Not a derivative, but a new sports model in its own right with a very distinct character. This is how the Pininfarina-designed Maserati GranCabrio was conceived from the start, as design director Lowie Vermeersch explains: “When you look at it, you immediately think that it was born a cabriolet, in spite of industrial necessities – a natural feel that is not easy to achieve”.
For this very reason, the study stage began with sketches, as it would for an all-new car. “We wanted to explore every possibility, to understand how to give the car its own unique character without revealing the constraints of parentage with the GranTurismo”, recalls chief designer Guglielmo Cartia, who headed the project.
“At the same time, however, we wanted to maintain the strong styling cues we had defined for Maserati, with which we have designed the entire existing range, such as the grille, the air vents in the fenders and the triangular C-pillar. This latter feature in particular was replicated by adopting a fabric roof.”
The elements that were to be shared with the GranTurismo, however, were clearly defined from the outset. The whole front volume, for example, was to be kept unaltered, while in the tail – the area, together with the roof, where the majority of the work was done – the light clusters and bumpers were to be carried over.
“We were starting from a coupé with a bold design that is admired for its formal elegance, so we weren’t about to deny the merits of that style”, continues Vermeersch. “Every now and again you need to know when not to design, rather than run the risk of overdesigning. Our goal was to ensure that the new cabrio will retain all of its freshness and its perfect balance between sportiness and elegance well into the future – as you would expect from Pininfarina style.”
The article continues in Auto & Design no. 182