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Maserati's version of the Alfa 4C could offer twin-turbo V6 or V8 power to take on the Porsche 911, but it'll need to steer clear of its big brother from down the street in Maranello.
In case you haven't noticed, Maserati has been on a bit of a product offensive lately. It's got a new Quattroporte, a new Ghibli sedan on the way, a pair of crossovers in the cooker and a replacement (or two) for the GranTurismo underway as well. The plan is to reach into every segment of the luxury car market, but to do that, it'll need a sportscar to take on the Porsche 911. That model could emerge as the long-rumored GranSport to be based on the Alfa 4C (which Maserati is also building for its sister company).
According to a new report from Autocar, the Maserati version could be here as soon as 2015. While previous reports suggested that Maserati's version of the Alfa 4C would be V8 powered, that was before the company's new family of engines was revealed. The GranSport, then, could offer both the V6 and V8 engines, driving through a dual-clutch transmission to the rear wheels or maybe even all four. Both engines feature direct injection and twin turbochargers, producing 404 and 523 horsepower, respectively, but potentially augmented to 450 and 550 for the sportscar.
With just 1400 kg to motivate, that could translate to some serious pace, but Maserati will likely be forced to rein in the GranSport in terms of both performance capabilities and price to keep it clear of its big brother, the Ferrari 458 Italia, which packs 570 horsepower for a 3.3-second 0-60 time and a 203 mph at nearly $230k. Pictured are the last GranSport coupe and the MC12 racecar. The finished product will likely land somewhere in between.