The Maserati Granturismo MX Stradale: never say never again…
THE MASERATI GRANTURISMO MC STRADALE: never say never again….
The GranTurismo MC Stradale, the road going limited edition version of Maserati’s race track GranTurismo coupe that left Australian and New Zealand Maserati showrooms almost as quickly as it arrived last year, is back – and this time it’s carrying an even bigger stick…..
“Maserati offers unsurpassed levels of exclusively and luxury, but it must never be forgotten that, first and foremost, Maserati is the epitome of a performance car maker and the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale represents that performance in its most pure and direct form,” says Glen Sealey, General Manager of Maserati Australia and New Zealand. “When it arrived last year it became, with its 301 kmh top speed, the fastest Maserati ever sold in Australia and New Zealand. Such was the interest and demand for this model, we have secured a small additional production run, but being Maserati we could not simply bring back what was the 2011 benchmark Maserati, so for 2013 we have a new, more powerful GranTurismo MC Stradale and with it, a new benchmark for Maserati performance.”
One thing that hasn’t changed, despite a near two year time gap, more power and additional equipment, is the price, which remains unchanged at $364,900, excluding statutory charges, on road costs and dealer delivery charges.
Powered by a new variant of the Maserati 4.7 litre V8 engine that pumps out 338 kW and 520 Nm of torque, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale demolishes the dash to 100 kmh in 4.5 seconds before hitting, where legally permitted, a top speed of 302 kmh. The improvements to achieve this new level of power and torque include the development of a new engine map to optimize the combustion parameter and the adjustment of the management of variable valve timing at high engine speeds, plus, not least, the redesign of the pistons to strengthen them so they may easily cope with the power boost.
The visual feast that is the GranTurismo and the operatic sound of its engine will immediately identify approach of the MC Stradale, with the eagle-eyed enthusiast spotting the 2013 variant thanks to its new LED daylight running lights enclosed in the new headlight cluster at the front and from the rear, the view most people will get of the MC Stradale, the LED taillights in their smoked ‘Fumè’ lens covers are also new for 2013.
Compared to the GranTurismo Sport, on which the MC Stradale is based, major changes have been made with its race-bred heritage and this is highlighted by a 110 kg weight reduction, with its dry weight down to 1670 kg. The MC Stradale mirrors the advantages Maserati has in racing by retaining the optimal 48%/52% weight distribution to ensure ideal handling balance and even tyre wear.
The Maserati GranTurismo MC Stadale uses advanced electronics to slash gear-shift times from the upgraded MC Race Shift electro-actuated transaxle gearbox to just 60 milliseconds. It is also the first Maserati in history to have a dedicated Race mode to add to its upgraded Automatic and Sport modes in a simplified dash layout. It produces more aerodynamic down force without producing more aerodynamic drag, it produces more power without using more fuel and it is more agile.
The GranTurismo has long been praised for its refinement and while extensive changes have been made to the suspension, which is lower and fitted with larger anti-roll bars; this has been done without sacrificing the GranTurismo Sport’s highly praised ride quality.
With the removal of the rear seats, it is the first two-seat Maserati since the MC12 and has also benefited from new Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, custom-developed Pirelli tyres, a unique suspension layout and carbon-fibre, race-inspired seats.
Visually, the GranTurismo MC Stradale has changes made to the front and rear bumpers, the front guards, the bonnet and the boot lid, aimed at boosting down force and aiding engine and brake cooling. Inside materials derived from the racing variants, in the shape of carbon fibre and Alcantara, are used extensively. Carbon fibre racing seats are standard and the instrument pack has been changed to allow for the changes to the car’s dynamic systems.
The result of these changes is to produce a car with three distinct characters. In race mode, the MC Stradale is poised and ready for track days or the most demanding roads with every response and element of the car finessed to the highest level for instant response. In Sport mode the epic performance is fully available but delivered in a more subtle manner, making it suitable for everyday use, with the responses of a thoroughbred sports car and the comfort of a continent-swallowing grand touring car. Auto mode is, to all extents and purposes, stealth mode, with the performance and ability available but hiding behind a veil of relaxed comfort, quietness and refinement.
Available in very limited numbers, deliveries of the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale have now begun with a recommended retail price of $364,900, excluding statutory charges, on road costs and dealer delivery charges.
Changes to the Maserati GranTurismo to transform it into the MC Stradale
o Air intakes on the bonnet
o New side skirts
o New front bumper with new aerodynamic splitter
o Integrated boot lid lip spoiler
o Revised rear bumper with Splitter
o Exhaust pipes reposition to allow larger rear splitter
o New front guards with trailing edge vertical air vents
o 20 inch wheels with new Pirelli P-zero Corse tyres
• Interior Changes
o Front carbon fibre seats
o Alcantara and leather upholstery
o Redesigned main instrument cluster
• Weight reduced by 110 kg
o Flow formed 20 inch alloy wheels: - 5 kg
o Wiring optimisation: - 2 kg
o Sound insulation reduction: - 25 kg
o Two seat configuration: - 16 kg
o Carbon Fibre front seats: - 26 kg
o Sealing and body optimisation: - 12 kg
o Carbon Ceramic Brembo brakes: - 18 kg
o Exhaust System: - 6 kg
• Aerodynamic improvements
o Front: 25% more down force at 200 kmh
o Rear: 50% more down force at 200 kmh
o No change in the drag co-efficient, despite extra down force
• New Driving modes
Gearchanges in 60 milliseconds
Gearchange mode: Manual shift
Exhaust silencer by pass: Open at all engine speeds
Sharper response from the accelerator
Gearchanges in 100 milliseconds
Gearchange mode: Manual shift
Exhaust silencer by pass: Open over 4000 rpm
Gearchanges in 140 milliseconds
Gearchange mode: Automatic shift
Exhaust silencer by pass: Closed
• Engine, compared to 2011 MC Stradale
o Up 7 kW to 338 kW
o Up 20 Nm to 520 Nm
o Fuel consumption: down 13% to 14.4 l/100 km compared to the GranTurismo Sport
o 80% of torque available from 2500 rpm
o 8% stiffer springs
o Front roll bar increased from 20 to 25 mm
o Ride height lowered
10 mm at the front
12 mm at the rear
o Tyres – new Pirelli P-Zero Corsa
Front: Up from 245/35 to 255/35
Rear: Up from 285/35 to 295/35
• Brakes – New Brembo Carbon Ceramic
o First production Maserati with Carbon Ceramic brakes
o New brake cooling system and heat extraction vents
o Front: 380 mm x 34 mm with six piston callipers
o Rear: 360 mm x 32 mm with four piston callipers
o Braking distance, down 6% for 100 kmh to Zero, now 33 metres