So you're a Formula 1 driver for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and you have the option of a company car. What do you choose? Fernando Alonso, a two time world champion and now a driver with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro basically chose something not red and not a Ferrari.
The Spanish driver had chosen a Maserati GranCabrio over Ferraris like the cabriolet Ferrari California or Gran Turismos like the the 599GT or even the 612 Scaglietti. Maybe after driving a Rosso Corsa coloured (that racing red) Ferrari for work Mr. Alonso has decided to go for something less flamboyant and more comfortable yet still within the Fiat Group but still without a fixed roof like the Ferrari he races for a living. Of course a Fiat 500cc would technically suffice but that would be too underwhelming for a world champion. So the GranCabrio with its elegant cabriolet fixtures, a darker shade of Grigio Granito (granite grey) for the exterior in combination with two-tone upholstery which is a combination of Pearl Beige and Bordeaux leather and a matching a soft top of the same shade is the champion's choice. A good choice of car (and colour) if you want to maintain some anonymity. It is luxurious yet understated as it won't turn as many heads as a red Ferrari, even with its top down.
I love the looks of the hardtop GranTurismo version. It has taken Maserati a few years to develop it into a soft top but I have to say that this cabriolet version is a worthy addition to the Maserati stable. The Maserati GranCabrio is a Maserati with Pininfarina coachwork and has near supercar performance. The GranCabrio has a V8 engine of 4.7 liters and 440 hp with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Maserati says it can do 175mph with its canvas (only, no hard top) top up and does the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.3seconds. As I said, the 0-100km/h figures is only near supercar performance but as its a cabriolet it won't matter most people buy cabriolets to cruise top down at some seaside holiday resort at less than ballistic speeds. I suppose the additional 100kgs that was added when engineering the GranCabrio from the GranTurismo had blunted the acceleration a little. Although the hardtop wasn't very light in the first place as it weighed 1890kgs.
Anyway, according to Maserati's media spokespeople, Mr. Alonso was particularly impressed by the space offered by the GranCabrio, perfect for four adult passengers. The GranCabrio is in fact the first four-seat convertible for Maserati. I noticed that most racing drivers always choose sensible cars to drive when they're not on the track. The late great Senna had a R107 500SL convertible as a daily driver instead of a out and out fire breathing monster. So I gather it is the same with Fernando Alonso.
The Maserati GranCabrio is being marketed throughout Europe starting in this month of March. Expect to see them in Singapore sometime soon. But expect to see Fernando Alonso in Sepang within the next few weeks driving his usual workhorse instead of this Maserati.