Italian company Maserati is already branching out into the world of fast SUVs, and also wants to try its hand at another type of car: mid-engine supercars. Maserati CEO Harald Wester wants build a mid-engine, carbon-fiber supercar with a V-8 engine, according to Evo.
Wester apparently was inspired to build a Maserati supercar after seeing the strong response to the sultry Alfa Romeo 4C concept car (pictured) — he’s also CEO of Alfa. The Maserati version would be larger and offer far more performance, with a carbon-fiber monocoque and a mid-engine layout. The car would serve as the brand’s “halo” car and could be called GranSport. That name was last used for a limited-run, high-performance version of the Maserati Coupé and Spyder.
Beneath the skin, Evo reports that the Maserati GranSport would use the 4.7-liter V-8 engine from the 2013 GranTurismo Sport, which was shown at the Geneva Motor Show. That mill is rated for 460 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque. The car is likely to use the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission from the Ferrari 458 Italia. Speaking of the 458, Maserati’s supercar is expected to be more than 600 pounds lighter at about 2640 pounds, but overall a similar size to the Ferrari.
As we reported last month, Maserati sees the hypothetical supercar as a contender to the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. It would have two seats and only 2000 copies would be built annually, and could go on sale by 2015.
It’s no secret that Maserati wants to expand its lineup in order to reach its ambitious goal of 50,000 global sales annually by 2015 — last year the company delivered 6159 cars worldwide. The company announced in April that it would soon introduce three new models. One of those is the Kubang SUV, which was introduced as a concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Another is this mid-engine supercar. And after that, Maserati may launch a smaller sedan that’s been termed a “baby Quattroporte.”