Open-air seating for four in the Maserati GranCabrio - and surely one of the most breathtaking cabriolets ever to take to the road
The film rolling in your head will probably involve you and a partner, or you alone, and almost certainly won't feature anyone on your fantasy wheels' back bench.
But the reality is that plenty of us need the convenience of multiple seats, even when living the dream, which is why Maserati's strategy is always to sell glamorous cars with room for four, and quite generous room at that.
So the Modenese company's latest GranCabrio, a soft-top version of its GranTurismo coupé, has four seats and enough space around them to render the back pair genuinely comfortable.
True, the boot will struggle to swallow the luggage of one light packer, but this convertible is more usable than most in its class.
And it is also, surely, the most beautiful, its svelte Pininfarina lines proportioned to perfection and crowned with an elegant fabric hood that furls to nothing in 28 seconds – and at up to 19mph, too.
Though instantly recognisable as a sister to the GranTurismo, substantial chunks of the GranCabrio are new.
Much of its structure has been substantially buttressed to compensate for its decapitation, while all bodywork aft of the doors has been artfully sculpted to accommodate the hood and a pair of pop-up roll-over bars.
These actually burst through the rear screen to protect threatened crania in the event of a flip, to which end the windscreen has also been strengthened.
That these modifications add only 100kg to this Maserati is to the credit of the company's engineers - open-roof surgery usually adds between 150 and 190kg - although the GranCabrio's all-up weight is less impressive, at almost two tonnes.
Such heft affects the character of this car and 440bhp feels fast rather than savage when you sink the accelerator to the floor.
Such pursuits do little for fuel consumption that can fall the wrong side of 15mpg, but there are compensations, not least the delicious, reedy burble of a V8 that's more easily heard in a convertible.
It becomes more vocal still should you stab a Sport button that opens a baffle in the exhaust, sharpens the throttle response, enlivens the slick-shifting automatic transmission and stiffens the dampers' resolve.
This allows a rather large car to course through bends with some verve, and if it lacks the agility and high-energy feedback of say, the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, there's no question that it's exciting to drive hard.
The added frisson of the odd ESP-controlled powerslide and the exhaust's ricochet from passing architecture all adds to the thrill.
But this Maserati's finest quality is the ability to transport its occupants to a better place, literally and metaphorically, simply because it's beautiful to behold and a wonderful travelling companion.
That it's comfortable, civilised, luxuriantly appointed and fast merely burnishes the promise of its looks, whether they are enjoyed by one, or four.
Maserati GranCabrio £95,630/on sale now
Power/torque 440bhp/361lb ft
Top speed 175mph
Acceleration 0-62mph in 5.4sec
Fuel economy 12.2mpg (urban)
Verdict Fast, glamorous travel for four. Shame about the fuel bills
Telegraph rating Four out of five
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