Maserati, together with the likes of Lancia (and to a certain extent Alfa Romeo) has been on a long hibernation as far as the ability to make proper sports car that won’t spent more time with the mechanics as with it’s owner.
But when Ferrari bought Maserati in 1999, things slowly began to change. In 2004, Quattroporte was launched to much fanfare as a Ferrari-inspired 4-doors sports saloon. The meaty V8 roar was all present and many have bought it as a practical daily family car as well as the ability to satisfy one’s aspiration to mimic Michael Schumacher on the track! It became sort of a sales success while the likes of Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide were still on drawing board.
For me, the Quattroporte didn’t much tickle my emotion, mostly because of it’s gearbox as well as it’s slightly off proportion shape (though it was designed by Pinifarina). That changed when Maserati launched the GranTurismo last year. The car reaches our shore sometime early this year and when I first saw it on the road, it was like…WOW! The first thing that catches my eyes were the unmissable Manta Ray grill. The rear was redesigned and the whole exterior looked a whole lot better. The interior tho is still a 2nd rated stuff…the new Audis have much better made & designed interior!
Back to the car…the owner have brought in for a complete paintwork touch-up as well as getting it properly protected from the elements. He have previously sent it to one of those “3-years super sealant thingy” but after 4 months decided he had enough and wanted us to remove those “layers” and get it properly polished & maintained the traditional method.
We started by getting the car thoroughly washed and clayed…
…then measured the paint thickness and check the quality of the paintwork. We found the front bonnet and the rear boot lid to be full of machine swirls and deep watermarks but the rest of the car seems OK.
After running some heavy polish to correct the affected areas, 2 coats of SmartSealant was applied with curing time of 2 hours under the sun for each layer. We then top it off with a layer of boutique wax to bring out the “blackness” of the paint. Unfortunaely, by the time we completed the whole works, it was rather late and the sky was overcast so I couldn’t capture the real glossiness of the paintwork…doh!
We have also applied a paint protection film to both the headlamps and the fog lights to prevent any undesired stone chips.
Compared to the new S5 (that was launched just 2 days ago)…which will you buy? The GranTuismo sells for over S$420k while the brilliant S5 can be had for a mere S$245k.
The Audi just seems to be much better made, better interior fittings, 4 wheels Quattro drive train (which I personally favours), meaty and brilliant 4.2L engine (a slight detuned version of the block found in it’s RS4 and Q8 ) and couple with around S$150k lower sticker price…I’ll go for the 4 Rings rather than the Trident in front of my car!
Heart the Maserati wins (for sheer desirability)…head I will go for the Audi everytime (just because it’s better made and much better value IMO)!