Maserati Debuts The GranCabrio Sport at Geneva 2011
Maserati Debuts The GranCabrio Sport at Geneva 2011
After stunning the world with the GranCabrio at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, Maserati is using the 2011 Geneva Motor Show (1-3 March 2011) to take its grand-touring convertible to a new level of performance and handling with the introduction of the GranCabrio Sport.
Maserati has saturated the GranCabrio with both performance and luxury refinements both inside the cabin and underneath its award-winning body panels to create the new GranCabrio Sport, which will arrive in Australia and New Zealand in early 2011.
Conceived to give the GranCabrio a harder-edged model to sit alongside the GranTurismo S and the Quattroporte Sport GT S, the GranCabrio Sport uses a more powerful and fuel-efficient version of Maserati's all-alloy 4.7-litre V8.
This configuration of the naturally aspirated engine produces 331 kW (450 horsepower and has 510Nm at the peak of its rich, thick torque curve. Maserati's Friction Reduction Program has made the GranCabrio Sport's engine more reactive to the driver's most-nuanced inputs thanks to a revision of the oil sump's fluid dynamics and the Diamond-Like Coating of the tappets and the camshaft lobes, while achieving a further 6% reduction in fuel consumption. The top speed of the GranCabrio Sport is 285 km/h and the 0-100 km/h sprint is now reduced to 5.2s.
This six-speed automatic transmission includes the super-fast MC Auto Shift software and has been developed for the GranCabrio Sport directly from the transmission in the Quattroporte Sport GT S.
Like in the Quattroporte Sport GT S, the MC Auto Shift gives the driver even-greater engagement by further improving gearshift response, and introducing a digital in-dash display to indicate the ideal gear-shift timing.
The handling has received attention, too, with an upgrade and revision of the Skyhook active-suspension system to give it sportier tuning, and the adoption of grooved and drilled dual-cast brake discs.
The mechanical changes also include a revised exhaust system which automatically opens its bypass valves in Sport mode to provide an even richer sound and a shorter exhaust path.
Visually, the GranCabrio Sport is characterized by a more-pronounced dynamic look. This look begins at the GranCabrio's distinctive nose with a black grille and a Trident with red accents.
The headlights now have a black look with white sidemarks, while front corner splitters and the redesigned side skirts are both body coloured. The dynamic look is finished with redesigned 20'' Trident-like Astro-design wheels and a pair of black oval exhaust tips.
The look is carried over inside the open-topped cabin with a new seat design and driver-focused contents such as longer Trofeo-design gear-shift paddles and drilled aluminium pedals.
The GranCabrio Sport also debuts a new body colour for Maserati: Rosso Trionfale, inspired by the red national colours used on 1950s racing Maseratis - in 1957, Juan Manuel Fangio won his fifth F1 World Title at the wheel of a red Maserati 250F.
Inside the cabin, two new leather colours are available for the new M-design seats: Bianco Pregiato, a brilliant ivory shade; and Grigio Chrono, a sporty, dark tone of grey.
The GranCabrio Sport will be on sale in all of Maserati's 62 markets starting from the Summer 2011.
Maserati's 2010 Financial Results
For 2010, Maserati reported Euro 586 million in revenues, an increase of 30.8% over 2009, primarily attributable to excellent sales performance for the new GranCabrio, the GranTurismo and the Quattroporte flagship sedan.
A total of 5,675 cars were delivered to the network during the year, an increase of 26.4%, with positive performance in the majority of Maserati's national markets.
In the USA, Maserati's no. 1 market, volumes were up 45% over the prior year. Excellent results were also achieved in the United Kingdom (+72%) and China (+128%), which has become Maserati's 4th largest market after the USA, Italy and the United Kingdom.
For 2010, Maserati had a trading profit of Euro 24 million (trading margin: 4.1%). The sharp increase over the Euro 11 million trading profit for 2009 (trading margin: 2.5%) is attributable to both higher sales volumes and continued optimization of operating costs.
Maserati reported Euro 151 million in revenues for Q4 2010, up 17.1% over the same period for the prior year. Trading profit was Euro 8 million for the quarter compared with Euro 5 million for the fourth quarter of 2009.
During the year, the Company released the new GranTurismo MC Stradale, the fastest, lightest and most powerful model in the marque's product range: a top-of-the-line coupé that embodies Maserati's vast experience gained on the racetrack.
