MASERATI AT THE BOLOGNA MOTOR SHOW UNDER THE FLAG OF ITS SPORTY DNA
The MC Sport Line customisation programme focuses on Maserati`s racing heritage fresh from its latest international triumph in the FIA GT championship with the Bertolini-Bartels duo in Argentina, the land of Juan Manuel Fangio.
Maserati has developed a special series of new options named "MC Sport Line", which make their worldwide debut at the Bologna Motor Show, with new content that adds to Maserati`s already extensive range of personalisation options. The "MC Sport Line" is designed to enhance the sporty DNA of Maseratis for those customers who like to express their passion for racing through dynamic styling and a choice of technical solutions that increase driving fun without compromise.
The name "MC Sport Line" sums up the on-track experience gained by the Maserati Corse department, whose contribution to the design of the functional components has been invaluable. The world of motor racing also inspired Maserati`s designers when it came to styling, hence the extensive use of carbon fibre, exceptionally popular among racing enthusiasts thanks to its direct links to racing.
The GranTurismo S, the ultimate expression of Maserati`s performance, was the model chosen to first present the "MC Sport Line" catalogue to the public, which will be extended to the GranTurismo range and then will ultimately encompass the entire Maserati line-up during the course of 2009.
From early 2009, GranTurismo S customers will not only be able to enhance the sporty look of their vehicle`s exterior and interior - but different technical solutions will also be available.
Aerodynamics can be modified thanks to the addition of front and rear carbon-fibre spoilers, which benefit from track tests conducted on the GranTurismo MC Concept; the new aerodynamics not only optimise the vertical load but give the car a very distinctive appearance, as do the side skirts with the central panel finished in matt black, adding a dynamic edge to the side view.
The sporty look of the exterior can be completed with carbon fibre mirror housings and door handles. The same dark shade is reflected in the glossy black 20" wheel rims that perfectly match the dark line of the exterior.
The carbon fibre door sill bearing the words "MC Sport Line", tells you that you are entering a different environment, in which carbon fibre characterises the door panels, dashboard and central tunnel.
The steering wheel rim is also made from carbon fibre, as are the paddle shifts for the electro-actuated transmission and the body of the instrument panel, dashboard and door panels, featuring carbon moulding. Looking at the central tunnel, carbon fibre dominates the entire section, acting as a backdrop to enhance the brilliance of the chrome.
The "MC" pedal block complete with kickplate to the left is machined from solid aluminium.
Under the "skin", the suspension has been stiffened thanks to new, stiffer springs, shock absorbers and anti-roll bars; the new suspension set-up is synchronised with a specific Maserati Stability Programme software, allowing the driver more freedom. The car is now 10 mm lower than the GranTurismo S, resulting in on-road performance that is absolutely uncompromising in terms of handling and driving enjoyment.
All the features listed are available either as part of the customisation package, following the indications of Maserati designers; or individually, to cater for the personal tastes of each customer.
Triumph of Maserati MC12 and Vitaphone Racing Team
The last event in the FIA GT International Championship, held on 23 November at San Luis in Argentina, gave Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels their second Drivers` title after the one they won together in 2006 on the Adria circuit.
Thanks to this success, the German team at the wheel of the Maserati MC12 conquered both the Teams` and Drivers` titles in the GT1 class of the international FIA 2008 Championship. Ten trophies have been won in the FIA GT championship since 2005 with the Maserati MC12 as common denominator. Here they are in detail:
• 2 Manufacturers` Cups
• 3 Drivers` titles (Bertolini-Bartels in 2006, Thomas Biagi in 2007, Bertolini-Bartels in 2008);
• 4 Teams` titles (consecutive titles since 2005, always with the Vitaphone Racing Team);
• 1 Citation Cup in 2007 with gentleman driver Ben Aucott.
On December 8th, FIA GT champions Andrea Bertolini and Michael Bartels will be at the wheel of the Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12 on the racetrack in Area 48 for an event that will include a pit stop simulation.
Maserati and the Environment
Maserati has implemented a development plan for the next five years designed to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions and to protect the environment.
The designs of recent models have already led to considerable fuel savings. From 2005 onwards, the Quattroporte`s consumption has been reduced by more than 20% overall (NEDC combined cycle). The CO2 reduction compared to the previous Gran Sport model is 10% for the GranTurismo S (NEDC extra-urban cycle).
The new Quattroporte S, with its 4.7 litre engine, exhaust/evap emissions and fuel consumption have been aligned with future Euro 5 regulations for Europe and LEV2 standards for the USA, partly thanks to the adoption of an innovative metallic matrix catalyser with perforated sheets (Turbulent PE Catalyst), which is both permeable and reliable but does not affect performance. This solution has evened out the distribution of pollutant particles, reduced pressure, improved both resistance to high temperatures and the transfer of gases.
Maserati also uses environmentally-friendly, easily recyclable materials made from natural substances, especially for the parts of the interior that are most in contact with the driver and passengers (natural textile fibres, wood and leather).
Maserati cars are mindful of the "design for recycling" concept, which is centred around making cars easy to dismantle at the end of their working lives, so that materials can be identified and separated for re-use.
Maserati`s Figures for 2008
Maserati will be at the Bologna Motor Show having delivered approximately 7,700 cars to customers in the first 11 months of 2008, an increase of 22% over last year and a figure which confirms a major consolidation despite the general negative economic landscape.
With over 4,700 cars delivered since the start of 2008, the GranTurismo - on the strength of a full year - has been hugely successful. The same is true of the GranTurismo S version, destined for niche Maserati customers closer to the world of racing. The GranTurismo S was launched last March, and is equipped with a 440 hp, 323 kW, 4.7 litre engine and electro-actuated transmission with MC-Shift.
After five successful years with over 15,000 cars sold and 47 international awards won, the Maserati Quattroporte, the car which invented the "Sport Luxury Saloon" segment, saw the new model being introduced in September. Sales of the new and previous versions have so far totalled over 2,900.
Thanks to the unmistakably skilful touch of Pininfarina, the Maserati Quattroporte has been honed with a fresher, more modern design that still denotes the class, exclusivity and elegance of Maserati. There are now two models in the range: the Quattroporte, with its classic V8 engine (4.2 litre and 295 kW) and the Quattroporte S with a new V8 engine (4.7 litre and 317 kW), both with six-speed automatic transmissions.
The Italian market is the second-largest after North America. A total of 779 cars were delivered in Italy during the first 11 months of the year, a 27% increase compared with 2007. As such the Italian national sales structure consolidates its leading position within the European markets, a leading position achieved through a network of 31 Maserati dealers and showrooms.
Italy is followed by Great Britain, Germany, Japan, China - with record growth - France, Switzerland, Australia, The United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.
In the first nine months, Maserati`s revenues amounted to €596 million, up 22.9% compared to the same period of the previous year.
There was a 25% increase in deliveries to the network compared with the first nine months of 2007; this performance is even more significant considering that the segment in which Maserati operates shrank by approximately 15%.
In the first nine months of 2008, the result of ordinary activities was €31 million, with a 5.2% ratio to income - a significant increase on the €6 million (1.2% of revenues) achieved during the same period last year.
Although the outlook for 2009 is a cautious one due to the current general economic crisis and in particular the critical situation which the automotive market is currently experiencing, Maserati feels ready for challenges it will face in the next 12 months. Notwithstanding the current global situation which is creating a great deal of turbulence, we believe that we are prepared: we have designed an industrial system that can adjust to demand; our industrial capacity has the required flexibility to react in real time; and we are intensively developing for our future.
There are challenging times ahead, but Maserati, this Maserati, is ready to meet them.
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