Test Drive: Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport 2015

Courtesy Maserati

There’s a new type of top-down cruiser on the rise, and this plush four-seater, put to the test on a winding drive through the Adirondack Mountains, is leading the charge.

Most daydreams of driving a sleek, new convertible feature picture-perfect, sun-drenched coastal highways with impeccable water views and tunes you can sing to. But when you’re behind the wheel of the new Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Sport, a car that rockets to 60 miles-per-hour in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 177 miles-per-hour, the challenges presented by the roads weaving through New York’s Adirondack Mountains offer an experience even more ideal—especially on a sunny autumn day, without another car in sight.

The 2015 GranTurismo Convertible Sport is the latest iteration of a car that first appeared in 2007. Eight years later, the vehicle now represents a class of convertible whose time may be coming. While many convertibles of the past tend to be two-seaters that can sometimes accommodate a pair of small children in the rear, The GranTurismo Convertible Sport is roomy enough for four adults. (It’s not alone in its thinking: Mercedes-Benz’s forthcoming S-class convertible and Rolls-Royce’s new Dawn model are also both built around the idea of the convertible as a roomy touring vehicle.)

With the soft top down, the changing leaves and High Peaks of the Adirondacks are visible in all their majesty. And though those views are great for my passengers, my eyes are focused forward. At speed, these mountain paths offer a series of tight turns, long curves, and changes in elevation that demonstrates the car’s effective “Skyhook” system, which automatically adapts to your driving style and the road’s conditions to maintain a stable ride. Accelerate to pass another vehicle on a two-lane road and the 454-horsepower, V-8 engine growls like one of the black bears living in the surrounding forest. Settle back into a cruising speed and the engine purrs happily, a blessing for passengers who might prefer a less overwhelming cacophony of potency during an idyllic ride. Either way, they’ll be riding in style thanks to the exquisite wood trim and comfortable leather seats that define the cabin interior—though I might forego the optional trident logo stitching on the headrests. The emblem on the front grille sufficiently marks the car’s distinctive Italian provenance.

The GranTurismo Convertible Sport may have room for four adults but the cargo area doesn’t have space for one bag apiece, so a day trip with minimal shopping in on the agenda. I find myself wistfully wishing the rear seats could fold down to create additional cargo space, so I could embark on a top-down expedition rather than a top-down joyride—anything, really, to keep me in the car as long and as far as I can stay.

$188,690 as driven; maseratiusa.com.