Maserati GranTurismo S Limited Edition

We like us some matte finish here at Autoblog, but we have to admit that the usual smattering of matte black vinyl wraps leave us a bit in the dark. That's why our eyes pop just a little wider when we see a car that cuts the glare but keeps the palette. That's also why the storied brands of the Fiat group are getting top marks in our books these days.

At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, the group's top brand Ferrari showed off a concept 599 with regenerative braking and a delicious matte green finish. The following year at the same venue, Alfa Romeo lifted the veil on the tempting 4C Concept in a beautiful shade of matte red. And at the Bologna Motor Show earlier this month, their sister brand Maserati showcased this special GranTurismo in matte blue.

The car in question is a unique GranTurismo S Limited Edition exclusive to the Italian market, limited to only twelve examples to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. It also packs carbon spoilers front and rear, as well as carbon side mirrors and door handles, with matte black side skirts and headlamps, and black 20-inch rims with polished aluminum brake calipers. Check it out in the press release after the jump and the high-res images in the gallery for a closer look.
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Maserati GranTurismo S Limited Edition for the 150th anniversary of Italian
And 2012 sees the third season of the Trofeo Maserati GranTurismo MC single-make championship

Maserati is presenting the GranTurismo S Limited Edition at the Bologna Motor Show to celebrate 150 years of Italian unification. With an exclusive limited edition of 12 cars intended for the Italian market, the Granturismo S Limited Edition is characterised by unique trim levels and contents.

The model's exterior sports the exclusive matt Sebring Blue, which shows off its elegant lines yet also highlights its sporting aggression. These characteristics are also emphasised by the use of carbon elements, in particular the front spoilers, side mirrors, door handles and rear spoiler. The brake calipers are made of hand-polished aluminium and stand out beneath the 20-inch rims, the side skirts are painted matt black, as are the headlights, to lend the car a still more aggressive appearance.

As far as the interior is concerned on the other hand, the blend of sport and elegance is perfectly expressed by elements common to the MC Stradale version. In this case too, carbon finishes frame the instruments and the controls on the dashboard and central tunnel.

Finally, the commemorative Centocinquantenario ("150th Anniversary") of Italian Unification plate is located at the base of the central console. This bears the official logo as well as the number of units produced, to confirm the sheer exclusivity of this version.

THE ENTIRE MASERATI RANGE AT THE STAND

The GranTurismo S Limited Edition is accompanied by the entire Maserati range at the stand in Bologna, the very city where Maserati was born in December 97 years ago.

In the stand's sport section, in addition to the car which celebrates the 150th anniversary of Italian unification, stand the GranCabrio Sport, the GranTurismo, the MC Stradale and the GranTurismo MC Trofeo in racing livery.

The GranTurismo S Automatic and the Quattroporte Sport GT S, on the other hand, are to be found in the section of the Maserati stand dedicated to elegance and luxury.

2011: ANOTHER WINNING SEASON FOR MASERATI

Almost a year on, Maserati and Andrea Bertolini are celebrating again. In 2010, Maserati's trophy cabinet made space for the FIA GT1 World Champion title, won together with teammate Michael Bartels in the Maserati MC12. Last October, Andrea Bertolini triumphed again, this time in the International Superstars Series with a Maserati Quattroporte Evo, fielded by the Swiss Team private racing stable.

This success is awaiting confirmation, since the response of the National Court of Appeal has yet to be received, following an appeal presented by one of the teams. Bertolini will take to the track with the Maserati Quattroporte Evo for a display at the Motor Show, before receiving the prize from the organisers of Superstars, as champion.

2012: THIRD EDITION OF THE TROFEO MASERATI GRANTURISMO MC

In light of the success of the first two seasons, 2012 will see the third edition of the Trofeo Maserati GranTurismo MC, with events on some of the most famous intercontinental circuits.

The second edition of the Trofeo Maserati GranTurismo MC in 2011 saw David Baldi emerge victorious in the overall standings. Competition was furious throughout the season-long championship, confirming the competitive spirit and magnetism of a competition able to attract gentleman drivers from all over the world. Taking the lead in the table from the very first race at Imola, without ever losing it, the Tuscan driver triumphed after strenuously clocking up the miles over Europe's most prestigious circuits: Imola gave way to Monza, Budapest (Hungary), Spa (Belgium), Donington (Great Britain), Valencia (Spain), followed by a return to Italy, to Vallelunga and then Mugello for the grand finale. AF Corse came out on top in the Team standings, with the Italo-Monegasque duo of Alessandro Chionna and Cedric Sbirrazzuoli.

Adrian Newey, technical director of the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 team, was also among those who signed up for the final round of the Trofeo Maserati GranTurismo MC, together with his friend Joe Macari. They followed this by taking part in the 21st edition of the 6 Hours of Rome, with a Maserati MC12 fielded by the Vittoria Competizione team.

Finally, the tests on the Dubai circuit on 19 and 20 November last year have led to the Trofeo Maserati JBF RAK Middle East, a single-make Maserati competition to take place exclusively on tracks in the Middle East. The Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeos will contend over six rounds, starting from 3 December in Bahrain, once again on the same track on 7 January 2012, then Yas Marina (27 January), Losail (17 February), Dubai (3 March) and finishing at Yas Marina (23 March).

FIRST 9 MONTHS OF 2011: MASERATI PROFITS TOTAL 26 MILLION EUROS

In line with expectations, 2011 has been a positive year for Maserati.

In the third quarter of 2011, Maserati revenues totalled 142 million euros, an increase of 6% compared to the same period in the previous year. 1,459 cars were delivered to the network over the quarter, a 6.7% increase compared to the units delivered in the same period in 2010. Trading profits stood at 8 million euros at the close of the third quarter, corresponding to 5.6% of revenue, double the figure for the third quarter of 2010.

In the first nine months of 2011, Maserati achieved revenues of 445 million euros, an increase of 2.3% compared to the same period in the previous year. 4,672 units were delivered to the sales network, an increase of 9.4% compared to the same period in the previous year. The US and Chinese markets played an important role in this increase, with growth of 20% and 129% respectively. The increase in volumes and efficiency measures enacted contributed to total operating profits of 26 million euros (5.8% of revenue), a dramatic improvement compared to the same period in the previous year, when the profit totalled 16 million euros.