Rumor has it that the on-again, off-again Maserati version of the Alfa 4C could be back on the table. Our guess: a twin-turbo V6 could be just the ticket.
On again, off again. That's been the saga of the rumored Maserati GranSport. The idea emerged shortly after Alfa Romeo unveiled the 4C concept, a vehicle which sister-company Maserati will build for Alfa just like it did with the previous 8C Competizione and Spyder. Harald Wester, who presides over both the brands, has hinted that Maserati would like to do its own version. But while recent reports indicated that Maserati had scrapped such plans, the latest indicate that it could be back on the table.
The apparent trouble is that, while the Alfa 4C's carbon monocoque chassis makes for an excellent starting point, shoehorning in a larger engine (like the V8 Maserati was earlier reportedly considering) could throw the balance way off. Has the Trident marque found a way around the problem? Auto Express seems to think so, but then it's been known to exaggerate, and all it seems to be going on at the moment is a response Wester reportedly gave to journalists in Shanghai asking about the prospect of a Maserati version of the 4C: "It's a nice idea," is all he said.
Maserati was in Shanghai to unveil a pair of V6-powered sedans, which only makes us wonder if the Modenese automaker could be preparing to slot its new twin-turbo six into the 4C's chassis. (It would, after all, split the difference between the four-cylinder Alfa and the eight-cylinder Ferrari 458 Italia, from which it would need to steer clear). In the Ghibli and Quattroporte, the V6 is offered in 330- and 410-horsepower specifications, both of which are significantly more than the 4C's 237 hp – which is still enough to rocket the Alfa to 62 in 4.5 seconds. Add an extra turbocharger and a couple of cylinders and just imagine what Maserati's version could do.