Mark Potter

Posts by Mark Potter

Gran Turismo S: Now Accepting Orders

When the Maserati GranTurismo was unveiled at the 2007 Geneva Auto Salon it was an instant success. The gorgeous bodywork, styled by Pininfarina, was the obvious reason crowds flocked to the Maserati stand to admire the new Italian beauty – and once they were there, they found much more. The signature Maserati V8 engine, a fine leather-clad interior which is both sumptuously elegant and sporting, and – what sets it apart from the cars which aspire to be its rivals – two full-size rear seats.

Remarkably, Maserati found a way to repeat the success for the 2008 Geneva Show, which saw the debut of the GranTurismo S. A version of the car aimed squarely at driving enthusiasts, it was the undoubted star of the show; for the second year, the Maserati stand was on the ‘must see’ list for visitors.

With the engine uprated to 4.7 liters, producing 433 hp, the GranTurismo S can sprint to 62mph in 4.9 sec and accelerate on to 183mph, given an autobahn or a racetrack. Bringing proceedings to a halt are the Maserati-exclusive dual-cast brakes, first seen on the Quattroporte Sport GT S. These brakes, developed in conjunction with Brembo, feature cast iron rotors for strength and heat dissipation cast as one piece with aluminum hubs to reduce unsprung weight.

The GranTurismo S also sees the return of the paddle-shift manual transmission, improved and refined for smoother and faster shifts. Integrated into the rear axle and differential assembly in a transaxle layout, this setup gives the GranTurismo S an even more aggressive rear weight bias for even better balance, handling and grip under both acceleration and braking. The new MC-Shift software in the automated manual transmission can change gears in just 100 milliseconds at wide open throttle, while also retaining a fully automatic mode for cruising town. To make the most of the rear weight bias and extra horsepower, lowered and specially tuned suspension increases handling precision and reduces body roll by 10%.

The GranTurismo S has some exterior and interior enhancements, too. New side-skirts and an integral rear spoiler improve aerodynamic efficiency in addition to giving the car a more sporty, aggressive look – and the look is further enhanced by the new seven-spoke 20” wheel rims incorporating a subtle Trident pattern. Inside the surprisingly spacious cabin the seats feature horizontal piping, while the dashboard can be finished in AluTex, a new woven aluminum trim.

The GranTurismo S is a high-performance coupe aimed squarely at the driving enthusiast. Designed for a very particular clientele, it will be produced in very limited numbers and will be sold for one model year only. Deliveries of the 2009 GranTurismo S are expected to begin in late fall or early winter, but Maserati expects the car to sell out long before then. Each car will be built to order, and the order book for the GranTurismo S is now open at authorized Maserati dealerships; if the GranTurismo S appeals to your inner enthusiast then the word from inside the factory is this: don’t delay!

A ground-breaking coupe, enhanced with new engine, transmission and suspension, and with more sporty styling – no wonder the driving cognoscenti mobbed the Maserati stand at the Geneva show. Visit or call us today to find out how to turn their dreams into your reality, and put a limited edition Maserati GranTurismo S in your garage.

Cars & Coffee 2008: May 3rd Recap

This past weekend’s cars & coffee had (barely) better weather, but a bigger turnout and a small group of us drove down to the autocross at Valleyfair afterwards. Cool cars included a Ferrari 360 and Testarossa, a Caterham Super 7, Noble M400, a bunch of Mitsu Evos, Porsche 911s, a couple of Maseratis, and about 40 others.

Here is another video that Matt Desmond put together:

The next cars & coffee is scheduled for June 7th.

Carrozzeria Touring unveils two new Maserati based cars

This week, Carrozzeria Touring has unveiled two new Maserati-based cars, including the Quattroporte based Bellagio Fastback and the GranTurismo inspired A8 GCS.

In March 1957 the 3500GT was unveiled to the world at the ‘Salon International de l’Auto’ in Geneva, featuring a body by Allemano, and a second by Carrozzeria Touring of Milan. While Allemano was the traditional designer for vehicles coming from ‘The house of the Trident,’ the elegant Superllegera design from Carrozzeria won out. This was to be Maserati’s first mass-production Gran Turismo, and would lay the foundation upon which Maserati would build, eventually leading to today’s Gran Turismo.

Carrozzeria Touring holds a special place in Maserati’s history, which gives these new models more significance than they might otherwise enjoy.

This is the Carrozzeria Touring Maserati Quattroporte Bellagio Fastback, a 5-door version of the Quattroporte. This car was first shown to the public this week at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, on the shores of Lake Como in Italy. Truly a beautiful alternative to the SUV.

And this is the Carrozzeria Touring Maserati A8 GCS. While you might think this is essentially a re-skinned Gran Turismo, it is actually a traditional body-on-frame sports car which shares only engine and transmission with the GT. The car shows a tasteful mix of retro and modern, with a stunning fastback body.

