27 Sep 2012
Maserati GranCabrio MC international debut at the Paris International Motor Show 2012
International debut at the 2012 Edition of the Paris International Motor Show for Maserati: the GranCabrio MC. Designed to complete Maserati’s open-top range, the new Maserati GranCabrio MC blends high performance and sports characteristics derived from racing experience with the style, charm and practicality of Maserati’s four seater convertible.
This debut is framed by Maserati’s presentation of the complete, revamped Sport range, including the GranTurismo Sport, the GranCabrio Sport – recently presented at the Moscow Motor Show – and the Quattroporte Sport GT S.
Inspired and encouraged by the considerable success of the GranTurismo MC Stradale, which was warmly received by customers thanks to a masterly translation and adaptation of racing characteristics for use on the road, the new GranCabrio MC completes the open-top range with a highly sporty and aggressive look, while maintaining the strengths and characteristics of a true grand tourer, ideal for long journeys.
The new, sporty look can be seen in each stylistic element of the GranCabrio MC’s bodywork. Inspired directly by the cars of the Maserati Trofeo MC World Series and the GT4 version, the new design perfectly blends sportiness, dynamism, the search for aerodynamic perfection, elegance and style. These stylistic elements already partly characterised the GranTurismo MC Stradale and the GranTurismo Sport, and seamlessly unite form and function.
The car, 48 millimetres longer than the GranCabrio and GranCabrio Sport, is characterised by a front end which is inspired directly by the MC Stradale, adopting a profile designed to optimise the aerodynamic lift and flow. These differ from those on other versions of the GranCabrio due to the increased car length and other aerodynamic elements at the rear end.
Thanks to experience gained in racing and above all to specific analysis of fluid dynamics, the new GranCabrio MC has an aerodynamic lift coefficient (measured at 140 km/h) which is 10% lower at the front and 25% lower at the rear compared to the GranCabrio and GranCabrio Sport.
The bonnet incorporates two generous air outlets at the centre to optimise cooling of the powerful V8, and two more air outlets to cool down the brake discs have also been added to the two front wings.
Initially introduced on the GranTurismo Sport the new headlights, which adopt LEDs for the daytime running light (DRL) function, complete the new look of the GranCabrio MC. Though they maintain the external shape seen on the other three versions in the GranCabrio range, the new headlights adopt the most modern technology, perfectly enhanced with an extremely sporty look thanks to the matt black colour of the structure.
The bi-xenon unit inside the headlight also incorporates Adaptive Light Control, which follows the movement of the steering by up to 15 degrees.
The rear is characterised by the large spoiler, for greater negative lift at high speeds. Inside the spoiler, built into the luggage compartment, is the third brake light. The standard version comes in the same colour as the body and it is also available, within the various car customisation packages, with a carbon finish.
The bumper has been completely redesigned at the bottom to make the new model even sportier and at the same time ensure optimal aerodynamic efficiency. The circular exhausts have been moved to the centre of the bumper and the specific layout of the air ducts, built into the lower part of the bumper, ensure greater streamlining, stabilising the air flow from the underbody.
Finally, the dynamism of the GranCabrio MC is accentuated by the 20" MC Design rims, available in glossy Titanio or matt Grafite, and made using flow-forming technology. In addition to being lighter, they feature the traditional Trident, skilfully worked into the double-spokes.
The interior of the GranCabrio MC has received a thorough overhaul with particular attention paid to ergonomics.
The new seats, completely redesigned from both an aesthetic and functional point of view and enhanced with high-quality materials, now ensure the optimum balance of comfort and performance, elegance and functionality. The new structure of both the front and rear seats now incorporates the headrest and is enhanced by an upper, central trim, with a design inspired by the car’s front grille.
Particularly important, especially with convertible cars, is the attention paid to the rear passengers. For this reason, the frame for the front seats, which is also available in a completely carbon-fibre version, has been completely redesigned to ensure 20 mm more legroom for the rear passengers.
Particular attention has been paid to the ergonomic and comfort-related aspects of driving. The seats, with an increased profile to enhance their wrap-around structure and lateral containment, ensure sporty driving while guaranteeing superior comfort, even on very long journeys.
The steering wheel features a new design, with the rim flattened at the top and bottom for greater manoeuvrability, also for sports and high-speed use, without interfering with the driver’s legs.
The rear seats have been redesigned according to the same logic: maximum comfort, maximum passenger restraint in sports driving and ample use of quality materials.
To complete the new, super-sporty look of the new GranCabrio MC, it incorporates the Trofeo-design steering wheel paddles as standard, with increased dimensions as seen on the GranTurismo Sport, and an aluminium pedal unit.
Engine and performance
As with the most sporty GranTurismo in the range (the GranTurismo Sport), the GranCabrio MC also adopts the new 4.7-litre V8 engine, which delivers 338 kW (460 HP) together with substantial torque of 520 Nm at 4,750 rpm.
The pistons, positioned at an angle of 90°, are made of reinforced, hardened aluminium, as is the engine block. The crankshaft, with five-point balancing, is made of high-strength steel.