Other models presented were the special edition Quattroporte Sport GTS Awards Edition and the GranTurismo MC Trofeo, for which Maserati has organized a single-make championship.
Acclaimed by the motoring press as one of the world's most-beautiful cars, the Maserati GranCabrio has been a sales success in every market, meeting or exceeding its sales targets worldwide.
The GranCabrio has the longest wheelbase (2942mm) in its segment, yet boasts class-leading structural rigidity, providing added safety, comfort and handling ability.
A critically acclaimed full four-seat convertible, it lacks neither pace nor luxury, with a smooth, fast, six-speed automatic transmission and 323 kW (440 horsepower) available from the 4.7-litre V8 engine.
The GranCabrio's body was re-engineered to ensure Maserati's trademark handling and agility remained intact, even as it exploited the long wheelbase to provide class-leading safety and comfort.
It also boasts special materials in its triple-layer cloth roof to ensure thermal and sound insulation, regardless of the outside temperature. The roof mechanism itself is strong and, at 60kg, light, and takes just 20 seconds (28 seconds, if the four independent window movements are taken into account) to fully fold back into its compartment.
The GranCabrio's early sales have been strongly backed up by the mainstays of the Maserati product range; the GranTurismo coupe and the Quattroporte.
The GranTurismo range
Acclaimed as one of the most beautiful cars of its generation, the Pininfarina-designed GranTurismo is also the car that rewrote the rulebook for fast, comfortable sports cars that could carry four full-sized adults. The GranTurismo has capitalized on all of Maserati's known qualities, from design to performance, from handling to luxury and from passion to practicality- and encased them in a timelessly sleek package.
Powered by a 4.2-litre, all-alloy V8 engine producing 405 horsepower at 7100rpm, the GranTurismo sprints to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds and can reach speeds of up to 285km/h. The GranTurismo S takes the strengths of the GranTurismo and adds Maserati's 4.7-litre all-alloy V8 engine andthe electro-actuated six-speed transaxle gearbox.
There is also an automatic-transmission version of the GranTurismo S, the GranTurismo S Automatic, which combines all of the advantages of the GranTurismo S's 4.7-litre V8 power plant with all the comfort advantages and silken gearshifts of the 4.2-litre GranTurismo's six-speed automatic transmission.
The new Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale is the fastest, lightest and most powerful car in the Maserati model line-up. Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC and the race-winning GT4 motorsport programs, the GranTurismo MC Stradale has more power, less weight, razor-sharp handling and a 301km/h top speed.
Responding to Maserati customer demands for a GranTurismo capable of balancing their road-driving needs with their race-driving desires, it incorporates the handling and aerodynamic lessons from Maserati's three current racing programmes.
With 331kW (450 horsepower), it has more power (7kW, 10hp) from the 4.7-litre V8 engine than the GranTurismo S, while its 510Nm of torque is a further 20Nm improvement. This helps to slash the 0-100km/h sprint time, which the GranTurismo MC Stradale covers in just 4.6 seconds, and stretches the top speed to 301km/h.
The GranTurismo range can be tuned to a more sporty edge with the MC Sport Line package, first launched in 2008 and now further enriched with new contents. Coming directly from Maserati motorsport expertise, the MC Sport Line offers GranTurismo buyers the chance to upgrade the exterior and interior of their cars, with extensive use of carbon fibre elements.
The MC Sport Line package includes also a stiffer suspension set-up for the GranTurismo S, which further improves handling performance.
The Quattroporte range
The award-winning Quattroporte continues to be a strong and consistent performer for Maserati, both in its sales and in its on-road performance. The range was crowned by the successful debut of the special edition Quattroporte Sport GT S Awards Edition at the Geneva Auto Show in March, 2010, , born to celebrate the Quattroporte's 56 major international design and automotive awards. The range begins with the Quattroporte, moves into the Quattroporte S, with its 4.7-litre V8 engine, and is headlined by the flagship sports sedan, the Quattroporte Sport GT S.
The performance flagship of the four-door range is the Quattroporte Sport GT S. With its sports exhaust system freeing up more power, the 4.7-litre V8 boasts 323kW (440hp) of power at 7000rpm, the Quattroporte Sport GT S retains the Quattroporte S's 490Nm of torque, but directs its performance more aggressively.
