Maserati set its sights high when it announced a sales goal of 50,000 units a year by 2015, and it appears the Trident could target German rivals with a mid-engine, V-8 powered sports car.
The sports car could adopt the Maserati GranSport name, reports Italian site Motorionline, quoting Maserati CEO Harald J. Webster. A GranSport would specifically target the Porsche 911 and the Audi R8, with seats for two, a mid-engine layout, and V-8 power, which could possibly come from a 4.7-liter engine borrowed from Ferrari. Like the upcoming Jaguar F-Type, though, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a more efficient base model using a powerful six-cylinder engine. A dual-clutch automatic transmission would also be sourced from the Prancing Horse, and send power to the rear wheels. Of course, the potential Maserati would boast something no Porsche or Audi ever can: sexy Italian styling.
Webster also reportedly said he would like the new sports car to be made from a carbon-fiber platform, but considers the Ferrari 458 Italia‘s aluminum frame another option. Total production would be limited to 2000 units a year, Motorionline claims. From a pricing standpoint, the sports car would slot likely above the GranTurismo but likely below Ferrari’s least expensive model — the California. Currently, the Maserati GranTurismo S Automatic carries a base price of about $123,000 while a Ferrari California starts at just above $200,000.
When asked about the GranSport — which hasn’t yet been officially approved by Fiat — Maserati spokesman Jeff Ehoodin said it was the first he had heard of the car, but has yet to comment further on the rumored car.