Maserati has combined the style and glamour of its svelte GranCabrio with the motorsport technology derived from its MC road-racer models to produce the Maserati GranCabrio MC, a car designed for hard core open top driving enthusiasts, and which is now on sale in Australia.
The Maserati GranCabrio has been extensively modified to produce the MC variant, drawing on the limited edition Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale and the racing versions of the GranTurismo on which it is based. These include aerodynamic changes that are so substantial that the new car is nearly five centimetres longer than the car on which it is based. The most substantial changes are the new aerodynamic splitters at the front, with its wide flat lip to ensure better air separation and undercar airflow, and the rear splitter that is so large it required the repositioning of the rear exhaust outlets to a higher, more central position. Combined, these changes boost downforce at the front by 10 per cent and 25 per cent at the rear at 140 kmh.
These exterior changes are complimented by new bonnet vents to enable engine heat to escape during sustained high performance driving, side skirts to control lateral air flow on the body and a large rear spoiler on the boot lid. The front guards are also from the MC Stradale with the larger vertical air vent behind the front wheels and the Maserati signature three ‘port hole’ air vents have been stripped of their chrome to further enhance the race-car derived look of the Maserati GranCabrio MC.
Motorsport derived technology extends to the interior of the GranCabrio MC, with the new seats clearly using a design that originated with the racing seats in the GranTurismo Trofeo racing car. Their compact design hold the driver and the front seat passenger in the ideal position and has the added benefit of also providing the rear passengers in this four seat convertible with an extra 20 mm of leg room. The seats use a combination of leather and the same Alcantara used in the racing cars, while carbon fibre and dark chrome, along with Alcantara complete the interior trim package.
Behind the Alcantara trimmed steering wheel, the GranCabrio MC uses the larger MC Stradale gearshift paddles and the pedals are in drilled aluminium, again, like the GranTurismo Trofeo racing car.
The Maserati GranTurismo MC is fitted with the latest version of the Maserati 4.7 litre V8 engine, which has been acclaimed as much for its muscular 338 kW performance as it is for the operatic soundtrack it provides for every journey. In the Maserati GranCabrio MC it is mated to the most aggressive automatic gearbox offered by Maserati, the MC AutoShift, which offers launch control and in manual mode will not change up gears when the engine nears or even hits the rev-limiter. To maintain vehicle stability under rapid deceleration, the gearbox works with engine to perfectly match engine and road speed for every downshift, an effect that sounds like a manual car being driven by a racing driver doing perfect ‘heel and toe’ downshifts through a manual gearbox. This combination enables the Maserati GranCabrio MC to dispatch the dash to 100 kmh in 4.9 seconds and continue onto, where the law permits, a top speed of 289 kmh.
The repositioning of the exhaust outlets to the same position as the Trofeo and GT4 racing cars has enabled Maserati to fit a light secondary silencer for Sport mode which means that when this setting is selected the volume increases – as one commentator said, “it’s turned up to 11 on a scale of zero to 10” – and it is also provides a deeper bass sound with a more distinctive crackle sound on overrun – just like the Trofeo racing car.
Completing the technical changes to the car, the Maserati GranCabrio MC is fitted as standard with single rate sports suspension that reduces the roll angle of the car by 10 per cent, while maintaining a progressive response that is as entertaining as it is comfortable. This ensure a more crisp turn into corners and greater control in high speed corners.
“While the changes to the exterior of the Maserati GranCabrio MC make no attempt to hide the aggressive performance intent of this car, it does offer a glorious Jekyll and Hyde character,” says Glen Sealey, General Manager of Maserati Australia and New Zealand. “On one hand it retains the svelte ability of the GranCabrio to provide the ultimate open top motoring experience for four people, to gracefully and comfortably swallow distances with security, style and luxury. On the other hand, press the sport button, place the gearbox into manual mode and release launch control and the Maserati GranCabrio MC reveals its motorsport heritage and will provide a remarkable level of ability on the racetrack. It is a combination that only the ultimate open top Maserati could offer.”
The Maserati GranCabrio MC is on sale in Australia now and has a recommended retail price of $355,000 excluding statutory charges, delivery and dealer costs.