Over the past few years parent company Fiat has pulled Modena-based Maserati closer to Ferrari in terms of product development and corporate structure. In the most recent move Ferrari and Maserati chairman Luca di Montezemolo has appointed Ferrari F1 team boss Jean Todt to head the Ferrari road car division, and former Ford of Europe chief Martin Leach is now responsible for Maserati.
One of the first cars Leach will launch will be the next generation 4200GT coupe and convertible models. The new cars will be based on a shortened version of the platform developed for the just-released Maserati Quattroporte saloon. Benefits of this platform will include more interior room, greater rigidity, and improved manufacturing efficiencies through increased sharing of components.
As this scoop picture of a coupe version caught testing at the Nurburgring shows, the new 4200GT will share the bold front end graphic of the Quattroporte, with a low slung grille. Wheelbase will be similar to that of the current model, but overall width will increase slightly.
The interior will be roomier, and, as the inset photograph reveals, will also share design cues with the Quattroiporte, including the centre console. Significantly, this prototype appears to have a conventional gear lever for its manual transmission, rather than the F1-style paddle shift. Although technically advanced, and effective in sports driving conditions, the paddle shift system has proven relatively unpopular among UK consumers.
The new coupe and convertible will share engines, transmissions and suspension with the Quattroporte, but expect more power and performance.