Last year Maserati recorded its first profit in 17 years, posting a €1 million trading profit for the second quarter, but according to officials this is only the tip of the iceberg. Early last year the boss of Maserati’s parent company, Sergio Marchionne, made the bold objective that Maserati would deliver up to 12,000 units in 2011, and we suspect that he’s not one to back down on his claims. This year Maserati is on track to sell 9,000 vehicles, up from 7,500 last year, and if it hopes to come near the 12,000 target a new model is a must.

In March, Maserati CEO Roberto Ronchi revealed to Reuters his desire to expand the current lineup, with the most likely option being a small coupe rather than the speculated SUV model. Now, once again, Ronchi has told reporters that Maserati is considering developing a new model. In order to achieve Maserati’s desired sales and profit growth it will need a new model, he said. “We want to make a decision on the new model in the first quarter of this year. The market launch for the car will take place 18 to 36 months later. An SUV model has been ruled out because the segment is declining and is already too crowded. We want to target Porsche with a sports car priced around €80,000 to €90,000,” Ronchi detailed

Insiders suggest that, if given the green-light, the new sports car would likely receive a revised version of Maserati’s 4.2L V8, detuned to around 350bhp and mated to a semi-automatic gearbox with paddle-shifters. With the GranTurismo growing in size to rival mega-coupes like the Mercedes CL, there’s definitely a gap in Maserati’s lineup for a new smaller performance model.