International debut at the 2012 Edition of the Paris International Motor Show for Maserati: the GranCabrio MC. Designed to complete Maserati’s open-top range, the new Maserati GranCabrio MC blends high performance and sports characteristics derived from racing experience with the style, charm and practicality of Maserati’s four seater convertible.
This debut is framed by Maserati’s presentation of the complete, revamped Sport range, including the GranTurismo Sport, the GranCabrio Sport – recently presented at the Moscow Motor Show – and the Quattroporte Sport GT S.
Inspired and encouraged by the considerable success of the GranTurismo MC Stradale, which was warmly received by customers thanks to a masterly translation and adaptation of racing characteristics for use on the road, the new GranCabrio MC completes the open-top range with a highly sporty and aggressive look, while maintaining the strengths and characteristics of a true grand tourer, ideal for long journeys.
The new, sporty look can be seen in each stylistic element of the GranCabrio MC’s bodywork. Inspired directly by the cars of the Maserati Trofeo MC World Series and the GT4 version, the new design perfectly blends sportiness, dynamism, the search for aerodynamic perfection, elegance and style. These stylistic elements already partly characterised the GranTurismo MC Stradale and the GranTurismo Sport, and seamlessly unite form and function.
The car, 48 millimetres longer than the GranCabrio and GranCabrio Sport, is characterised by a front end which is inspired directly by the MC Stradale, adopting a profile designed to optimise the aerodynamic lift and flow. These differ from those on other versions of the GranCabrio due to the increased car length and other aerodynamic elements at the rear end.
Thanks to experience gained in racing and above all to specific analysis of fluid dynamics, the new GranCabrio MC downforce (measured at 140 km/h) is 10% higher at the front and 25% higher at the rear compared to the GranCabrio and GranCabrio Sport.
The bonnet incorporates two generous air outlets at the centre to optimise cooling of the powerful V8, and two more air outlets to cool down the brake discs have also been added to the two front wings.
Initially introduced on the GranTurismo Sport the new headlights, which adopt LEDs for the daytime running light (DRL) function, complete the new look of the GranCabrio MC. Though they maintain the external shape seen on the other three versions in the GranCabrio range, the new headlights adopt the most modern technology, perfectly enhanced with an extremely sporty look thanks to the matt black colour of the structure.
The bi-xenon unit inside the headlight also incorporates Adaptive Light Control, which follows the movement of the steering by up to 15 degrees.
The rear is characterised by the large spoiler, for greater negative lift at high speeds. Inside the spoiler, built into the luggage compartment, is the third brake light. The standard version comes in the same colour as the body and it is also available, within the various car customisation packages, with a carbon finish.
The bumper has been completely redesigned at the bottom to make the new model even sportier and at the same time ensure optimal aerodynamic efficiency. The circular exhausts have been moved to the centre of the bumper and the specific layout of the air ducts, built into the lower part of the bumper, ensure greater streamlining, stabilising the air flow from the underbody.
Finally, the dynamism of the GranCabrio MC is accentuated by the 20″ MC Design rims, available in glossy Titanio or matt Grafite, and made using flow-forming technology. In addition to being lighter, they feature the traditional Trident, skilfully worked into the double-spokes.
The interior of the GranCabrio MC has received a thorough overhaul with particular attention paid to ergonomics.
The new seats, completely redesigned from both an aesthetic and functional point of view and enhanced with high-quality materials, now ensure the optimum balance of comfort and performance, elegance and functionality. The new structure of both the front and rear seats now incorporates the headrest and is enhanced by an upper, central trim, with a design inspired by the car’s front grille.
Particularly important, especially with convertible cars, is the attention paid to the rear passengers. For this reason, the frame for the front seats, which is also available in a completely carbon-fibre version, has been completely redesigned to ensure 20 mm more legroom for the rear passengers.
Particular attention has been paid to the ergonomic and comfort-related aspects of driving. The seats, with an increased profile to enhance their wrap-around structure and lateral containment, ensure sporty driving while guaranteeing superior comfort, even on very long journeys.
