This is a game we like to play every now and then. It’s purely hypothetical and likely we’ll never need to make the difficult choice, but given that you can’t walk down Cheapside in London these days without spotting either a Maserati GranSport or an Aston Martin Vanquish S, it’s not a completely irrelevant question to pose.
Let’s agree that both are good cars. They’ll both get you from A to B, and they’ll both do it stylishly and quickly. (Here’s something we’ve come up with that could well be true: If A happens to be half a mile from B, you can get there in about 6 seconds in the Vanquish S.) But they are very different in almost every other way.
Maserati’s GranSport would appear to be the car of choice for the bonus-boys this year – no sooner had record earnings in the City of London been announced than orders were being placed in Mayfair. It’s an elegant but muscular sort of car notable for the sound of its dual-exhaust system which doesn’t so much purr as offer a ‘full-bodied rumble’. If you like your car the way you like your Barolo, this may be the motor for you. (As for the Barolo, we recommend Aldo Conterno Barolo Vigna Cicala 2001.)
The Aston Martin Vanquish S benefits from no longer being owned by Ford. That’s a great weight of our minds. It’s a little faster than the Maserati, with a maximum speed of 321 k/h, but that doesn’t matter when you’re stuck in traffic on Cheapside. It’s also a little more expensive (well, quite a bit more), but that doesn’t matter when the game you’re playing is only hypothetical. What’s so nice about the Aston Martin is that it’s possibly the sexiest car alive. Whereas the Maserati makes you want to look and listen, the Aston Martin makes you want to rub it and get your leg over it. Think J.G. Ballard’s novel Crash: the Vanquish S is automobile as pornography.
Much of the decision about Aston Martin or Maserati comes down to the details. Like, which has the better logo? Both are brilliant and both make fools of poor Ferrari. The Maserati with its cheeky, devilish trident, Aston Martin with its inspiring wings of freedom. The logos say a lot about each – the one more eye-catching and fun (read: Italian), the other more understated and reserved (read: British). In the end, we would probably go for the Aston Martin, simply because it’s older and history is all we have in this world.