The timing system, with a system of two chains per bank, features dual variable valve timing.
The new power unit, in combination with the MC Auto Shift transmission, is now able to propel the GranCabrio MC, in closed soft top configuration, to a top speed of 289 km/h with acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds.
Automatic transmission (MC Auto Shift)
Like other sports models in the Maserati range, the GranCabrio MC also adopts an automatic six-speed ZF transmission able to transfer all the power of the 460 HP V8 engine to the ground. Calibrated specifically for application on the sportiest version in the GranCabrio range, the MC Auto Shift transmission features five operating modes. It can be used in Auto-Normal, Auto-Sport, Manual-Normal, Manual-Sport and Ice modes.
In Manual mode, gear changes are carried out directly by the driver through the steering wheel paddles, as with a truly manual gearbox. In Manual-Normal mode, the driver can change gear until the threshold value is reached, while in Manual-Sport mode the gear is maintained until the driver next changes gear, even if this may result in over-revving and the intervention of the limiter.
On the GranCabrio Sport, Sport mode includes super-fast mode, which derives directly from the GranTurismo Sport and the Quattroporte Sport GT S and permits gear changes that are 50% faster.
This mode includes automatic blipping (short burst of acceleration) when downshifting with the Launch Control system, called MC Start Strategy (which operates only with MSP deactivated).
Using the MC Start Strategy, the driver holds down the brake pedal, presses the accelerator pedal and then releases the brake pedal when the optimum engine speed is reached (2,300–2,500 rpm).
Chassis and suspension
Performance, safety and comfort were the guidelines that Maserati engineers followed when designing the chassis for the new GranCabrio MC. In light of the experience gained with the GranTurismo MC Stradale, it is fitted with single-rate dampers, to give maximum emphasis to the car’s sporty character, which guarantee greater rigidity in order to ensure optimum road holding in all driving conditions, without detracting from maximum passenger comfort.
Braking, always powerful and safe, is guaranteed by Maserati’s patented Dual Cast system, which includes brake discs with aluminium bell and steel braking surface, 360×32 mm at the front and 330×28 mm at the back.
This system guarantees the best pedal feeling and braking efficiency, which translates to an excellent stopping distance of 100 to 0 km/h over just 35 metres.
In addition to the conventional holes to optimise cooling of the discs, they also feature grooves which allow the film of water, which deposits on the discs when driving on wet surfaces, to be eliminated and ensure that the operation of the pad’s friction material is restored in order to ensure maximum power and braking efficiency at all times.
The one-piece aluminium alloy brake calipers, produced by Brembo and available in various colours, are also six-piston at the front and four-piston at the rear. This configuration ensures greater uniformity in braking, a constant clamping force and the sensation of a stable and reliable pedal, reducing brake wear at the same time.
In deference to Maserati tradition, the monocoque chassis is made with different materials to ensure maximum weight reduction and maximum torsional rigidity. The use of high-strength steels for the structural part and the use of aluminium and composite materials for the moving parts, ensure maximum performance in complete conformity with the spirit in which the new GranCabrio MC was conceived.
The new GranCabrio Sport consolidates its presence on the convertible car market with completely revamped exteriors and a more powerful engine. The new front bumper, with redesigned profile to enhance aesthetics and functionality, new headlights, a new, even more powerful engine and an upgraded suspension system make the new GranCabrio Sport a point of reference in the convertible car market. It made its debut at the Moscow International Motor Show at the end of August.
Already one of the most highly regarded in the world of sports cars, the GranCabrio Sport’s bodywork has undergone a restyling which skilfully harmonises the characteristics of the GranTurismo Sport.
One of the most evident new features of the GranCabrio Sport is the design for the front end with new light clusters. Though they maintain their external form, they now incorporate completely new technological characteristics, including LED Daytime Running Lights technology.
The steering wheel, with new design, is now more ergonomic and, in combination with the extended Trofeo-design paddles and light aluminium pedals, is better suited to sports driving thanks to a flattened rim and accentuated grip profile.
The new grey EcoChrome materials for the interiors and the Poltrona Frau leather upholstery complete the existing characteristics, such as the steering wheel transmission paddles and the aluminium pedals.
The GranCabrio Sport, which comes with a modern V8 engine that has already become a classic, adopts the most recent innovations in the field of engineering to deliver greater power and torque.
Both the hardware and software of the engine have been improved significantly, improving its power by 10 HP and torque by 10 Nm, without adversely affecting consumption or emissions.
At 7,000 rpm, the GranCabrio Sport delivers 338 kW (460 HP) with a considerable torque of 520 Nm at 4,750 rpm.
Automatic transmission (MC Auto Shift)
The automatic six-speed ZF transmission with MC Auto Shift is perfectly capable of handling the exceptional performance of the powerful V8 and derives from the transmission of the GranTurismo Sport. The automatic transmission is connected directly to the rear of the engine and transmits the torque to the same
limited-slip differential through a two-piece articulated steel crankshaft.
The GranCabrio Sport with MC Auto Shift transmission can reach 100 km/h in just 5.0 seconds. Top speed is 285 km/h.
