News of Maserati’s plans to launch a sports car positioned below its GranTurismo first broke in May of last year. The speculation was quickly followed with confirmation of the car by Maserati boss Harald Wester, who added that it might feature a mid-engine layout.
This led to talk that the car might use the platform of the Alfa Romeo 4C, which, incidentally, is built at a Maserati plant. However, it’s since been reported that the new sports car will feature an engine mounted up front.
Now, Motor Trend has dug up some fresh details on the car after speaking with Wester.
The Maserati boss said a new, small sports car was needed as a rival for the likes of the Jaguar F-Type and Porsche 911. He explained that volumes for cars like the bigger GranTurismo and GranCabrio (a.k.a. GranTurismo Convertible) were simply too limited.
“The four-seat GranCabrio is in a segment where even the biggest-selling competitor sells just 2,000 a year maximum,” he said.
Though it’s yet to be confirmed, the new sports car, which most are predicting to revive Maserati’s GranSport nameplate, will reportedly ride on a shortened version of the platform underpinning the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans.
This platform will allegedly be used for a number of performance models within the Fiat Chrysler Group including the new GranSport, next-generation GranTurismo and GranCabrio, and possibly even the next-generation Dodge Challenger and the long-rumored Barracuda it will spawn.
The GranSport will be one of the smallest of these new performance models, stretching approximately 177 inches or roughly the same length as a C7 Corvette. To differentiate it from the larger GranTurismo, the GranSport will feature V-6 power while the new GranTurimso will stick with a V-8. The V-6 in question is Maserati’s new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter mill, which is manufactured by Ferrari and rated at 404 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.
A convertible version of the GranSport is said to also be in the works, possibly as a replacement for the current GranCabrio.
Both the new GranSport and the next-generation GranTurismo are expected to be launched on the market during 2015.