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Geneva show: Maserati GranCabrio Sport to debut

Flying trident: Sport version of the GranCabrio four-seat convertible gets a power boost and styling tweaks.

More powerful Maserati GranCabrio Sport four-seater set for Australia in early 2012

23 Feb 2011

MASERATI has revealed a more powerful version of its GranCabrio four-seater ahead of its public debut at Geneva and eventual Australian release in early 2012.

The GranCabrio Sport will join the standard GranCabrio model in Australia, and will also sit alongside the hard-edged GranTurismo S and Quattroporte Sport GT in the local line-up.

The Sport packs a tuned version of the alloy Ferrari-derived 4.7-litre V8 from the standard model with peak power up 8kW to 331kW and a 20Nm torque boost to 510Nm, resulting in a slightly higher top speed of 285 km/h.

Maserati claims that despite this boost in power, reductions in friction mean the Sport uses six per cent less fuel than the standard GranCabrio.

The ZF six-speed automatic has been made slicker with the addition of software from the Quattroporte Sport GT S, while the Skyhook suspension and brake discs have also been upgraded.

32 center imageThe GranCabrio Sport is differentiated from the standard car by a unique black grille, red-accented Trident badge, newly-designed headlights and body-coloured corner splitters and side skirts. The new paint colour, called Rosso Trionfale, is inspired by the 250F F1 car that Fangio drove to the World Championship in 1957.

The standard GranCabrio, based on the brand’s flagship GranTurismo coupe, was released in Australia in July last year.

Although pricing for the Sport is yet to be confirmed, the standard four-seater cabriolet –which represented a first for Maserati – costs $338,000 before on-roads, making it a competitor with heavyweights like the Mercedes-Benz SL500 and Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet.

The glitzier, more powerful Sport is likely to compete on price with Aston Martin’s DB9 Volante and the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet.

Maserati recorded 17.5 per cent growth in sales in 2010, with 141 trident-badged cars finding homes in Australia – which the company claims makes it “Australia’s number one exotic brand”.

The Italian carmaker will try and keep up the sales momentum, with Maserati Australia general manager Glen Sealey saying in January that “in the coming months we plan to further enhance Maserati’s position as the leading exotic brand in Australia”.

Later this year it will release the ballistic GranTurismo MC Stradale in Australia, which the marque says is the direct result of customer demand for a track-oriented version of the flagship GranTurismo.

The quickest, lightest and most powerful Maserati in production is also likely to be the most expensive, with an estimated asking price of over $350, 000 when it lands here.

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