Chassis and suspension
The GranCabrio Sport was designed to combine peerless driving comfort for all occupants with optimum handling at high speeds.
Exceptional performance and road holding, as well as the handling of a great sports car, are qualities of the GranCabrio Sport that few other sports convertibles can boast.
This is thanks to the shock absorbers with Sport Skyhook system, the most recent development of the Maserati damping control system. The Sport Skyhook system constantly adjusts the GranCabrio Sport’s shock absorbers, adapting them to the road conditions. With the aid of a new rear anti-roll bar which is 12% more rigid, the Sport Skyhook system allows the vertical rigidity of the GranCabrio Sport to be increased by 10% in Sport mode.
Maserati and Bowers & Wilkins launch brand partnership
Collaboration heralds a new era in high performance in-car audio systems
Maserati and British high-end audio specialist Bowers & Wilkins today announce a brand partnership that looks set to shake up the world of car audio. The three-year partnership will produce a new high-performance in-car sound system, created by Bowers & Wilkins in collaboration with Maserati, available exclusively in Maserati cars from 2013.
To support the partnership, Maserati and Bowers & Wilkins will launch a range of marketing activities including a microsite, a documentary video and a series of events in cities around the world. The centrepiece of the marketing drive will be Engine Note - a campaign inspired by the seven unique notes produced by all Maserati car engines. These engine notes will be recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London and used to create a series of exclusive tracks, mixed by musician and producer Howie B, and available to hear in high-definition audio.
Along with the new car-audio system, the Maserati/Bowers & Wilkins partnership will produce a range of limited edition co-branded audio products, including high performance speakers and headphones.
The first half of 2012 for MASERATI
In the first half of 2012, network sales comprised 3,322 units, with an increase of 3.4% compared to the first half of 2011.
Maserati made profits of 324 million euros, with an increase of approximately 7%, compared to the 303 million recorded in the same period in 2011.
In the first half of 2012, operating profits reached 23 million euros, an improvement on the same period last year, when operating profits were 18 million euros.
In the second quarter of 2012, Maserati delivered 1,762 cars to the network (+1% approx. compared to the second quarter of 2011). The increases recorded in the USA (+23%), China (+20%) and the Middle East (+83%) were significant, while there has been a reduction of 40% in Europe.
Profits for the quarter totalled 171 million euros, growth of approximately 2% compared to the same period
The second quarter of 2012 closed with operating profits and EBIT of 11 million euros, with an increase of 2 million euros compared to the second quarter of 2011.
Maserati Trofeo MC World Series
The Maserati Trofeo MC World Series is ever more gripping and spectacular. Its success is guaranteed by the fascination of the historic, highly distinguished brand that is Maserati, but also by its formula, updated from 2011, which includes six rounds in three different continents: the United States and China in addition to Europe.
The format includes two types of race: standard programme (three rounds) with two trials each lasting 40 minutes and an endurance formula (three events) with two 30-minute races and one 50-minute race every weekend, with compulsory pit stop and change of driver for two-driver crews. The GranTurismo MC Trofeo has also seen changes. It has been significantly upgraded from last season with a new set-up which sees the adoption of an aerodynamic kit and reduction in weight which have made it even more competitive.
The excellent result translated into a series of starting grids for the various circuits which were always packed out, as in the trial in the United States, where the 23 registered cars on the track at Infineon (CA) near San Francisco represented 14 countries.
One race from the end, the struggle for the top spot is still open, and the “Trofeo Assoluto” will be awarded in the grand finale slated for 4 November at the Shanghai Formula 1 circuit in China.
In the meantime, in the fourth round in July in France on the Paul Ricard circuit, the Belgian Renaud Kuppens (already driver in the FIA GT) of Konvex Motorsport has already taken the European Trofeo, having come out on top on the asphalt of the “old continent” (at Jarama, Portimao and Imola in addition to Paul Ricard).
The Maserati programme also includes the participation of two Quattroporte belonging to the private Swiss Team in the Superstars International championship, where it holds the drivers title, won thanks to Andrea Bertolini’s success in 2011. This year the Swiss Team’s priorities have changed, always aiming for the top spot but with different players. This is why one of the cars was entrusted solely to driver Mauro Cesari, while a second was “divvied up” between a foursome of ex Formula 1 drivers who took turns at the wheel: Mika Salo, Christian Fittipaldi, Johnny Herbert and Christian Klein, triumphant in race 2 in Budapest.
Furthermore, the collaboration of the Modenese carmaker with the Swiss Team has led to the development of the Maserati GranTurismo MC GT3. Currently it has only been in some private tests, at the Spanish GT race at Jarama in May and recently at Hungaroring in the sixth round of the GT Open International. Work is underway to prepare for possible use in a championship in the next season.
That’s without forgetting that March saw the conclusion of the first Trofeo Maserati JBF RAK, Maserati’s mono-brand competition contested exclusively in the Middle East over six compelling rounds on the Formula 1 tracks at Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Bahrain, in which the Lebanese Joe Ghanem emerged triumphant.