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Italian luxury sports car maker Maserati has just announced full details for the Maserati GranTurismo MC Corse Concept, which will debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show. The GranTurismo MC Corse is a technology study on what future Maserati GT-class race cars may look like, though this is no rolling chassis.

With full GranTurismo MC powertrain intact, and horsepower upped to 450 bhp, the Corse Concept looks to compete with the likes of the Porsche Carrera 911 GT3 and Audi R8 GT3 as track-ready race cars, should Maserati choose to release a limited number of GranTurismo MC Corse cars to wealthy weekend track enthusiasts.

The design certainly looks the part, tightly based on the critically acclaimed Maserati GranTurismo S but featuring a number of touches that only add to the MC Corse’s sporting appeal. But what is form without function?

GranTurismo MC Corse Powertrain

The MC Corse Concept uses a modified version of the excellent V8 motor used in the consumer Maserati GranTurismo S. Through ECU recalibration as well as the addition of larger intake and exhaust outlets, every ounce of performance has been squeezed out of this engine. In addition to 17 more horsepower, GranTurismo MC Corse torque has been upped to 376 lb-ft. @ 4750 rpm.

This torque figure speaks to the hard-revving nature of the Maserati GranTurismo V8. A heavy foot will be needed to drive the MC Corse to its full potential, but at least optimized aerodynamics will make sure none of the power is wasted.

Race Prepping the GranTurismo S – Weight, Aerodynamics and Safety

Because of the Italian sports car maker’s focus on luxury, the hefty Maserati GranTurismo needed significant weight reduction and body modifications to be competitive at the GT racing level. Completely stripping the GranTurismo MC Corse concept’s interior and liberal use of carbon fiber have allowed curb weight to drop from a rather portly 4145 pounds to a much more manageable 3086.

A carbon composite material built on a steel chassis, and Lexan plastic windows all around are responsible for the rest of the weight savings. Aero pieces on the MC Corse start with a revised front airdam and a boattail-style rear spoiler, providing extra downforce to keep the Maserati racer glued to the track.

Due to the stripper interior, which lacks airbags but does offer the driver added safety in the form of a full carbon fiber-strengthened roll cage and a 6-point safety harness, the GranTurismo MC Corse would not be road-legal even if it could pass emissions tests.

Still, with other luxury automakers planning track-only versions of their GT cars for public release, Maserati is testing the waters for bringing the GranTurismo MC Corse concept to production in the form of a turn-key race car.

Do we have to beg?


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