Up until now, buyers of the Maserati GranTurismo have been able to choose from either the standard model, with its 399 bhp (297 kW / 405 PS) 4.2 litre engine, or the ‘S’ version that gets a larger 4.7 litre V8 and 434 bhp (323 kW / 440 PS).
Neither is exactly slow - even the less powerful option delivers a 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph (285 km/h) - and the GranTurismo is arguably one of the most handsome cars on sale today. But, as the name implies, both variants remain more luxury coupe than hardcore performance car.
However, the latest addition to the range is designed to shift the character of the GranTurismo firmly towards the sports end of the spectrum. Named the MC Stradale, and taking inspiration from the Trofeo GranTurismo MC and GT4 race cars, it will be the fastest, lightest and most powerful new Maserati available when deliveries begin early next year.
Like the ‘S’, it features a 4.7 litre engine, but output goes up to 443 bhp (331 kW / 450 PS). Maserati says that will be sufficient for the MC Stradale to top 186 mph (300 km/h), although it has yet to publish any acceleration figures.
Revised bodywork increases aerodynamic down force, while tweaks to the chassis are claimed to offer ‘razor sharp’ handling without affecting the ride quality - a conflict that’s often difficult to resolve. Anyone hoping to take the family along will be disappointed, though. As part of the weight-saving measures, the GranTurismo MC Stradale loses its rear seats.
Pricing has yet to be confirmed but, with the GranTurismo S starting at £90,455 in the UK, the MC Stradale should easily end up being north of £100,000.