Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale – Click above for high-res image gallery
There are pros and cons to two erstwhile rivals sharing the same roof. On the one hand, they can share resources, but on the other, they have to be careful not to step on each-other's toes. Sharing corporate space with Aston Martin meant that Jaguar had to clip its own wings when it came to the XKR for years, as evidenced by the more powerful versions that have come out since the two split.
There's no doubt that Maserati has benefited tremendously from its association with Ferrari, but that has consequently meant that the Trident marque has had to adopt a different approach, catering to a more luxury-oriented market than the raw performance of its big brother on the Prancing Horse. But that doesn't mean they can't push the envelop just a little, and that's what you're looking at here.
Called the MC Stradale, this ultimate version of the GranTurismo bridges the gap between road and race models in the same way the revolutionary Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale did in its day – and as the all-conquering 430 Scuderia did subsequently. To get there, Maserati's tuned the chassis, aero and engine to more closely resemble the levels attained on racing versions like the MC Trofeo spec racer and the GT4 competition model.
Modena claims increased downforce without a commensurate increase in drag, while the engine has been boosted to 450 horsepower as compared to the 430 in the existing GranTurismo S. That's about all the Italians have released at this point, but you're cordially invited to read the brief press release after the jump and check out the images in the gallery below as Maserati prepares the GranTurismo MC Stradale for its debut at the Paris Motor Show next week.
THE NEW MASERATI GRANTURISMO MC STRADALE TO DEBUT AT PARIS AUTO SHOW
Modena, September 20, 2010. The new Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale will be the fastest, lightest and most powerful car in the Maserati range when it goes on sale in the first quarter of 2011.
Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC and the race-winning GT4 motorsport models, the two-seater Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale that will debut at the Paris Auto Show will feature razor-sharp handling and will break the 300km/h barrier.
The GranTurismo MC Stradale responds to demands for a GranTurismo which can balance on-road driving needs with race-driving desires, incorporating the handling and aerodynamic lessons from Maserati's three racing programs.
The GranTurismo MC Stradale produces more aerodynamic down force without producing more aerodynamic drag, it produces more power – 336kw, 450 hp – without using more fuel and it is more agile without sacrificing the GranTurismo S's highly praised ride quality.