Maserati FIA GT1 World Champion
Maserati's MC12 last year claimed its fifth Drivers' and sixth Teams championship in just its sixth season in the International FIA GT Championship.
The 2010 International FIA GT Drivers' Championship, which has acquired the status of World Championship this year, was won for the fourth time by the Maserati pairing of Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels in the German Vitaphone Racing team MC12.
The MC12's success in the FIA GT Championship began in the second of four races it entered in late 2004, when Bertolini and Mika Salo won. Maserati joined forces with the Vitaphone Racing Team for the 2005 season, along with the JMB and, from 2007, Playteam racing organisations.
Since its first full season in 2005, the Maserati MC12 has won both the Drivers' and Teams' titles every year, with the single exception of the first season's Driver's title, when Bertolini and Karl Wendlinger's JMB MC12 saw the championship slip through their fingers in the season's final race.
Speed and reliability have been the key factors in the MC12's prolonged dominance, despite significant changes in the technical regulations. This is due to the car being engineered without innate flaws, based around a highly rigid carbon-fibre monocoque chassis, with an excellent front-to-rear weight distribution, beautifully balanced aerodynamic characteristics and a very low centre of gravity.
These advantages continued to keep the MC12 at the forefront of the FIA GT Championship, even when its naturally aspirated 6.0-litre V12 engine, originally 750 HP, was reduced to 630 HP according to 2005 FIA regulations, then to its current 560 HP to comply with the current regulations.
Maserati's participation in the FIA GT since 2005 has produced fourteen titles (and 22 victories) including two Constructors' Cups (2005 and 2007), five Drivers' Titles (Bartels-Bertolini in 2006, Thomas Biagi in 2007, and Bartels-Bertolini in 2008, 2009 and 2010); six Teams' Titles (consecutively since 2005, by the Vitaphone Racing Team); one Citation Cup in 2007 by gentleman driver Ben Aucott (JMB Racing) and three outright victories in the Spa 24 Hours (2005, 2006 and 2008).
The 2011 Trofeo GranTurismo MC
Maserati has built on its successful return to international one-make racing in 2010 with an even-stronger, more-innovative Trofeo championship for 2011.
The first of the 2011 Trofeo's eight rounds will fire off the grid at Imola in Italy on April 30, before attacking the historic Monza circuit, then visiting Morocco, Belgium, England, Spain and returning to Italy for its final two rounds.
The championship's format has evolved to include two shorter 30-minute races and, while the next five events retain the standard, 2 x 40-minute race format, the final two events will include two longer, 50-minute races.
The shorter event will be worth 80 percent of full points, while the longer races, which include compulsory pit stops, will be worth 120 percent. Over the course of the season, competitors will also deduct the points from their worst race meeting.
After a successful trial in 2010, all Trofeo competitors will also have one-on-one data analysis sessions with Maserati Corse's technical staff after free practice to eke out their ultimate performance abilities.
Further, Maserati Corse technicians have upgraded the engine and gearbox software on the 2011 version of the GranTurismo MC Trofeo with a power increase of +38HP - for a total power output of 488HP - and gearshift times down to 60ms. The braking system and car's aerodynamics have also been revised to improve on-track performance.
Owners of GranTurismo MC with the GT4 configuration will still be able to take part in the championship and can upgrade their cars to 2011 Trofeo specs.
Maserati has a storied history in one-make racing, with its most-recent championships including a series for the GranSport from 2003 to 2006 and for the Ghibli in 1995 and 1996.
Last year's Trofeo saw 27 cars on the grid for the final event at Mugello, where Pietro Zumerle won the championship in the final race of the season from the combined team of Steven Goldstein and Peter Sundberg.
The Trofeo's "package" allows drivers to compete by themselves or as part of a team, and they can enter for the whole season or individual races and they can also enter their GranTurismo-based racing cars in either Trofeo or GT4 setups. The all-inclusive cost is between €140,000 and €150,000 (according to option chosen), including managing the cars to logistics and technical assistance on the track, as well as clothing both for races and the paddock.
Starting this year, Maserati will also offer the Maserati Trofeo Racing Academy, a professional program that prepares drivers for competition, resulting in the possibility to enter the Maserati Trofeo with adequate performance and safety.