The steering wheel features a new design, with the rim flattened at the top and bottom for greater manoeuvrability, also for sports and high-speed use, without interfering with the driver’s legs.
The rear seats have been redesigned according to the same logic: maximum comfort, maximum passenger restraint in sports driving and ample use of quality materials.
To complete the new, super-sporty look of the new GranCabrio MC, it incorporates the Trofeo-design steering wheel paddles as standard, with increased dimensions as seen on the GranTurismo Sport, and an aluminium pedal unit.
Engine and performance
As with the most sporty GranTurismo in the range (the GranTurismo Sport), the GranCabrio MC also adopts the new 4.7-litre V8 engine, which delivers 338 kW (460 HP) together with substantial torque of 520 Nm at 4,750 rpm.
The pistons, positioned at an angle of 90°, are made of reinforced, hardened aluminium, as is the engine block. The crankshaft, with five-point balancing, is made of high-strength steel.
The timing system, with a system of two chains per bank, features dual variable valve timing.
The new power unit, in combination with the MC Auto Shift transmission, is now able to propel the GranCabrio MC, in closed soft top configuration, to a top speed of 289 km/h (179 mph) with acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds.
Automatic transmission (MC Auto Shift)
Like other sports models in the Maserati range, the GranCabrio MC also adopts an automatic six-speed ZF transmission able to transfer all the power of the 460 HP V8 engine to the ground. Calibrated specifically for application on the sportiest version in the GranCabrio range, the MC Auto Shift transmission features five operating modes. It can be used in Auto-Normal, Auto-Sport, Manual-Normal, Manual-Sport and Ice modes.
In Manual mode, gear changes are carried out directly by the driver through the steering wheel paddles, as with a truly manual gearbox. In Manual-Normal mode, the driver can change gear until the threshold value is reached, while in Manual-Sport mode the gear is maintained until the driver next changes gear, even if this may result in over-revving and the intervention of the limiter.
On the GranCabrio Sport, Sport mode includes super-fast mode, which derives directly from the GranTurismo Sport and the Quattroporte Sport GT S and permits gear changes that are 50% faster.
This mode includes automatic blipping (short burst of acceleration) when downshifting with the Launch Control system, called MC Start Strategy(which operates only with MSP deactivated).
Using the MC Start Strategy, the driver holds down the brake pedal, presses the accelerator pedal and then releases the brake pedal when the optimum engine speed is reached (2,300–2,500 rpm).
Chassis and suspension
Performance, safety and comfort were the guidelines that Maserati engineers followed when designing the chassis for the new GranCabrio MC. In light of the experience gained with the GranTurismo MC Stradale, it is fitted with single-rate dampers, to give maximum emphasis to the car’s sporty character, which guarantee greater rigidity in order to ensure optimum road holding in all driving conditions, without detracting from maximum passenger comfort.
Braking, always powerful and safe, is guaranteed by Maserati’s patented Dual Cast system, which includes brake discs with aluminium bell and steel braking surface, 360×32 mm at the front and 330×28 mm at the back.
This system guarantees the best pedal feeling and braking efficiency, which translates to an excellent stopping distance of 100 to 0 km/h over just 35 metres.
In addition to the conventional holes to optimise cooling of the discs, they also feature grooves which allow the film of water, which deposits on the discs when driving on wet surfaces, to be eliminated and ensure that the operation of the pad’s friction material is restored in order to ensure maximum power and braking efficiency at all times.
The one-piece aluminium alloy brake callipers, produced by Brembo and available in various colours, are also six-piston at the front and four-piston at the rear. This configuration ensures greater uniformity in braking, a constant clamping force and the sensation of a stable and reliable pedal, reducing brake wear at the same time.
In deference to Maserati tradition, the monocoque chassis is made with different materials to ensure maximum weight reduction and maximum torsional rigidity. The use of high-strength steels for the structural part and the use of aluminium and composite materials for the moving parts, ensure maximum performance in complete conformity with the spirit in which the new GranCabrio MC was conceived.