Maserati appears ready to launch the mid-engined ‘4C’, which goes up against the Porsche 911, by 2015. It will be available with either V6 or V8 power. It will also be equipped with a chassis based on the upcoming Alfa 4C. Even if Maserati has yet to confirm the arrival of the ‘4C’, company officials have dropped hints that this type of model is necessary if it wants to achieve its growth targets in the future.
When interviewed by Autocar, Maserati chief Harald Wester said that the company is presently represented in only 21% of the luxury sports car market. He said that by 2015, it will attain 100% representation. It won’t be able to achieve this market coverage without a rival for the Porsche 911. The new mid-engined Maserati has a pivotal role in the automaker’s plans to post sales of 50,000 cars annually throughout the world by 2015, a huge jump from the 6159 cars it delivered in 2011.
Maserati seeks to hit this target via the new Quattroporte, a new BMW 5-series rival named Ghibli, the new Levante SUV and the rival to the 911 that’s yet to be confirmed. It’s speculated that the new mid-engined Maserati will be dubbed as the GranSport. But whatever its name is, it will be available with either a twin-turbo V6 or a twin-turbo V8, with around 450bhp and 550bhp on offer. The target kerb weight is believed to be lower than 1400kg.
Even if the V6 model is meant to have rear-wheel drive, it’s possible that the V8 will be offered with the option of four-wheel drive, similar to how the Quattroporte is offered in certain markets.
Considering the close alliance between Ferrari and Maserati, it’s likely that it will come with a dual-clutch auto gearbox. But there will be no chance for the car to be priced or designed to be pitted against Maranello’s own mid-engined V8. This suggests that it will be priced at lower than £100,000 and that it will be a bit more luxurious than a Ferrari.
Porsche 911 Carrera’s artistic evolution is very evident in every angle. From the side, a new styling is highlighted along with a larger set of alloy wheels and a convex widescreen which gives it a more coupé-like character that is jauntier than ever. It also features larger side air intakes and improved headlights in its widened front end. Its extended rear spoiler also adds to a greater power output in Carrera models. Along with aerodynamic optimizations, the exceptional cd value is retained but the LED rear lights are redesigned to conclude the car’s rear profile.
The 911 Carrera sets a new benchmark in the Porsche Intelligent Performance with its lightweight aluminum-steel body and new functions and components which benefit the driving dynamics and efficiency equally.
This model is the first ever passenger car worldwide to debut the seven-speed manual transmission which is based on the optional seven-speed module. The first six gears provide for the driver’s acceleration capability and the seventh gear provides further fuel economy with its quasi overdrive capabilities.
911 Carrera is also the very first sport car Porsche has designed which boasts the new auto start or stop function. With this system, up to 0.6 liters in every 100 kilometers can be saved based on the New European Driving Cycle or the NEDC. This function always comes with the standard PDK as well as the manual transmission.
It is also equipped with the new joint thermal management system designed for engine and transmission which can help reduce the fuel consumption by 0.35 l/100 km. Its new and improved cooling design not only dispenses with the ventilation openings in its underbody but also provides aerodynamic advantages that benefit the car’s overall performance.