GRAND TOURER: A recent drive in the GranCabrio Sport was just what writer Sean Parker needed. Image: Wheels24 / Sean Parker
Cape Town - It seems almost every test car we receive is turbocharged.
From small hatchbacks to luxury sedans and even bakkies, automakers are striving to offer more power while using less fuel.
The war on emissions, large capacity engines, and noise means naturally aspirated engines are as rare as Portugal scoring at a soccer tournament.
Yes, being a car enthusiast that can enjoy the sound of a V8, V10 or V12 engine (sans forced induction) is fast becoming a distant memory.
For goodness sake, even Formula 1 cars are turbocharged.
In 2016, automakers are building three-cylinder ladybugs that sound more like an orchestral flute than anything else.
A recent opportunity to drive Maserati's GranCabrio Sport reminded me why I love cars. Its canvas roof, elegant lines, deep gaping grille and the passione from its V8 engine.
It was also in my favourite colour/interior combo: 'Blu Oceano' and tan leather.
The GranCabrio is a genuine Grand Tourer, a cabriolet capable of seating four adults in supreme comfort while eating up the kilometres.
It doesn't pretend to be a sports car or a supercar.
It's authentic, just like its F136Y engine. Displacing 4691cc, it uses a wet sump and a crossplane crankshaft and delivers a delicious 343kW.
0-100km/h in 5 seconds
But it's not about the power, the 0-100km/h time (5 seconds) or its top speed of 285km/h.
It's the noise of the V8 that dominates the driving experience like a massive slice of chorizo on a mini pizza.
A simple tug on the paddle-shifts evokes a roar only heard in the Serengeti.
The pops and bangs that fire out on the overrun cause millennials to halt their Pokemon GO adventures and look up momentarily.
Maserati's V8 engine has an old school charm, that must be enjoyed: