|Maserati new supercar:
Maserati is secretly developing a new
hybrid supercar based on Ferrari LaFerrari, as AutoZine has learnt
today. It will succeed the 2005 MC12, which was
derived from Ferrari Enzo in a similar way. The new car is set to be
called LesMaserables, as it represents the true spirit of Maserati.
The LesMaserables is designed by Pininfarina based on the Birdcage 75th
concept shown in 2005 (pictured below). It is understood that Fiat
group design boss Lorenzo Ramaciotti, an ex-Pininfarina man, wants to
compensate his former employer with this project after losing the
contract for LaFerrari. If the job is adequately done, Pininfarina may
have a good chance of rebounding to the top of the automotive design
industry and saving itself from bankruptcy.
Judging from the picture we obtained (above), the design is very
successful. In designer's language, its fluidic-sculpture proportion
and flamboyant-surfacing combined to create a lot of tension around the
DLOs, making the M-finesse all the more obvious without distracting the
Art @ Science main theme. Do you understand what I mean? er?
A special feature is the hidden door handles, which are hidden so well
that owners will need GPS to locate them.
The chassis is practically the same as LaFerrari, although Maserati
will fine tune its suspensions, steering, brakes and electronic driving
aids to keep its engineers busy. The powertrain will be a bit
diffrerent from the Ferrari. It still employs a 6.2-liter V12, but its
bore and stroke will be exchanged to boost torque and reduce peak power
in order to avoid embarassing Ferrari. Preliminary computer simulation
found it should produce 516 horsepower instead of Ferrari's 800 hp,
whereas peak torque should be 800 pound-foot instead of 516.
The electric propulsion remains. It consists of a 163 hp propulsion
electric motor, a smaller regenerative motor, power electronics and
countless of Duracell batteries. However, the battery will be
significantly enlarged to enable zero-emission mode, which is absent on
the Ferrari. To accommodate the larger battery, Maserati decided to
place it in a trailer, which can be custom-fitted at dealers. Hopefully
this will enable the LesMaserables to pass crash test easily without
resorting to expensive protection housing like the "zero-intrusion"
cell of Mercedes SLS Electric Drive.
The biggest departure from the Ferrari is likely to be interior. It
will follow Maserati's tradition to favour leather and wood, whereas
the use of carbon-fiber will be limited to the wallpaper of
infotainment screen. The screen normally displays a big analogue clock,
but it can be reconfigured to the face of Cossette, or just any of the
In zero-emission mode, the driver will be instructed by the trip
computer to stop breathing. Meanwhile, fart detection system will warn
the passenger if suspected gas is detected. In case the emission level
exceeds preset limit (which depends on Normal, Comfort or Sport mode is
selected), it will stop the car automatically, open the door and eject
the passenger, then engage launch control and accelerate away at full
thrust. The whole process will run seamlessly without the intervention
At the moment it is not known when the Maserati LesMaserables will go
on sale, or whether its production will get the final greenlight. It
will depend very much on how many fools place advanced orders. Given
sufficient support, I believe Maserati will really make it come true.