Maserati GT MC Stradale

Italian beauty promises to match great performance with supreme refinement. We see if it delivers

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The GranTurismo MC Stradale offers a thrilling experience, boasting fast reactions, plenty of grip and a fabulous V8 engine note in Race mode. But it’s not a hardcore track car. While it’s firmer than the GranTurismo S, it’s still civilised and more than capable of doing long distances – in true GT style. Some buyers will probably want an even more race-derived experience, but for most Maserati customers, such a blend of performance and usability will make the MC Stradale difficult to resist.

MEET the roadgoing Maserati racer that’s got the Porsche 911 GT3 in its sights. This is the GranTurismo MC Stradale – a coupé that takes everything the Italian sports car maker has learned from the track and applies it to the road.

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Inspired by the GranTurismo MC Trofeo and GT4 racing cars, the MC Stradale boasts the same 443bhp 4.7-litre V8 engine as the GranTurismo S, but adds a whole host of upgrades to the aerodynamics, brakes and chassis. It’s a car with plenty of headline figures – not least the fact that it’s the first Maserati GT capable of breaking the 300km/h barrier. In fact, it’ll do 301km/h (187mph).

We gained an exclusive ride in the newcomer at the Mugello track in Tuscany, Italy – and as soon as you jump inside, you realise that this is a car that mixes racing-style thrills with refinement.

The MC Stradale gets supportive Alcantara synthetic suede and leather carbon fibre seats. As an option, Maserati offers a half-steel roll cage and four-point seatbelts. Also on offer is a racing suit and gloves, plus a helmet in the red and grey MC colour scheme.

As seen on sister company Ferrari’s models, Maserati gets its first-ever ‘Race’ button, which drops the six-speed automated manual box’s shift times to 60 milliseconds, and allows the two exhaust pipes to roar at 4,000rpm.

From 5,500rpm up to the 7,000rpm red line, the MC Race mode light comes on. Even from the passenger seat, that’s when it really gets exciting, with permanently opened exhaust valves and a much quicker throttle response.

The V8 engine is shared with the Alfa 8C Competizione and GranTurismo S. But here, thanks to the fact the MC Stradale weighs 100kg less than its sister car, it feels much more responsive.

In addition to the 187mph top speed, the newcomer does 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds. The MC Race mode shifts really do feel right on the race track, bumping your head back into the racing seats on every upchange.

Coming into corners, braking power is stunning, thanks to standard carbon ceramic brake discs – a Maserati first – which bite hard and make good use of the sticky Pirelli Corsa tyres. These sit on 20-inch MC Design ultra-light wheels. At the same time, high-speed stability – at 160mph on Mugello’s long home straight – feels much better than on the GranTurismo S due to stiffer non-adjustable suspension and significantly greater downforce for the front and rear of the car. It all adds up to a very desirable machine.

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