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Maserati Unveils the Granturismo S at Geneva

March 4th, 2008

A year after it launched the original GranTurimso, Maserati has once again used the Geneva International Motor Show (4 March 2008) to launch the new high performance variant of its dramatic coupe, with the unveiling of the GranTurismo S.

The Maserati GranTurismo S, which is the new interpretation of the perfect balance between sportiness and comfort shifts the emphasis onto performance and driving enjoyment, will arrive in Australia and New Zealand in early 2009.

The new 440 HP V8 4.7 engine, with a maximum torque of 490 Nm at 4750 rpm, electro-actuated gearbox with fast MC Shift, Transaxle layout, sporty exhaust and brakes made with dual-cast technology make the GranTurismo S the new flagship for Maserati sporting flair, with acceleration from 0 to 100 Km/h at 4.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 295 Km/h, the highest ever reached by a production Maserati.

The compact and lightweight 4.7 liter V8 engine develops maximum power output of 440 HP at 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 490 Nm at 4,750 rpm, and ensures high specific power output and more torque at lower speeds as well, without affecting the capacity to up the revs quickly, typical of racing engines. The increase in power output and torque has not affected the versatility of the power unit, which continues to be readily harnessed even during everyday use. It sounds deep and throaty, but the exhaust valve pneumatic control can also be activated to make it discrete.

An electro-actuated 6-speed gearbox is paired with the 4.7 liter V8 engine, and has MC-Shift software which harnesses the new engine’s power output, ensuring new unbeatable gearshift performance in terms of the whole sports car range.

The gearshift solution known as MC-Shift is the most important innovation of the electro-actuated system on the Maserati GranTurismo S: this includes management software and special hardware components which give top performance in terms of gearshift times.

In conventional electro-actuated systems the three shift phases (cut in torque and opening of clutch; gear disengagement, selection and engagement; closing of clutch and restoration of torque) are carried out sequentially.

On the Maserati GranTurismo S the shift phases are partially overlapped: gear disengagement and engagement take place in advance of clutch opening and closing; this means that the shift time, interpreted and calculated as the break in acceleration, drops to 100 ms, whilst the single gear engagement phase reduces to 40 ms.

The fast MC-Shift is available only when shifting up and in Manual Sport mode, provided that the transmission control unit recognizes when given parameters relating to engine and transmission temperature are achieved: the quick shift is possible above 5500 rpm and with the throttle at 80%.

Once these parameters have been achieved, the system enables fast shift and warns the driver through the MC-S indicator on the dashboard display, which lights up and stays on.

The engine and gearbox on the Maserati GranTurismo S are arranged in the Transaxle layout, typical of high-performance sports cars and representing the Maserati technological DNA. The front-mounted engine, and the gearbox, located to the rear, are rigidly connected by a tubular element containing the driveshaft. This solution gives excellent weight distribution, 47% over the front axle and 53% over the rear axle, which translates into excellent dynamics and top performance.

Looking through the spokes of the new 20” rims on the GranTurismo S you can see the high-performance brake system developed in collaboration with Brembo.

The system features front brake discs made with dual-cast technology — a dual casting of cast iron and aluminum, paired with aluminum mono-bloc 6-piston brake calipers.

This technology, introduced for the first time in the automotive field on the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S, optimizes the braking system’s performance, by emphasizing pedal feel and increasing fatigue-resistance in the most extreme conditions.

At the wheel, the Maserati GranTurismo S is more rigid and compact, thanks to the suspension layout developed specifically to support the new weight distribution. Vehicle roll has been reduced significantly as a result of the modified springs, bars and dampers, and this has benefited handling and performance.

On the outside the Maserati GranTurismo S is distinguished by a number of aesthetic modifications that, although discrete, are highly effective and serve to make the car body appear even sportier without abandoning the sleekness of the lines masterfully designed by Pininfarina. The integrated spoiler in the boot lid and the new-design side skirts help to improve the flows around the car. On top of that, the Maserati GranTurismo S boasts new specially designed 20” rims, which resemble the Trident, Maserati’s symbol.

The sporty look is complemented by the generously proportioned oval-section exhaust tailpipes.

The radiator grille and headlight casings are black, while the Trident on the grille and the oval badge below the hood are embossed in red, in true Maserati racing tradition.

The interior upholstered in Poltrona Frau leather and Alcantara (used for the steering wheel and centre of the seat with the option to extend to the whole of the headlining) reflect the sporty flair of the Maserati GranTurismo S; the front and rear seats are distinguished by their new dynamic design with horizontal piping on the seats and seatbacks.

As an alternative to the standard leather/Alcantara, trim classic interiors are available in all Poltrona Frau leather, or in full-grain Pekary leather with a sporty and more refined look.

In 2007 Maserati achieved revenues of € 694 million, growth of 33.7% compared to the previous year, thanks to the excellent performance of the Quattroporte Automatica and the new Maserati GranTurismo, launched in July.

