2010 Top Gear Awards: Cabriolet of the Year
Gorgeous 440bhp V8 Maserati GranCabrio shatters the peace in rural China...
Posted: 14 Jan 2011
Outside again, the Maserati is caked in a fine layer of dust, an essential part of the Beijing motoring experience. Go back to the auditorium, and buy some glass cleaner.
Munching on sponge fingers as the mechanised suburbs fall away, with the roof now down, the GranCabrio sucks in our first taste of proper rural China. The heavy smog of the city seems not just miles, but generations away from the clean, crisp, autumnal atmosphere of the villages around Huairou, due north of Beijing. Here, small pockets of agricultural housing pepper a vast landscape of fields and reservoirs. In the distance, pale blue and hazy, densely wooded hills create a backdrop so theatrical in its picture-postcard perfection that it might have been glued there for our benefit.