Maserati looks to the future
While the luxe Italian automaker unveiled only one vehicle, the GranCabrio MC, in Paris, it confirmed plans for three new vehicles down the road.
Maserati GranCabrio MC
Maserati unveiled only one new car here at the 2012 Paris Motor Show: the convertible version of its semi-supercar, the GranTurismo MC. Now dubbed GranCabrio MC, the new model gets the same focused looks and Ferrari-derived 4.7-liter V8 engine as the coupe, creating an intriguing alternative to a BMW M6.
But it was Maserati's announcement of planned model that generated the news. Confirmed for the first time here were details of the brand's new model strategy, which will include three new cars: the Quattroporte, the Ghibli and the Levante.
The new Quattroporte will be a replacement for the current car and an evolution of its luxury sports-car ideals. The Ghibli will be a new high-end E-segment car, which we hope will draw on Maserati's past just as strongly as the name does.
Maserati's new SUV, being co-developed with Jeep, will be named the Levante, after the town where Maserati's first headquarters were based nearly 100 years ago. Indeed, the Levante will be launched in 2014, coinciding with Maserati's centennial; what more fitting name to use, then?
Maserati GranCabrio MC
What is it? Maserati has given its GranCabrio model the revised engine and chassis settings from its hard-core cousin, the GranTurismo MC Stradale coupe, as well as the more focused vehicle's looks — sans roof, obviously.
What's hot? The Ferrari-derived 4.7-liter V8 engine now churns out the same 460 horsepower as the GranCabrio Sport, making it the most powerful open-top Maserati on sale. They also didn't mess up that beautifully boned face; just gave it a little more makeup in the form of a revised front bumper. It also gets the conventional single-rate suspension dampers of the more hard-core coupe.
What's not? We adore the GranTurismo's exhaust note, but the MC Stradale coupe is very loud, indeed. Remove the roof and this 8-cylinder symphony will fill the cockpit and the countryside around it (there's a Race Mode, which bypasses the silencers completely). For some, it would probably be too loud.
How much and when? The current GranTurismo MC Stradale costs a significant $178,343. With these updates, don't expect the GranCabrio MC to leave you much change from $195,000. The Italian sports-car maker has not yet confirmed when the GranTurismo MC will go on general release.
Anything else I should know? More power and torque mean that the zero-to-62-mph time improves to 4.9 seconds, with Maserati's 6-speed automated gearbox. Top speed is 180 mph with the roof up.