Maserati’s operating profit was € 24 million (equal to 3.5% of revenues), a clear improvement (up by € 57 million) compared to the loss of € 33 million in 2006. Thanks to increased volumes and the ongoing cost cutting program, Maserati achieved a positive result for the first time since it was acquired by Fiat in 1993.

2007 was also a year of important new developments and substantial figures for Maserati:

    • a production record was set in October, when 850 vehicles left the Modena factory — equivalent to the annual production of just a few years ago;
    • over 7300 (7353) cars were delivered to customers, 33.3% more than the previous year, thanks to a network of 272 dealers in 59 countries on all 5 continents;
    • deliveries to the sales network increased 30.7%, amounting to 7,496 units.

The US market is Maserati’s largest, with over 2,600 vehicles delivered in 2007, 20.5% more than the preceding year; followed by Italy with 714 vehicles, a 40% increase compared to 2006. In third place the United Kingdom (611), ahead of Germany and Japan. These markets were followed by Switzerland, France, China, the Arab Emirates and Australia.

Maserati Switzerland SA, based in Schlieren (Zurich), operates in Switzerland with a network of 11 showrooms and 9 dealers. A total of 344 vehicles were delivered to customers in 2007, an increase of 44% on the previous year. The area with the highest concentration of sales is Zurich.

The Quattroporte Sport GT S, also on show at Geneva following its Melbourne Motor Show launch the previous week, is an extreme expression of the sportiness of Maserati’s flagship model. It is a car for those looking for the thrills of the race-track even in a luxury sedan.

With automatic 6-speed transmission, it stands out for its remarkably dynamic on-road behavior and uncompromising handling. In particular, there are two technical solutions that distinguish this model: the single-calibration shock absorbers, the new lower, stiffer suspension, and the braking system developed from the dual-cast brake disc, the result of a partnership with Brembo, used for the first time in the automotive industry on the Quattroporte Sport GT S.

The car also has a more aggressive look: black-chrome honeycomb mesh grille, twin exhaust pipes finished in black, door handles to match the bodywork and seven-spoke 20” wheel rims in the new Dark Chrome finish. The interiors are every bit as striking: carbon detailing with a new aluminum weave design, restyled front seats for improved comfort, great stability for chest and legs in racing mode, and the traditional Poltrona Frau leather combined with Alcantara.

The début of the GranTurismo S comes in the wake of the now consolidated success of the Maserati GranTurismo — which is still turning heads and winning critical and public acclaim exactly one year after its world début. By the end of 2007, the GranTurismo was parked in the garages of no fewer than 1326 customers, with a further order backlog totaling over 2300.

The reasons behind its success are plain for all to see: the exclusive, exquisite lines penned by Pininfarina conceal a sporty, aggressive vehicle with a sparkling performance, suitable for everyday driving thanks to its excellent handling. Total comfort is guaranteed by the excellent quality of materials, attention to detail and spacious interior. The rear seats can comfortably accommodate two adults, even on long journeys.

The engine compartment houses a V8 4.2 engine (405 HP at 7100 rpm), capable of a top speed of 285 km/h. With acceleration of 0-100 in 5.2 seconds, an exciting drive and thrilling performance are guaranteed.

The success of the Maserati GranTurismo began 60 years ago, when the Modena manufacturer launched 58 models of the A6 Gran Turismo styled by Pininfarina. Ten years later, it was the turn of the first standard GranTurismo, the 3500 GT, a car which marked a turning point for the company as it shifted its attention from racing cars to road going production, turning out 1983 models of the 3500 GT in seven years. Those days may be long gone, but they have been well and truly revived with the 2007 version of the GranTurismo.

Maserati has put in place a development plan for the next 5 years designed to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions and to protect the environment.

The plan is based on engine development, aimed at improving thermodynamic and mechanical performance, as well as the internal fluid dynamics. It also features new strategies to manage the thermal and electronic behavior of the engine and power train. Maserati is also considering the possibility of using fuel blends containing a higher percentage of biofuels.

As far as the car is concerned, the more widespread use of innovative materials will not only boost performance but will also significantly reduce weight. There are plans to reduce the car's resistance to forward motion (aerodynamics, rolling resistance, internal friction).

The plan also includes the use of environmentally-friendly, easily recyclable materials made from natural substances, especially for the parts of the interior which are most in contact with the driver and passengers (natural textile fibers, wood and leather).

Maseratis are mindful of the “design for recycling” concept, which is centered around making cars easy to dismantle at the end of their lives, so that materials can be identified and separated for re-use.

The designs of recent models have already led to considerable fuel savings, with a reduction of 9% (non-urban driving) for the Quattroporte Automatica and the Quattroporte Sport GT S, and a further 3% for the GranTurismo.

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