A new two-seater sports car from Maserati is set to make its world debut at late September's 2012 Paris motor show.
The rival to the likes of the Porsche 911 and what will be its sister car, the Ferrari 458, has been the subject of strong hints from Maserati this year, and company sources have told CarAdvice this is the mystery model Maserati has teased in an electronic direct mail to Maserati owners.
In the bulletin (below) obtained by CarAdvice, Maserati has revealed its six models at Paris will include “the world premiere of a car that opens up new frontiers in terms of exclusiveness, performance and style”.
The new Maserati is likely to make the debut in concept form ahead of an on-sale date not expected for two or three years, possibly as a direct replacement for the 2+2 seater GranTurismo coupe in the Trident badge’s line-up.
The supercar is tipped to revive the GranSport name, be constructed by significant amounts of carbon fibre like its donor car, the upcoming Alfa Romeo 4C, and adopt a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout.
Maserati’s 4.7-litre V8 from the current GranTurismo is one engine mooted, but the hotter money is on a twin-turbocharged V6 being developed by Ferrari – for both brands.
The bi-turbo V6, putting out about 330kW, would be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that would be the company’s first use of the quick-shifting transmission and borrowed from Ferrari.
With a target weight of about 1200kg, sub-4.0-second performance should be guaranteed.
The two-seater sports car is part of Maserati’s grand plans to boost annual sales volumes to 10,000, with the supercar accounting for up to a fifth of that figure.
A Maserati SUV will also launch in 2014 as a crucial model. It was previewed as long ago as 2003 by the Maserati Kubang concept and is expected to be called the Cinqueporte (for five doors).
The next-generation Maserati Quattroporte (four doors) sedan is due in 2013.