Maserati may err on the side of of caution when choosing between luxury and speed, but eventually speed-loving fanatics have no choice but to reveal their road-gripping, fire-breathing side. Alas, we now have evidence of Maserati’s wild side. Just a couple of weeks before the Italian luxury brand was set to unveil their new special edition Gran Turismo at the Paris Auto Show, the company has jumped the gun and released the first official details of the fastest, lightest, and most powerful Maserati in the line-up. We hope everyone is just as intrigued as we were because this is a side of Maserati that should come out more often.
The special edition is called the GranTurismo MC Stradale and is due to go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2011 with a U.S. launch shortly thereafter. It is powered by a 4.7 liter V8 engine that delivers 450 HP - an improvement over the standard 405 HP - while still offering the same fuel consumption as a standard Gran Turismo. It also comes with an improved aerodynamic down force and will brake the 186 mph barrier.
Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC and the race-winning GT4 motorsport models, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale special edition has been tweaked and modified as a direct result of the lessons learned from Maserati’s three racing programs. But what makes this vehicle even better is that it’s road legal.
More details about the car will be released closer to its official unveiling.
UPDATE 07/27/2011: Maserati North American has announced that the new MC Stradale will go on sale at a starting price of $139,000. With its 185 mph top speed, this will be the fastest Maserati offered on the US market.
Hit the jump to read more about the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale.
The MC Stradale is inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC, but it needed to be modified in order to become road legal. For that Maserati needed a car with great aerodynamic down force at high speed without creating more drag, even while it is diverting airflow into effectively cooling its brakes.
So, the MC Stradale has received a new front splitter and a redesigned rear bumper that adds an extra 48 mm to the total length, while the front splitter, side skirts and the front guard panels all combine as one unit in order to push the nose of the car down at high speed, to cool the brakes, extract the hot air from the braking system and to provide down force along the length of the car.
Also, the car gets two hot air extraction outlets in the bonnet and the rear bumper has also been re-profiled, with the exhausts emerging closer to the center of the car. The entire look is completed by a new set of flow-formed 20-inch wheels.
The interior also needed to be adapted for a high performance sports car. The shell seats are made in carbon fiber combined with high-tech padding and materials and a Trident logo stitched into the headrests.
But the most impressive feature with the new MC Stradale is the Human-Machine Interface that allows driver to change the driving mode. The car will start in Auto mode, but there is also a Sport and a Race mode.
The instrument clusters have received the traditional Maserati blue background color, the pedals are made in aluminum, while Alcantara is used to trim the center console, the armrest lid, the door armrests and handles and the curve above the instrument cluster.
Undeer the hood of the new GranTurismo MC Stradale Maserati has placed a 4.7 liter V8 engine that delivers 450 HP and 376 lbs-ft of torque at 4750rpm. Most of the improvements have come from the Friction Reduction Program, which involved the redesign of the oil sump’s fluid dynamics and Diamond-Like Coating of the tappets and the camshaft lobes.
The engine is mated to an electro-actuated six-speed manual gearbox that can shift gears in only 60 milliseconds (0.06 seconds) thanks to its computer control and optimized gear selection.
The MC Stradale will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and will hit a top speed of 186 mph.
In Europe, the car is priced at 154,721 euro (around $205,000 at the current exchange rates). We’d let you know the US prices, but the MC Stradale won’t be available on our side of the pond. Typical, we know.
Now that the MC Stradale has been launched on the market, Ferrari and Lamborghini should check their rear mirrors. But, one of the biggest competitors for the Maserati model is the Porsche GT3. The German model is powered by a 3.8-liter six-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine that develops maximum output of 435 bhp and sprints from 0 to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. Yes, the Porsche model is faster than the MC Stradale, but the Maserati model has the advantages of delivering a better aerodynamic, and it is also better looking than the GT3 model.
Also, Aston Martin’s latest V8 Vantage S is a pretty serious competitor for the MC Stradale. It gets a V8 engine that delivers 430 hp at 7,300rpm and 361 lb-ft of torque at 5,000rpm and is capable to hit a top speed of 189 mph. The Vantage model has the advantage of being much cheaper than the MC Stradale, but yet again the Maserati model will offer you the same driving experience at any other race car out there.
Impressive aerodynamic package
Three driving modes
Not available on the US market
Much expensive than competitors