GT Showdown: Maserati GranTurismo vs. Bentley Continental GT 80-11
With so many beautiful exotic car rentals in our collection, we often pose some tough decisions to our members and renters. You might come in knowing that you want to experience nothing other than a Ferrari or you may realize that your exotic car lifestyle experience could be satisfied by a group of options. Well, when it comes to GT's, two of our newest exotic cars could pose you a headache when trying to decide between the two, those being the Bentley Continental GT rental (80-11 Special Edition) and the Maserati Gran Turismo. So, how do they compare? While both offer similarities in amenities and performance, there are many nuances that just might sway you toward one or the other. Let's take a look.
First up we have the Maserati Gran Turismo, the newer addition to our paddock of the two beautiful GT's. Our 2011 model year Maserati marks the refresh given to the Gran Turismo and the first factory-produced four-seat soft-top in the automaker's 96-year history. So, what difference did dropping the top make on the Gran Turismo. Expectedly, the engineering behind a convertible adds a bit of weight and reduces cargo room in the back but its efficiency and the beauty it adds to the Maserati more than makes up for it. In addition, the Gran Turismo still maintains its ideal 49/51 weight distribution. Plus, excuse the associations and pun, but seeing the Gran Turismo with its top off will get any enthusiast's heart beating a little faster. The Maserati's tendency to increase blood pressure doesn't end there.
Fitted with a Ferrari-derived 4.7 liter V8, this sexy Italian sprints to 60 in 5 seconds and takes you past 170 mph. And though we never turn our noses up at speed and power, it is the sounds of this one that perhaps trumps any of its performance merits. Starting with a twangy V8 burble, the tune seamlessly transforms from a deep grunt and thins out to a full-fledged Italian scream by the time you hit its 7500 RPM redline. Oh, and there's nothing better than a canvas top to let all that sound in gracefully. On the road our Gran Turismo rental proves ample at flinging you around corners. Tug on the left column-mounted shift paddle and the transmission responds with an immediate blip and downshift mated with a steering feel with tactile feedback. You'd think that with a length that is more than the Bentley's that handling would be something of an issue, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Inside, the car offers beautiful tan hides and dark brown wood accents, both of which complement the grey exterior beautifully. Though luxurious, the Maserati benefits from a tight, firm, and sporty disposition that is not surprising from an exotic Italian brand. Let's switch gears for a moment and head over to the big, bad Bentley Continental GT 80-11 Special Edition.
First and foremost we must note that this is no ordinary Bentley Continental GT (as if a “normal” one is some sort of downgrade, psh). In fact, we're happy to the offer the exclusive 80-11 special edition. Unveiled during the 60th Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, the 80-11 and is 1 of only 80 built in 2011 (hmm the 80-11 numbering is not so mysterious anymore). Featured on the car is a set of stunning 20” 14-spoke wheels with unique black Bentley center caps. Bentley’s British heritage is also spotlighted on the convertible with tasteful Union Jack brightware badging on the front fenders. One of the most unique features is the one-off paint, dubbed “Midnight,” that is coupled with a dark grey soft top.
Equipped with Bentley’s purr-fect twin-turbo W12 motor, the GTC’s stats mirror those of the GT coupe with 552 HP & 479 lb. ft. of torque, making it good for a sprint to 60 in under 5 seconds. Oh, and we should add that all of those 479 chassis-twisting lb. ft. of torque are available at only 1,600 RPM. So whether scooting around the boulevard or smashing the throttle on backroads, the GTC feels strong, forceful and confident in its luxuriousness. Again, while its luxurious demeanor may catch your eye first, you won’t find a better handling and sporty convertible of this weight; it is over 1,000 pounds heavier than the Maserati.
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So, you're faced with choosing between these two beautiful convertible GT's, now which will it be? Well, as many can see, both offer up comparable loads of power and luxury but it is their difference personalities that set them apart. Both cars benefit from very strong genes and strong heritages, one British and one Italian. So, for a touch more of that British luxury, you may want to opt for the Bentley. On the other hand, for a touch more of that Italian aggressiveness, you may want to opt for the Maserati. Either way, drop the top and let the sun shine on either one of these and we guaruntee a big smile will be put on your face.
– Evan W.