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Maserati GranSport super-coupe is go

Four with more: Maserati’s new Quattroporte will be the first of a rush of new models that will include a new GranSport coupe.

Carbon-fibre two-seater listed among future sports models by Maserati

2 Jan 2013

MASERATI is claiming its new 307km/h Quattroporte will be the world’s fastest sedan when it arrives this year, but it might not be even the fastest Maserati for long.

The Italian company has let it officially slip that a smaller, lightweight coupe, the GranSport, is slated for production, most likely at the company’s Modena plant alongside the Alfa Romeo 4C and sharing the same high-tech carbon-fibre construction techniques.

The confirmation of the much-rumoured Porsche 911 rival came in a recent presentation in Italy on the new Quattroporte that will make its debut at this month’s Detroit motor show.

In listing its future sportscar line-up, Maserati named the GranSport with the GranTurismo and GranCabrio.

All three Maserati sportscars are expected to be produced with the 2013 Alfa 4C compact coupe at Modena, while the sedan range – comprising the latest Quattroporte and its new baby brother, the Ghibli mid-sized sedan – will go into production at the company’s new Turin factory.

The GranSport is rumoured to be a mid-engined V8-powered two-seat sports coupe – effectively a larger brother to the Alfa 4C that will be powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine sitting behind the seats and driving the rear wheels.

The key to both cars will be high-tech construction, based on a carbon-fibre monocoque and using large quantities of aluminium.

Possibly powered by a normally aspirated 4.8-litre V8, the coupe is expected to deliver supercar performance.

Also confirmed is Maserati’s first SUV, the Jeep-based Levante, to be made in a Jeep factory in North America from about 2015, although with exclusive Maserati mechanicals, styling and chassis treatment.

The expanded model line-up will be delivered over the next 18 months, driving Maserati sales to an anticipated 50,000 vehicles worldwide.

In Australia, Maserati importer Ateco Automotive is looking for a 10-fold increase in local sales by 2016.

Of these new models, the Quattroporte will be the first to arrive, late this year – a little later than the third-quarter arrival previously reported.

Maserati says its new flagship Quattroporte will be larger, lighter, more luxurious and more practical than the current model.

The company claims that with a 307km/h top speed – 20km/h faster than the current Quattroporte Sport GT S – and a 0-100 acceleration time of 4.7 seconds, it will be the fastest four-door production saloon in the world.

However, Porsche claims a 311km/h top speed and 3.8-second 0-100km/h time for its Panamera Turbo S, and Bentley’s Continental Flying Spur is said to top 320km/h.

Quattroporte buyers will be able to choose between two twin-turbocharged, direct-injected engines – a 3.8-litre V8 and a 3.0-litre V6, both designed by Maserati Powertrain and assembled by sister company Ferrari at Maranello.

The 3.8-litre V8 engine will produce 390kW of power and up to 710Nm of torque, while the V6 – effectively the V8 with two cylinders lopped off – develops 301kW and its 550Nm.

The V6 is said to propel the Quattroporte from zero 100 kmh in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 285km/h – just 2km/h slower than the top speed of the fastest current Quattroporte.

The new model adopts ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission in place of the current six-speeder, helping to drive down fuel consumption by 20 per cent.

Pricing for Australia will be announced closer to launch, but the current range starts at $250,000 for the 4.2-litre standard model, rising to $298,800 for the 4.7 MC Sportline.

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