Asked about the possibility of such a project at the recent Shanghai motor show, company boss Harald Wester declined to confirm it, but he said: “It is always the right time for a halo car. The focus for us at the moment is on the ramp-up for sales growth, but there is an opportunity.”
Reports suggest that the Maserati hypercar would use the LaFerrari chassis and suspension and would share many of the ancillaries.
It would be powered by either a retuned version of LaFerrari’s 789bhp 6.3-litre V12, minus the electric motor, or a more heavily turbocharged version of the 3.8-litre V8 in the new Maserati Quattroporte.
Either option would probably make the Maserati lighter than LaFerrari, which carries a battery pack and other hybrid systems, although it is doubtful that internal politics would allow it to be faster.
The original MC12 used the Ferrari Enzo’s V12, detuned from 651bhp to 620bhp. It was limited at 205mph, rather than the Enzo’s 217mph. However, it is likely to cost as much as the Ferrari.
The project is also said to have gained momentum as demand for LaFerrari has far outstripped its 499-example limit, leaving parent firm Fiat searching for ways to extend the production run.
Wester was equally warm about the prospect of building a Maserati version of the Alfa Romeo 4C. “It is a nice idea,” he said. The potential 911 rival is believed to be scheduled for launch around 2015.
Wester confirmed that the company would not build an SUV smaller than the Cayenne-rivalling Levante. He also said there was no need to consider a saloon smaller than the 5-series-challenging Ghibli “yet” and four-cylinder engines were not on the agenda “for now”.
However, he conceded that the firm might have to consider hybrid powertrains in future. “If we did it, it would be purely to meet emissions regulations,” he said.
“There is no business case for it, and the regulations that say electric cars deliver zero emissions are nonsense. But if the regulations demand it, we must consider it.”