GranTurismo Targa concept shows what Maserati could have done with the MC20
A proper doodle by a proper Italian designer
Many - and I repeat, many - moons ago, my brother designed an entire range of cars under the brand of "Keastling", and I, rather than come up with my own name, stole his other idea of "Hawke" and the proportions of the Lamborghini Estoque concept to create the ultimate four-door, V10-powered super saloon. One day, I assured myself, it would even be in production.
Well, the Hawke Gladiator is currently buried in a dusty box in my study, where it, and any word of it, shall remain.
We've all been there though, dreaming and doodling the ultimate car. So not surprisingly, fate often deals it to someone who actually knows what they're doing.
Samuele Errico Piccarini is a photographer and car designer from Torino, Italy. Immediately then, we have a better recipe than James Coleman, homeschooled kid with sheet of butcher paper and some pencils, Canberra, Australia.
Last year, while finishing his education in car design, Samuele had the opportunity to collaborate with Fiat-Chrysler. The brief was the next-generation Maserati GranTurismo.
This is the one that came out all the way back in 2007, and seeing as it has worn the same suit of clothes ever since, I'd say the actual in-house designers are stumped and have turned to outsiders for inspiration. Of course, while we wait, they've given us the rather fetching, mid-engined MC20.
Anyway - and using the proper tools for the job - this is what the young Italian came up with:
It's called the Maserati GranTurismo Targa. To be honest, these design studies don't always work, but there's no denying this one is properly stunning.
It's aggressive and elegant both at once, and if I were Ms Supercar Blondie, the first thing I would say is, "Look at these lights guys! Aren't they just incredible?"
Knowing that the more "track-focused" MC20 was on the way, Samuele was aiming for comfort and luxury. You know, all the nice things that get ripped out in the pursuit of shaving seconds of laps, like supple leather and suspension that actually works. It even has a boot with what appears to be three custom suitcases in it.
Samuele Errico Piccarini
He took a lot of his inspiration from "some of the most beautiful Maseratis of all time". The proportions are copied from the Pininfarina-designed A6GCS and the wrap-around windscreen and removeable "floating" roof from the 5000 GT. I looked them up, and yes, can confirm that both of them are somehow there in a very real way.
Seeing as Maserati have gone to all the effort of building their own 3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, and ended two decades of having to ask Ferrari nicely, that's probably what will be under the very long bonnet. In the MC20 at least, that's good for 621 hp (463 kW) and 0-100 km/h in 2.9 seconds.
So, when's it coming?
The good news is that Maserati has announced a total of ten new cars before the end of 2023, among them a new GranTurismo. This will arrive sometime after the MC20 Cabriolet next year, possible emphasis on "sometime".
However, chances are it won't look like anything like this, and that, unlike my Hawke, is a pity.
So let the Maserati MC20 online configurator cheer you up:
And beat this...