Geneva '08 Preview: 440hp, twin-clutch Maserati GranTurismo S

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Right from its unveiling at last year's Geneva Motor Show, we were instantly smitten with the Maserati GranTurismo. It's one of those rare designs that, not unlike an Armani suit, manages to embody both elegance and aggression at once without sacrificing either. Unfortunately, its driving dynamics have been lamented as regrettably sedate, but emerging reports suggest that the Trident marque plans to turn things up a notch with a more performance-oriented version of the GranTurismo at this year's Geneva show.

The reports are spurred on by these teasers released by Maserati suggesting the following specs: two plates, 1/10th of a second, 4.9 seconds, 35 meters, and an "S" designation. From these details we can surmise that the Maserati GranTurismo S may adopt the more powerful V8 from the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione – itself another gorgeous GT based on Maserati underpinnings – boosting displacement up to 4.7 liters over the stock GranTurismo's 4.2 and power to 440 hp up from of 405. A dual-clutch gearbox will replace the smooth-shifting but torque-converting ZF six-speed automatic in the standard GranTurismo, possibly moving to the rear transaxle to improve weight distribution. Brembo brakes, subtle visual enhancements and some interior touches are reported to round out the package. All the upgrades will enable the sport model to hit 100km/h (62mph) in 4.9 seconds and come back to a standstill in 35 meters. Maserati is expected to confirm all of this tomorrow ahead of the car's debut next week, and we'll be on high alert for both. In the meantime, you can check out Maserati's teaser specs, a leaked magazine scan and two images which AutoExpress obtained prior to the vehicle's launch, all in the gallery below.

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[Source: World Car Fans and AutoExpress]

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