Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale is Ready to Kick Out the Jams

2011 Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale front 3/4 view

With the oh-so-notable exception of the MC12 (which was essentially a targa-top Enzo in drag) and the occasional production-based race car, Maserati has pretty much stayed away from the true sports car market for the last 30 or so years in favor of plying its trade in the luxury and grand tourer segments of the market. This due in no small part to being a corporate cousin/subordinate of erstwhile arch-nemesis Ferrari, but the arrangement hasn’t hurt the trident-badged brand’s bottom line; if anything, it seems to have helped Maser’s fortunes, judging by how many late model examples of the marque you find in the ritzier corners of this and other countries.

However, we and other car cognescetti can’t help wondering what Maserati could build if it didn’t have one hand tied behind its back. Does it still know how to build something with an edge to it, or have all these years catering to Hollywood starlets and South Beach real estate moguls turned the R&D types in Modena into a gaggle of softies? If the new GranTurismo MC Stradale – seen here ahead of its in-the-metal debut at the Paris Motor Show next week – is any indication, the former is the case.

2011 Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale side view

Based on the delicious GranTurismo coupe, the MC Stradale parrots the formula made popular by the likes of its relative, the Ferrari F430 Scuderia and the Porsche GT3 RS: unique looks, less weight, more power, and sharper chassis tuning. Maserati addressed the looks component by endowing the MC Stradale with new front and rear fascias, front fenders and rocker panels inspired by those on the Trofeo and GT4 racers that purportedly increase downforce without adding drag. The suspension, steering and brakes have also been tweaked to ape the competition models, though Maserati claims that doesn’t come at the expense of comfort.

2011 Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale rear 3/4 view

And who doesn’t like being comfortable, particularly at 186 mph? That just happens to be the top speed Maserati says the MC Stradale will hit, thanks to the aforementioned aerodynamic revisions and the hopped-up version of the standard GranTurismo’s 4.7L V8, which now puts out 450hp (versus 420 in the current GranTurismo S). If you’re guessing the above facts and figures make the MC Stradale the fastest and most powerful new street-legal production Maser on this or any other planet, you are correct. Needless to say, we can’t wait for further details (and pictures) to cross the wires.

Source: Maserati