In the 1970s to 1990s, Maseratis were far from desirable to say the least. The cars they produced probably rusted faster than you can spell the name Maserati. But the brand from Modena actually has a heritage almost as strong as Ferrari’s when it comes to classic Italian sports cars and Grand Prix racing. Back in the 1950s, the brand with the Trident won countless Grand Prix races and championships with the legendary Juan Manual Fangio in one of the most iconic Grand Prix cars of all times, the 250F.
With the help of Ferrari, Maserati has bounced back from its rusty past in recent years and regained its Mojo. The GT and the Quattroporte previewed what was to come but the car that heralded the Trident’s comeback was the 2007 GranTurismo.
The GranTurismo had everything on paper for the perfect GT – gorgeous looks, a luxurious interior that seats four, a V8 with over 400bhp and last but not least, the evocative Trident badge. Take a drive it though and you’ll find something that is missing. It’s like missing the Maserati sporting spirit, the soul and the sense of occasion behind the wheel.
The GranTurismo S somehow managed to address the standard car’s lack of emotive appeal and its inability to tickle one’s senses but now, Maserati has introduced an even more hardcore and racier version of the GranTurismo – the MC Stradale. With a name like that, expectations of the MC Stradale are definitely high especially when MC stands for ‘Maserati Corse’. For the uninitiated, Corse means race while Stradale refers to street in the emotive Italian language.
Maserati says that the MC Stradale satisfies the demands of customers who want a GranTurismo that is capable of balancing their road driving needs (hence Stradale) with their race driving desires. So what has Maserati done to the evocative GranTurismo to achieve this? Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC and the GT4 motorsport programs, the MC Stradale offers more power while weight has been reduced by s much as 110kg. Key to the weight reduction is the deletion of the GranTurismo S’s rear seats, making the MC Stradale the only two seater model in the current Maserati line-up.
Outwardly, the MC Stradale is made to look sportier than the S by details like the new front bumper with blacked out main grille and new air inlets on either sides as well as a front splitter underneath, chunkier side skirts, new front wings with integrated air vents, new rear bumper with air ducts and the sizable circular exhaust tips now positioned closer to the centre. There are also air outlets on the bonnet, a more prominent boot lid lip spoiler as well as unique 20-inch alloys finished in satin black.
The changes to the exterior are pretty substantial to say the least as the new details have added an air of purposefulness to the GranTurismo’s elegant lines. The MC Stradale looks racy to the point that it will not look out of place if it is parked on the starting grid of an FIA GT race, not that it is all surprising since its looks are very much inspired by the GT4 and Trofeo race cars. According to Maserati, the MC Stradale’s exterior enhancements are not meant only to make it look racy but are also functional in the sense that these changes also improve downforce levels – up to 25 percent in front and a significant 50 percent more downforce at the rear when compared to the GranTurismo S at 200km/h.