Cars and sex: it's time to confess. I have never really grasped the connection. I can see how a Corvette's wavy waist is supposed to evoke a reclining woman, or that the Edsel Ford's face, for some reason probably connected with its designer's disturbed id, was designed to look like a lady's, er, feminine bits. I can even, at a stretch, kind of see how people think an E-Type is phallic (I have yet to see a penis with headlamps and a number plate – but perhaps I just don't go to the right clubs). But as far as actually using a car to get sex, I haven't figured that one out, I'm afraid. Dangle your Ferrari key fob at the nightclub bar? Flirt while driving? Think of the logistics! No, that only really happens in Elvis movies and, frankly, Elvis could have flirted successfully while entombed within an iron maiden.
But then the new Maserati GranTurismo appeared outside my door. It certainly had its wicked way with me. I was instantly transformed into one of those sex-crazed wolves from old Warner Brothers cartoons, my eyes bursting out of my skull on stalks, my tongue unfurling like a red carpet. I haven't slobbered that much since I had root canal surgery. I simply could not take my eyes off the thing. If any car is going to turn you into a red-hot, foxy love god, it is one of these V8 Ferrari-engined babies (see, I'm already using the word "babies" as if I were some kind of porn actor).
No wonder there is a year's waiting list. Fiat, which took over the running of the company from Ferrari last year, is talking about sales hitting the 10,000 mark by next year and Maserati, helped by a triumphant return to the American market, is making a profit for the first time since Fangio's day.
The night it arrived, my wife came over all affectionate with me for the first time since Gordon Brown took office. It was definitely the GranTurismo I had to thank. It is obscene in a good way – the raunchiest amalgam of metal, glass, rubber and leather since Cher straddled an aircraft carrier. If you stand next to one while holding its key, I promise you can't help but become sexier by proxy.
This is doubly amazing because the £78,500 (cheaper than that Saudi shopping trolley, the Mercedes CL500) GranTurismo is actually quite a fatty, bulging over the boundaries of even the most generous parking space, like Aretha Franklin in hot pants. It carries it well, though. It has the coiled sensual grace of a horny otter and, with a top speed of almost 180mph, the performance to match.
So the Maserati is the kind of car to make a man of, well, even me. It is the kind of car that one can, for instance, all too easily imagine Nicolas Sarkozy ordering to amuse and impress Carla Bruni. Now there's a man who needs to get himself a GranTurismo. Either that, or a pair of headlamps and a number plate. If you know what I mean ...Reuse content