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Geneva show: Maserati's four-seat track car

Family racer: The four-seat Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale retains the no-compromise attitude of the two-seater, but can lug the kids about on weekdays too.

Hardcore Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale track-car gets rear seats

28 Feb 2013

MASERATI Australia distributor European Automotive Imports (EAI) is pondering whether to bring a few four-seat versions of its hardcore GranTurismo MC Stradale track car Down Under.

The new, more practical iteration of the Italian car-maker's fastest car was revealed globally overnight ahead of a public debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

It combines the four-seat practicality of the regular GranTurismo with the brutal track-focused sharpness of the two-seat Stradale (Italian for road, implying a racer for street).

The – dare we say it – practical take on its track-day car will share the spotlight at the Swiss show with Maserati's brand new Quattroporte luxury sedan, the first major step in its plan for eight-fold global sales growth between now and 2015.

EAI has outlined its part in this growth plan – projecting a sales expansion from 124 units last year to 1500 in 2016 thanks to new models such as the Quattroporte, Ghibli sedan, Levante SUV and GranSport small coupe, but is undecided on whether to include the four-seat Stradale in the mix.

As EAI public relations manager Edward Rowe told us today, the market for track racers is much lower per capita in Australia than Europe.

“At the moment we haven't made a firm decision, we'll be looking at its possible market suitability,” he said.

“You have to remember that, in Europe, there's a substantial market for track day-oriented cars, and you see these right across the marketplace. The MC Stradale is obviously aimed right at that market.

“And while we have sold a reasonable number for the two-seat in Australia considering its tight focus, the size of that market isn't reflected in Australia. I think there'd be a lot of people who'd like to do more track days, but there aren't many venues to do it.”

The company imported two batches of two-seater MC Stradales in 2011 and 2012 respectively, priced at $364,400 plus on-roads, and still has two in stock.

As with the regular MC Stradale two-seat, the four-person version uses a tweaked version of the Ferrari-built 4.7-litre V8 producing 338kW and 520Nm, sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed Race Shift electro actuated transmission.

Top speed is listed as 303km/h, while the momentum is hauled in by Brembo ceramic carbon brake discs. Maserati has not provided the zero to 100km/h sprint time, but the lighter two-seat version does the dash in 4.5s.

Inspired by the racing GT from the Maserati Trofeo Championship, the Modan-built four-seat MC Stradale retains the two-seat version's carbon-fibre bonnet, central air intake, twin rear extractors and 20-inch alloy rims.

The two-seat MC Stradale is 110kg lighter than the GranTurismo S on which it is based thanks to carbon-fibre front seats (saving 26kg), 5kg-lighter wheels, lighter wiring saving 2kg, a 6kg-lighter exhaust system, 18kg-lighter carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes, and 12kg less body sealing.

The four-seater weights slightly more – though the exact amount is unclear – since Maserati re-installed the rear seats.

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