Sport, which is like marrying Scarlett Johansson with the option of seeing her in a see-through nightie. Why is it optional? Sport mode should be a clause ingrained in the warranty, as in the warranty is void if you switch Sport mode off. Firstly, the Sport mode infuriates those Osbournes and unicorn-hair-whips into a frenzy, and secondly… Who cares? First is reason enough.
For the sound and the genuine 2+2 seating ability alone, the Maserati Gran Cabrio Sport makes sense. Never mind the 10bhp power increase or the faster-shifting MC Auto Shift transmission (jerky, I would say, rather than faster-shifting), or in fact the 0-100kph sprint time of 5.2 seconds and the 285kph top speed. Never mind also that I completely omitted telling you about this Maser's dynamic capabilities, because frankly speaking there are many better-handling drop-tops and GTs out there — take your pick from the previously mentioned BMW, Aston or Jag. The unique selling point of this car is what'll get you. Once your ears get addicted, no amount of cold turkey (or any other holiday leftovers) will dull the cravings.
Maserati doesn't claim the Gran Cabrio Sport is the best convertible, or the fastest GT. It claims to accommodate four occupants, and look (and sound) glorious while doing it. The truth is so refreshing.