Maserati's New GranSport Won't Be Mid-Engined: Report

2013 Maserati Quattroporte

2013 Maserati Quattroporte

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Last December, we brought you news that Maserati was working on both a replacement for the GranTurismo and an all-new sports car, aimed at taking on the Porsche 911 and the upcoming Jaguar F-Type.

Word was that the GranSport name could be revived for the new Maserati sports car, which was reportedly set to debut in 2015.  Some believed the new car would feature a mid-engine, rear-drive layout, sharing a platform with the Alfa Romeo 4C.

Both V-6 and V-8 engine options were said to be in the works, with outputs as high as 450 horsepower from V-6 models and 550 horsepower from V-8 variants. Pricing was speculative (like the rest of the reported details), but targeted to be in the range of $100,000.

Car Magazine is now reporting a few additional detail on the car, which it says will debut in 2016, roughly a year after Maserati launches its own variant of the LaFerrari supercar.

Forget the mid-engine layout, since the Alfa Romeo 4C platform was deemed “too expensive” for the mid-range Maserati, especially when the complications of re-engineering a longitudinal V-6 drivetrain to fit a transverse layout were factored in.

The added weight of the twin-turbo V-6 would have changed the handling balance of the 4C’s platform, too, resulting in a car that was far too willing to wag its tail under heavy throttle, or lift-off, or anything other than steady-state cornering.

Instead, the new GranSport (or whatever it’s ultimately called) will be a front-engine, rear-drive, 2+2 coupe at launch. Expect it to be smaller than the GranTurismo, with a modular aluminum platform used to shed pounds. Though the coupe will arrive first, a convertible version is expected to debut a year later.

Forget the V-8, too, as power will come exclusively from V-6 engines in various states of tune. Expect base S models to make around 300 horsepower, with GTS versions getting 400 hp and MC Stradale variants making some 450 hp.

As for the next GranTurismo, it will likely share a platform with the Quattroporte sedan and will shed some 105 kilograms (231 pounds) from the current car’s weight. Power will come from a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, and output will range from 460 hp in the S, to 530 hp in the GTS and 600 hp in the GranTurismo MC Stradale.

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