What car would you buy if you won the lottery?

2012, Maserati, Gran Turismo MC & Sport

"Pleasure is man's transition from a state of less perfection to a state of greater perfection." Baruch Spinoza

Anyone who has ever played the lottery has asked themselves that question. There are those that imagine other people doing the menial work while they drive up to their palatial estate, wrapped in white Armani, in a brand new super luxury car, or as I call them, the lottery cars.

I would buy two new cars: 2012 Maserati Gran Turismo MC and a Chevy Volt. The Chevy Volt for the technology, the Maserati because it is a construction of brilliance and beauty.

There were 11.2 million light vehicles sold in 2010. 1.4 million of those vehicles were considered luxury vehicles. Of those 1.4 million, 58,000 of those vehicles sold were high luxury vehicles, vehicles that cost over $70,000. None of those are lottery cars.

The lottery sales are inside the 58,000 high luxury vehicles. The lottery cars are super luxury vehicles that cost over $100,000. Only 21,000 Super luxury vehicles were sold last year. As Rob Allen, Director of Product planning, said, "the air is thin in that category, the segment is exclusive."

One hundred percent of Maseratis sold are in the lottery car segment. Maserati sold about ten percent of those 21,000 super luxury vehicles. 2,035 Maseratis were sold in 2010 in North America (United States and Canada) anywhere from $126,000 to $143,000.

Sales for the entire auto industry were up eleven percent by the end of 2010, but in luxury cars sales were only up 4 percent. In 2011 Maseratis sells are up 21.3 percent year to date. And Maserati is bringing out two new cars. New product is what garners the big sales.

The 2012 model year holds two new vehicles for Maserati: 2012 Maserati Gran Turismo MC and the 2012 Maserati Gran Turismo S(port) convertible.

The 2012 Maserati Gran Turismo MC would be my lottery car. The new Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale will be the fastest, lightest and most powerful car in the Maserati portfolio. Inspired by the legendary Maserati Trofeo GranTurismo MC and the race-winning GT4 motorsport models, the MC boasts a top speed of 185 miles per hour and a 0-60 of 4.8 seconds.

The MC comes from the Maserati Corse, Maserati's racing department. Maserati took the Gran Turismo S Automatic, combined all the great parts of the Maserati Gran Turismo Trofeo that they've learned from the track, and delivered the Gran Turismo MC.

Racing cars are known for optimal balance. The 49/51 weight distribution gives the MC an elegant ride no matter the speed. The integrated lip spoiler in the deck lid gives another fifty percent downforce at 125 miles per hour, keeping the car on all four. It is the largest spoiler on any Maserati.

The father of the MC and Director of Product planning, Rob Allen, worked with Maserati to bring this car to production in the United States. The rear bumper was redesigned, the tail pipes were repositioned. The combination of steel, carbon fiber and aluminum throughout the body is a statement in strength and aerodynamics.

The carbon fiber interior trim is only one of the ways Maserati took weight away. Ten pounds were taken away through the newly formed alloy wheels. Another twelve pounds was taken away from the exhaust system. Allen told me that they could have made the car lighter by using carbon ceramic brakes, but Maserati doesn't think they work as well on the road.

Design

Aerodynamic is the key word in design. A racing car needs to stay low to the ground. The air intakes on the front hood bleed off air pressure for better dynamics. The front bumper that looks like it is in a perennial smile is actually an integrated splitter that adds 25 percent more downforce at 125 miles per hour. Not that the colleague that was driving with me would need it. I can attest to the fact that no police officers pulled either of us over going that fast.

Engine

Maserati is streamlining their engine offerings. All new cars will get the retuned 4.7-liter V-8 engine with 444 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque. Andrea Soriani, Director of Marketing and Communications, said that ninety-five percent of Maserati's customers ordered the 4.7-liter. Drive the car and you know why. Push the MC-etched aluminum pedal down and feel the torque kick in. Eighty percent of the maximum torques is available at 2,500 rpm and will stay there all the way to redline, around 7,200 rpm.

Fuel economy is 12 city/ 19 highway and 15 combined miles per gallon.

Transmission

The MC autoshift transmission is the only transmission offered on the Maserati. It is a 6-speed automatic transmission that has gear shifts taken to 200 millimeters of a second. Six distinct gear shifts with a torque converter. On the downshift, between 3rd and 2nd gear Maserati incorporates Doppietta. Doppietta sounds like a couple scoops of gelato, but it's actually a burst of gasoline that helps to balance out the weight transfer in the gear change. But just like the little aahhh you have as the gelato plastic spoon leaves the tip of your tongue you have the same sound from the engine while downshifting. Ba-baahhh!

There are paddle shifters for manual mode. It's a true manual that, when in manual sport, holds the gears even when the engine reaches its rev limiter. It also has a digital in-dash display indicating ideal gearshift timing. You can stealth down the street by keeping the car in automatic. But the manual sport mode is the third string on a Stradivarius violin, the string the entire car is tuned to operate around.

2012 Maserati Gran Turismo S(port) convertible

The Sport Convertible is the first 4-seat convertible Maserati has ever built. Maserati says that the torsional rigidity (27.2 Hz) is better than its best competition (25 Hz). The backseats are angled at 23 degrees so you're not sitting straight up.

The exterior design is a bit more masculine, the interior still has the elongated trofeo design gearshift paddles in carbon fiber that are on the steering column, not the wheel.

The MSRP for the 2012 Maserati Gran Turismo MC is $143,400 and the 2012 Maserati Gran Turismo S(port) convertible MSRP is $142,000 plus destination, tax and gas guzzler tax.

Maserati's heritage is based on performance, understated elegance, exclusivity and the unmistakable melodic notes of a Maserati. Beauty remains undeniable. I just need to win the lottery.

By Lou Ann Hammond
11/10/2011 12:00 am

More Maserati car reviews?

Images of the 2012, Maserati Gran Turismo MC & Sport

2012 Maserati Gran Turismo MC
2012 Maserati Gran Turismo MC
the cockpit
the cockpit
great paddle shifters
great paddle shifters
naturally beautiful
naturally beautiful