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 |  Mar 25 2011, 11:21 AM

Maserati‘s new GranTurismo MC Stradale might be using a nifty new single-clutch automated manual gearbox in its home market of Europe, but North America will get a ZF-built 8-speed automatic.

The ZF unit is a precursor to Maserati’s further use of the gearbox, and frankly, North American consumers of the brand will likely not notice the difference. The transmission will also be utilized across a new range of products which will include an SUV and a sedan to slot below the Quattroporte. Reports state that the cars will likely share parts with Chrysler vehicles, a common practice amongst premium brands owned by a conglomerate, but one that may not sit well with Maserati’s rarefied clientele. The next Maseratis will also follow the trend of turbocharging, which was a staple of the brand in earlier decades, and possibly a diesel engine for their Jeep Grand Cherokee-based SUV.

[Source: Car and Driver]

 |  Sep 30 2010, 10:02 AM

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Inspired by the Trofeo GranTurismo MC series cars, as well as the Italian automaker’s GT4 race cars, the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale brings much of the former two models’ racing capability to the street.

With an extra 10-hp over the GranTurismo S model, the 4.7-liter V8 makes 450-hp and 376 ft-lbs of torque, allowing for an even quicker 0-62 mph blast of just 4.6 seconds. However, it’s not the added power that makes the biggest difference, but the reduced curb weight of 243 lbs for a more reasonable total of 3,902 lbs. Some of that weight reduction is the result of Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, removed rear seats and carbon fiber racing seats (in some markets).

Yet another contributing factor to the car’s speed is an upgraded transmission with shift times that have been reduced to just 60 milliseconds.

While a street car, this lighter and faster GranTurismo is also perfect for the track with a special Race mode that reduces the stability control program’s interference, increases the exhaust note and activates the fastest shift times. Activating Race model will cause the car to automatically downshift two gears, while holding the paddle down during aggressive driving will also allow for a dual down-shift. Plus, regardless of whether the driver chooses Race, Normal or Sport, the Stradale’s throttle sensitivity is increased over the standard car.

The GranTurismo MC Stradale is the first Maserati to have just two seats since the MC12 and is also the first Maserati road car to exceed 300 km/h (186-mph) with a top speed of 301 km/h. It will go on sale in the first quarter of 2011.

GALLERY: Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale

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Official release after the jump:

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