As we reported it would be last week, the Maserati Gran Turismo S was on it's way to Geneva and we've finally had some time to caress it with our lens. Featuring the same 4.7-liter 440HP V8 engine developed for the Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione, this updated Maser won't take a backseat to its pricier and swoopier cousin any more. Okay, maybe it will considering it actually HAS a backseat. The upgraded engine is mated to an electro-actuated MC-Shift gearbox mounted on the rear transaxle for optimized weight distribution and faster shifting times. Maserati even put a demo version on display with the car so we could see the improvements firsthand. Going is one thing, stopping another. To that end, Brembo has supplied an upsized brake package, the same one in fact, that is seen on the Quattroporte Sport GT S. It features those trick front brakes that are dual-cast iron/aluminum discs gripped by six-piston aluminum calipers. As you can see from the live images we've added to the gallery, the new wheels, badges and leather/Alcantara interior make this GranTurismo S stand out even when it's standing still. We were just starting to see some of the "regular" GTs on the road, and now Maserati has upped the ante. Honestly, this is what the car should have been all along. Now they just need to develop the convertible to match the recently unveiled 8C pop-top.
Check the full press release after the jump.
World début at Geneva for the Maserati GranTurismo S
In the wake of its impressive financial and sales results, Maserati will be present at the Swiss motorshow with a new sports model and the latest versions of its award-winning Quattroporte.
Modena - 4 March 2008. A year after the unveiling of the GranTurismo, Maserati is back at the Geneva International Motorshow with yet another world premiere, the GranTurismo S, the ultimate expression of the Marque's sportiness. The new interpretation of the perfect balance between sportiness and comfort shifts the emphasis onto performance and driving enjoyment.
The new 440 HP V8 4.7 engine, with a maximum torque of 490 Nm at 4750 rpm, electro-actuated gearbox with fast MC Shift, Transaxle layout, sporty exhaust and brakes made with dual-cast technology make the GranTurismo S the new flagship for Maserati sporting flair, with acceleration from 0 to 100 Km/h at 4.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 295 Km/h, the highest ever reached by a production Maserati.
The compact and lightweight 4.7 liter V8 engine develops maximum power output of 440 HP at 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 490 Nm at 4,750 rpm, and ensures high specific power output and more torque at lower speeds as well, without affecting the capacity to up the revs quickly, typical of racing engines. The increase in power output and torque has not affected the versatility of the power unit, which continues to be readily harnessed even during everyday use. It sounds deep and throaty, but the exhaust valve pneumatic control can also be activated to make it discrete.
An electro-actuated 6-speed gearbox is paired with the 4.7 liter V8 engine, and has MC-Shift software which harnesses the new engine's power output, ensuring new unbeatable gearshift performance in terms of the whole sports car range.
The gearshift solution known as MC-Shift is the most important innovation of the electro-actuated system on the Maserati GranTurismo S: this includes management software and special hardware components which give top performance in terms of gearshift times.
In conventional electro-actuated systems the three shift phases (cut in torque and opening of clutch; gear disengagement, selection and engagement; closing of clutch and restoration of torque) are carried out sequentially.
On the Maserati GranTurismo S the shift phases are partially overlapped: gear disengagement and engagement take place in advance of clutch opening and closing; this means that the shift time, interpreted and calculated as the break in acceleration, drops to 100 ms, whilst the single gear engagement phase reduces to 40 ms.
The fast MC-Shift is available only when shifting up and in Manual Sport mode, provided that the transmission control unit recognizes when given parameters relating to engine and transmission temperature are achieved: the quick shift is possible above 5500 rpm and with the throttle at 80%.
Once these parameters have been achieved, the system enables fast shift and warns the driver through the MC-S indicator on the dashboard display, which lights up and stays on.
The engine and gearbox on the Maserati GranTurismo S are arranged in the Transaxle layout, typical of high-performance sports cars and representing the technological DNA of Maseratis. The front-mounted engine, and the gearbox, located to the rear, are rigidly connected by a tubular element containing the driveshaft. This solution gives excellent weight distribution, 47% over the front axle and 53% over the rear axle, which translates into excellent dynamics and top performance.
Looking through the spokes of the new 20" rims on the GranTurismo S you can see the high-performance brake system developed in collaboration with Brembo.
The system features front brake discs made with dual-cast technology - a dual casting of cast iron and aluminum, paired with aluminum mono-bloc 6-piston brake calipers.
This technology, introduced for the first time in the automotive field on the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S, optimizes the braking system's performance, by emphasizing pedal feel and increasing fatigue-resistance in the most extreme conditions.
At the wheel, the Maserati GranTurismo S is more rigid and compact, thanks to the suspension layout developed specifically to support the new weight distribution. Vehicle roll has been reduced significantly as a result of the modified springs, bars and dampers, and this has benefited handling and performance.