With perhaps the Levante being the sole exception, Maserati’s model line-up hasn’t seen much change over the past few years. This is exemplified most by the GranTurismo and GranCabrio, a pair of V8-powered GTs that have stayed with the marque for the past 12 years.
Many have been asking when, if ever, the Italian brand would replace the ageing duo in light of the far many newer and, frankly, more competent alternatives. With the GranTurismo Zéda, which fittingly means the letter Z in the Modena dialect, Maserati has partially answered that question.
It’s purported as the final edition of GranTurismo as we've come to know it, being described as a “bridge which connects the past, present, and future” according to the automaker. However, because the model is much less of a car of the moment than its peers and that we have not seen nor heard anything concrete about a true successor, we view this as a long overdue retirement.
So far as we can tell, Maserati aren’t exactly pulling out all the stops to send the 2+2 coupe off into the sunset, merely distinguishing the Zéda with a special blend of shades in a uniquely coloured exterior paint finish. Otherwise, the Pininfarina-designed body is unchanged from the standard GranTurismo and looks near identical to its 2017 facelift.
A “metallurgic” effect is invoked, so says the Centro Stile Maserati, as the Zéda is observed from its rear section to the front, shifting gradually from white to a satin grey to a deep blue that looks to be a mixture of pearlescent and metallic.
Mechanically, as we have been conditioned to expect with Maserati’s sporty offerings, the car is powered by the same naturally aspirated 4.7-litre Ferrari F136 V8 engine with updates taken from the MC Stradale for a 338kW and 520Nm output, sending power rearward via a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission sourced from ZF.
Charismatic and sonorous though the motor is, it can’t be denied that it simply cannot compete on sheer pace against pretty much every rival. And this is only exacerbated by the general lack of finesse delivered through the chassis, and the annual improvements made by Maserati over the years only serve as incremental progress.
The Zéda is also one of the last cars to be produced at Maserati’s Modena site, soon to undergo renovations in order to accommodate the more sophisticated cars the brand plans to produce in volume in the years to come. Insofar as the GranTurismo and GranCabrio’s mysterious new heir is concerned, they will emerge from the manufacturing hub in Turin.
Interestingly, Maserati has not detailed any changes to the Zéda’s interior despite this arguably deserving some measure of special treatment given the finality of the model generation it represents.
The company hints at a direct replacement that will embrace “a new era of electrification”, though whether these will carry on the GranTurismo/GranCabrio names are still unknown. Maserati doesn’t have a great track record of making their minds up about what to call their sporty GTs either.