The Fiat Group has big plans for Maserati. It is looking to boost sales to the 50,000 mark globally, up from under 10,000 last year. Much has been made about what kind of volume models will be introduced to reach that goal. A new BMW M5-fighting sedan will slot in below the Quattroporte, while the Maserati Cinqueporte SUV will take it to the Porsche Cayenne. A range of new V-6 and V-8 engines is being developed by Ferrari to power these cars; a diesel is even in the mix (really now?) for Europe. Along with all these rumors though has been a consistent one regarding a new mid-engined sports car.
Lately Maserati has been all about front-engined grand tourers, such as the Gran Turismo. In the past though mid-engined models played a bigger role. Earlier in the year rumors were centering around a GranSport model based on the 458 Italia. A few days ago Car Advice obtained a Maserati e-mail advisory about new models at the Paris Motor Show. In it the company stated Paris would be hosting the “world premiere of a car that opens up new frontiers in terms of exclusiveness, performance and style.”
New frontiers? A mid-engined GranSport could fit the bill for that. Word on the street says the car would be powered by a twin-turbocharged V-6. Chief competitor is said to be the Porsche 911. We would assume that they mean upper level trim levels of the 911. To be in 911 territory at all though means we doubt the GranSport would be based on the 458 Italia. The price tag would have to be too high. Also, as Ferrari is the golden goose, Fiat will want to keep a clear separation between the two brands. For now all we can do is wait until Paris – this debut looks like it will be a true surprise.