Maserati CEO wants a mid-engined sports car to take on the Porsche 911 Turbo

Article by Christian A., on May 1, 2012

It appears that Fiat wants to take things even further with its Maserati brand as the Italian carmaker wants a mid-engined sports car in order to take on the mighty Porsche 911. According to our Italian sources, it appears that the upcoming sports car will debut in 2015 and will feature a carbon chassis as well as a V8 engine.

Harald Wester, CEO of Maserati and Alfa Romeo has some ambitious plans and he seems committed to refresh the lineup. With a price of less than 150,000 the new Maserati will take on cars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Audi R8, and will be the perfect fit for the market place left untouched by the more expensive Ferrari brand.

As we said, the car is expected to receive a V8 engine, more exactly a 4.7-liter V8, mated to a dual-clutch gearbox derived from Ferrari. The bad news is that the car is only an idea and will be proposed by Harald Wester at the board meeting.

While the Maserati GranTurismo Sport already has an athletic quality to it, the brand redesigned its bodywork in order to further improve this quality. By redesigning the bumper in the front for instance, its appearance improved even further. This is mainly through the use of a new style element that is able to combine the space present in the middle of the standard oval grille and the new headlights.

In addition, the redesign also meant that the airflow would be enhanced as well as have the cooling of its front brakes improved. Under the body, the new GranTurismo Sport has the Sport Skyhook system for its suspension. While it does have the continuous damping control system like in other cars, the one inside this new model has been advanced to a point wherein driving is not just fun but is more reactive.

This new system also meant that comfort for the occupants inside is increased. It allows for two modes with the NORMAL mode making the suspension adapt the damping continuously and thus absorb the road’s roughness giving a smoother ride. The second is the SPORT model where the new model can quickly respond with accuracy to any input made by the driver.

Regardless of what mode is chosen, both reveal that the new GranTurismo Sport has excellent handling capability as it is able to deliver on comfort regardless of driving conditions and mix it with sports performance. Under the hood of the new GranTurismo Sport is the truly powerful 4.7-liter V8 engine with maximum output of 460 hp (338 kW) and top torque at 520 Nm.

These are then paired to two kinds of transmissions which is the automatic 6-speed ZF and the electro-actuated 6-speed gearbox that has the dry twin-plate clutch. The latter however is not offered in the North American market.

The first transmission is all about offering better driving comfort while retaining performance with the second transmission being more focused on the driving experience. Thus, when equipped with the electrically-activated gearbox, the presence of the MC Shift technology allows for gear changes at a faster rate, with estimates showing it to be faster by 100 ms.

With this gearbox, the GranTurismo Sport can go from 0 km/h to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds with maximum speed recorded at 300 km/h. For the automatic transmission, it has the MC Auto Shift management software, ensuring that performance is just as excellent.

This management software is the same one fitted in the Quattroporte Sport GT S and the GranCabrio Sport. Through this, acceleration starts from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds with maximum speed at 298 km/h. What is even more interesting is that despite the performance, fuel consumption, and even emissions, were not compromised.

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