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July 02, 2008
Cornes & Company Limited have announced that Maserati's newly styled coup, the Gran Turismo S which was on display in March at the Geneva Motor Show, will soon be made available to the luxury high-end market in Japan. Cornes is the only importer and distributor in Japan for Ferrari and Maserati. Compared to the Gran Turismo, the S-model has more advanced and improved features including the engine, transmission, and the breaking system which were developed with the intention of selling to drivers who want a more proficient automobile for sports driving. The vehicle will retail for ¥17,500,000, and is expected to be available in fall, 2008. By the end of fiscal 2008 it is anticipated that 90 vehicles in total will be brought into Japan.
The S-model is equipped with a newly developed 440hp 4700cc V8 engine with a top speed of 295Kph, the fastest in Maserati's history. Compared to the Gran Turismo the engine displacement is 500cc bigger and due to the electronic semi-automatic transmission, the "MC Shift", the shift pause time has been reduced to less than 0.1 seconds. There are six types of driving modes including manual- sport "MC shift", manual – normal, manual – sport, and auto – normal. And finally the car is equipped with a highly efficient braking system developed in cooperation with Italian brake company Brembo.
In 2007 in Japan Maserati saw a relative change in the number of cars sold from the previous year resulting in an increase of 21.8%, and twice as many as 3 years before that. In the global market, compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 33%, marking the first time since the Fiat Group entered the market that they were in the black, a comeback from 4.4 billion Euro debt in 2004. In the Japanese market 463 vehicles have been sold, putting Japan in 5th place behind North America, Italy, England, and Germany. By 2010 the company intends to sell 12,000 vehicles worldwide, including 1000 in Japan. Since the Gran Turismo was introduced to Japan in January of this year, 140 cars were sold in the first four months.
May 22, Nikkei News