Ferrari in Drag? Maserati Plans to Build V-8, Mid-Engine Sports Car
Over the past decade, prices on new Ferraris have gone up significantly while sister company Maserati has held the line on prices, relatively speaking. There are two schools of thought on this: 1) If you want a "cheap" Ferrari, you should buy a used one, and 2) Maserati is more or less the poor man's Ferrari anyway. It would appear Maserati's product planners are in agreement with the latter sentiment, planning to bring a Porsche-rivaling sports car to market sometime around 2015 to more properly fit that role. Expected to be called the Maserati GranSport, Harold Wester of the automaker said he'd like for it to be the "most pure expression of Maserati sportiness possible." The car would likely go toe-to-toe with the Porsche 911 Turbo and GT3 models, including price, says Wester. He says he'd like it to come in under the 911 Turbo, which starts at $138,450 in the U.S., including destination and handling. But it is expected to come with a much larger engine than the Porsche, a 4.7-liter V-8 borrowed from the GranTurismo Sport that pumps out 454 horsepower. That means while it'll likely share components with the upcoming Alfa Romeo 4C sports car that is expected to do battle against the Porsche Boxster, the GranSport will undoubtedly have more in common with the $230,000 Ferrari 458 Italia due to its larger size and a frame that can support a heavy V-8 engine. Wester gave Evo magazine a few more details of the car, including its nearly 458-matching 14.4-foot length and significantly lighter 2,700-pound target weight. Although it hasn't quite gotten the green light from all of the suits, Wester says it could be a viable sports car, selling as many as 2,000 units a year. Along with the next-generation Maserati Quattroporte large luxury sedan, a smaller sedan expected to share some Chrysler mechanicals, the Maserati Kubang SUV, and the GranTurismo coupe and convertible, the Italian automaker looks to greatly expand beyond its poor man's Ferrari image. In fact, if the GranSport were to meet Wester's goals for it, it looks like Maserati could end up being the attention-getter for once. Source: Evo
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