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Maserati unveils GranTurismo Sport

Sportier Maser: New GranTurismo Sport goes on sale in Australia in late 2012.

More power and a fresh look for Maserati’s GranTurismo coupe as Sport replaces S

21 Feb 2012

MASERATI has revealed a new-look, more powerful GranTurismo coupe less than two weeks after the car it will replace went on sale here.

Confirmed to make its world debut at the Geneva motor show on March 6, the upgraded GranTurismo Sport will go on sale in Australia and New Zealand late this year as a 2013 model.

While the entry-level 4.2-litre GranTurismo and the hard-core GranTurismo MC Stradale continue unchanged, the revised Sport model will replace the existing GranTurismo S automatic and S MC-Shift variants.

The latest version of the latter went on sale in Australia earlier this month, priced from $345,000 and fitted with the same more powerful 331kW 4.7-litre V8 from the MC Stradale (from $364,900) – up 8kW on the 323kW GranTurismo S auto (from $308,000), while the entry-level 298kW 4.2-litre GranTurismo continues from $288,800.

Now, however, Maserati has revealed a new-look GranTurismo Sport to replace the recently released GranTurismo S, featuring a redesigned front bumper with optimised air flow for both engine and brake cooling, new headlights with LED daytime running lights and darker, more aggressive tail-lights.

Inside, there are completely redesigned front and rear seats and a more muscular steering wheel, but the 2013 GranTurismo Sport will also bring a more powerful version of its Ferrari-derived 4.7-litre V8.

Peak power output increases to 343kW – up from 323kW in the GranTurismo S auto and 331kW in the GranTurismo S MC-Shift and the lighter-weight GranTurismo MC Stradale flagship that continues unchanged.

Therefore the new GranTurismo Sport should approach the range-topping MC Stradale for outright performance with an expected 0-100km/h sprint time of well under five seconds.

32 center imageLeft: Maserati's 2012 GranTurismo S MC-Shift was released in Australia this month.Like the S it will replace, the Sport will be available with both a conventional torque-converter automatic transmission and the six-speed sequential manual rear transaxle gearbox also seen in the top-shelf MC Stradale.

The latter comes standard with steering wheel gearshift paddles, which are optional with the conventional six-speed automatic model.

Full details will be announced at Geneva next month, before the GranTurismo Sport hits Europe in September and Australia by year’s end.

In the meantime, Maserati says the new-to-Australia 2012 GranTurismo S MC-Shift lifts peak power by 8kW – from 323kW to the same 331kW as the limited-production MC Stradale – while reducing fuel consumption by six per cent, to 15.5L/100km combined.

Details of the GranTurismo V8’s latest power hike are yet to be revealed but, as with the MC Stradale with which it shares its engine, the engine in the current GranTurismo S MC-Shift features a diamond-like coating (DLC) on its tappets and camshaft lobes to reduce internal friction, which also ups torque output by 20Nm, to 510Nm.

Performance figures for the 2012 GranTurismo S MC-Shift remain unchanged at 4.9 seconds for the 0-100km/h sprint and a 295km/h top speed.

It available now with an optional MC Sportline package that adds carbon-fibre front and rear spoilers, door-handles and rear-view mirrors, with matching black door sills and exhaust outlets.

Inside the MC Sportline pack adds a carbon-fibre finish to the dashboard, centre console, door panels, instruments and (longer) gearshift paddles, plus aluminium pedals embossed with the MC logo.

Mechanically, the MC Sportline package adds upgraded suspension damping, stiffer springs and revised anti-roll bars at both ends, plus cross-drilling to the standard GranTurismo S brakes, which comprise aluminium mono-bloc six-piston front callipers within 20-inch alloy rims.

“The increased power and torque along with the improved mid-range performance will enable owners to more fully exploit the changes to suspension and steering we made last year to provide a more sporting driving experience and they combine perfectly with the performance-orientated trim and equipment changes made at the same time to this, the most aggressive GranTurismo,” said the general manager of Maserati in Australia and New Zealand, Glen Sealey.

“Simultaneously, the improvement in fuel consumption clearly shows that Maserati is using the latest technology to ensure its products recognise today’s requirements for reducing fuel consumption and cutting emissions. The fact that Maserati had managed to achieve both of these contradictory demands is a testament to its technical prowess.”

This month’s release of the 2012 GranTurismo S MC-Shift follows first local deliveries of the new GranCabrio Sport last month, priced from $338,000 - $10,000 more than the standard GranCabrio.

Beyond the upgraded GranTurismo Sport later this year, also in the pipeline from Maserati are an all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee-based luxury SUV, a redesigned Quattroporte sedan and an all-new smaller sedan.

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