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Future models - Maserati - GranTurismo Sport

Geneva show: Maserati primed for new-model cascade

G'day blue Sport: The new GranTurismo Sport will be the most powerful Maserati model ever when it is launched in Australia late this year.

10-fold global growth tipped for Maserati in range expansion towards 2015

Maserati logo12 Mar 2012

By RON HAMMERTON

A RUSH of fresh metal from Maserati will kick off in early 2013 with the Australian launch of the Italian company’s most powerful car to date, the 338kW GranTurismo Sport coupe that was revealed last week at the Geneva motor show.

The roll-out will continue with an all-new flagship Quattroporte sedan and two new volume-selling entries – a mid-sized BMW M5 competitor and the Jeep-based Kubang sports-luxury SUV – by the end of 2014.

Maserati expects the new models – particularly the Ferrari-powered Kubang that was shown at last year’s Frankfurt motor show – to drive a 10-fold sales increase for the brand by 2015, forcing an expansion of its global dealer network to cope with the growth.

However, Maserati Australia and New Zealand says it has everything in place for the sales leap, with its dealerships primed for the extra models.

Spokesman Edward Rowe said the dealerships – Zagame Maserati in Melbourne, Ferrari Maserati Sydney, Euromarque in Brisbane and Barbagallo Maserati in Perth – had all been designed and built with the expanded range in mind.

Last year, Maserati sold about 140 cars in Australia, out of a total 6159 units world-wide.

32 center imageGlobally, more than a third of all Maseratis were sold in the United States, with China second with 842 sales – double its 2010 tally.

But the new Kubang that is due to go into production in the second half of 2014 is predicted to achieve up to 20,000 sales a year on its own – a third of the predicted 60,000 Maserati sales by 2015.

Mr Rowe said the Kubang would be particularly important in Australia, where the luxury SUV segment has an above-average representation.

The Kubang will be built in the US by Fiat Group partner Chrysler alongside the Jeep Grand Cherokee, which shares the Mercedes-developed platform that also underpins the Benz M-class.

Before then, Maserati Australia will launch the GranTurismo Sport, a facelift of the current two-door GranTurismo S.

The normally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 gains an extra 15kW of power, up from 323kW in the current ‘S’ to 338kW, while torque jumps 30Nm from 490Nm to 520Nm.

This powerplant even outpoints that of the GranTurismo performance leader, the MC Stradale, which packs 331kW and 510Nm.

The extra power shaves 0.2 seconds from the GranTurismo’s 0-100km/h sprint time, now stopping the clocks at 4.7 seconds in automated gearbox form and 4.8 seconds with the ZF six-speed automatic transmission.

The new nose treatment is said to improve aerodynamics and cooling of the Brembo brakes, which have six-piston callipers and discs made from a blend of steel and aluminium to reduce weight by 15 per cent.

The new headlights include ubiquitous LEDs daytime-running lamps, while the tail-lamps are now sheathed in smoked lenses.

The interior redesign includes reshaped seats that are claimed to be more ergonomic. The back shells of the front seats have been resculpted to create an extra 20mm of knee room for rear-seat passengers.

A fatter steering wheel, aluminium pedals and fresh leather trim are among other touches.

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