In my last blog entry I raved about BMW's 335i convertible and talked about how I wish Lexus' newly-launched IS 300C would be part of their test fleet in the future. When I think about my newfound appreciation for convertibles I'm reminded of how little options there are in our country, which , while understandable, is still lamentable. If topdown compact sedans from BMW and Lexus offered so much fun, I could only imagine how the bigger convertibles would feel. And since we're in fantasy territory by now, the car I want to take for a spin is this: This is the Maserati GranCabrio, the first four-seater convertible in the carmaker's history. I've always admired Maserati as a car company. They're not as flashy as Ferrari, but you get most of the performance, more exclusivity, and the same Italian motoring flavor. And the names are just a delight to pronounce. GranCabrio. GranTurismo. Quattroporte. During lunch with Jett Pangan for his Car-Struck article (what a day), he said he admired the Italian language because Quattroporte literally means "four doors" in their language. But when you say Maserati Quattroporte there's a sense of drama that is worlds apart from saying "Ford Four Doors." Like the rest of the Maserati lineup--all two of them--the GranCabrio is stunning. The lines are smooth, the design is balanced with no unsightly bulges or discordant shapes, and the rear is as tidy as a grandmother's kitchen. Maybe the fact that the top is canvas instead of a mechanical hardtop contributed to its neatness when packed in the back. A 4.7-liter V8 engine powers the GranCabrio, and the press release says it is the convertible with the longest wheelbase in the market. This should make sure the friends who go along for the ride are still your friends after a long drive. It's not far fetched that one of these will reach our shores. It's pretty far fetched that I will get to drive one. But whenever I think of the perfect driving day, a convertible always pops up. And cars like these only fuel those tendencies.
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