Maserati Tipo 39T

Maseratiís stylists could give us a less aggressive, more voluptuous supercar

illustration by BRENDON WISE words by MOTOR STAFF

Ferrariís 488 GTB Ė rewrapped

MASERATIíS got an SUV arriving next year, and the Ghibliís also proving a success. In fact, with Ferrari hogging all the limelight as it prepares to dip into publiclyowned waters, Maserati has been quietly riding a wave of resurgence.

Itís about time the brand really capitalised on it, and we reckon Maserati needs to make a statement in the form of a pure horn supercar. Sharing a bunk bed with Ferrari makes it easy to pinch the blueprints to state-of-the-art vehicles that could be flipped into Maseratiís own, as we saw with the fire-breathing MC12 road car.

In fact, this time around we think Maserati should follow exactly the same procedure.

With a focus on a more volumefriendly supercar, however, it would be wise to search a couple of shelves lower than the LaFerrari in Ferrariís kitchen cabinet and go for a car based on Ferrariís newly released 488 GTB.

Maseratiís skilled stylists could wield their pens over the 488 GTB for something less aggressive and more voluptuous, in keeping with Maseratiís present styling themes.

And as for the name? Tipo nods to Maseratiís most famous racers and 39T refers to its engine, a 3.9-litre turbo V8 monster. M

Maseratiís stylists could give us a less aggressive, more voluptuous supercar

Hereís how weíd do it

POWER HORSE .

As the name suggests, the Tipo 39T plucks Ferrariís flat-plane crank V8 from the 488 GTB, with an IHI turbocharger hanging off each bank. It brings the same 493kW and 760Nm to the party, but features a redesigned exhaust layout from turbos to tips for that scintillating Maserati note.

FAST FIGURES .

Again, like the 488 GTB, thereís a seven-speed dual clutch transmission mated to the engine.

Rather than Ferrariís trick E-diff, it could rely on a traditional Torsen LSD instead. With launch control, it could dispatch 100km/h in 3.2sec and 200km/h in 8.7sec.

GROUND CONTROL .

Featuring at each corner of the Tipo 39T is Maseratiís premier version of its Skyhook Control, a two-mode adaptive damping system. Then, to slow things down, there are six-piston calipers front and back clamping steel rotors Ė carbon pieces are optional. Rubber? High performance stuff from Michelin.

BODY BUILDING .

While a whole lot of its chassis is shared with the 488 GTB, little of its bodywork is the same. In fact, most of its exterior is redesigned, with the entire front, rear and doors being new. With the Maserati grille, it gains personality but loses tricky active aerodynamics.

MONEY GAME .

Featuring exquisite leather, exotic graphite and expensive metals, Maserati will be in a new arena of pricing. It will land in showrooms at a price under the Ferrari 488 GTB to attract buyers. At $400K, could Maserati build and sell 500 of these beauties per year?