It is worth noting that neither of these cars will be mass-produced, and you’re not likely to see a Carrozzeria Touring badge on a Maserati any time soon, but clearly they are still a world-class design house, and they are still going strong after 80+ years.

Cars & Coffee 2008: April 5th recap

The first Cars & Coffee event was awesome. About 40 cars showed up, lots of spectators, and afterwards a bunch of us went on a drive out to the Autobahn Motorplex in Chanhassen.

One of the guys uploaded this video:

I have all of the future event details (times, location, map) loaded into my calendar, which you can see here

This promises to be a great regular event throughout the year, so wash your car and come spend some time with us on the first Saturday of each month through October. More events with this group of people are sure to come, so stay tuned!

Quattroporte Collezione Cento – On display in New York

The Quattroporte Collezione Cento is the ultra-exclusive, high-tech limited edition of the world’s finest sports sedan, and this is your invitation to view it in person.

“Collezione Cento”, Italian for “Collection of One Hundred”, signals the rarity of this technological, performance and luxury tour de force. The famed Maserati factory will create only 100 of these automotive jewels for clients worldwide, and only a few will be made available to discerning North American enthusiasts. With paint available in an exclusive striking ivory white unique to the Cento, a chromed honeycomb finish for the grille and side air vents, and special 20″ ball-polished alloy wheels, the exterior literally reflects the car’s special status.

Maserati designers and engineers reserved the strongest magic for the Cento’s exciting cabin. Interior badging and the famed Trident logo on the shift lever are in authentic mother of pearl complemented by the texture of Wengé wood trim. The buttery soft leather is, of course, Poltrona Frau, and the seats feature distinctive diamond-stitching that evokes the opulence and craftsmanship of motoring’s first golden era.

While every Quattroporte entertains the occupants of its front seats with breathtaking performance and handling, the Cento reserves some special treats for those riding in the highly adjustable, climate-controlled rear seats. They will enjoy the tremendous personalized multimedia experience offered by Maserati’s leading edge technological innovation and accessibility. As the car traverses cities and continents, the Cento’s rear seat passengers can use the built-in Windows-based PC and large integrated LCD screens and a fold-away wireless keyboard to surf the World Wide Web, manage and enjoy their music through iTunes, and check their e-mail. The multimedia system even includes a matched set of wireless headsets for listening to music and enjoying movies on the built-in DVD player. This is the ultimate in Twenty First Century motoring.

Come and enjoy the craftsmanship and technology of the exclusive Quattroporte Collezione Cento on display only at the Maserati Corporate Showroom, 410 Park Avenue & 55th Street, New York, NY 10022 Stop in any time during business hours or phone ahead to set up a special appointment.

The Maserati Corporate Showroom
410 Park Avenue at 55th Street
New York, NY

10AM to 7PM Monday through Friday
11AM to 5PM Saturday

Phone Number: 212-593-2080

New Maserati GranTurismo S Video

This is going to be one cool car

Formula 1: 2008 Season

Ferrari F2007 vs F2008
After a first-year run of hosting all of the Formula 1 races live at the dealership, we’re pleased to announce that we will be hosting all of the races during the 2008 season as well. On March 17, the season gets underway and like last year, we’re planning a big event to celebrate. (Conveniently it’s also St. Patrick’s Day.)

The 2008 season should be exciting – last year’s championship wasn’t decided until the final race, we’ve got two new tracks including a night race in Singapore, traction control has been banned, and as always, we expect plenty of drama.

Come enjoy the camaraderie of a group of race fanatics as we celebrate the wins, debate the losses, and participate in the car hobby throughout the year. Throughout the 2008 season we will be adding additional after-race drives, car shows, and other enthusiast events.

I’ve loaded the entire 2008 schedule into this calendar: (times posted = door opening times – subject to change as events are updated)

To view or subscribe to this Google Calendar click here.

I maintain an e-mail announcement list for the Formula 1 events here at the dealership, for all of the Cars & Coffee events, and other events of interest to high-end automotive enthusiasts. To sign up for this list, send me an e-mail I send out an e-mail once every two weeks on average – so don’t worry about your inbox being filled with junk.

Maserati \ Ferrari \ Alfa Romeo V8 Lineage

Did you know that the V8 under the GranTurismo’s hood has some sisters?

This engine was originally developed in an engineering partnership between Maserati and Ferrari, while Maserati was under Ferrari’s full control. This engine would be the heart and soul of Maserati’s reintroduction to the United States market, and would become Ferrari’s first all-new V8 engine since the 1950’s. (The Ferrari 360 was the last car to use an engine based on the Dino V6 and V8 engine lineage that began in 1955:

This V8 comes in 3 main flavors – Maserati’s 4.2L, Ferrari’s 4.3L, and Alfa’s 4.7L:

Maserati GranTurismo
92.0 x 79.8mm
7500rpm redline
Variable intake valve timing

Ferrari 430 Scuderia
92.0 x 81.0mm
503hp@8500 rpm
347lb-ft@5250 rpm
8500rpm redline
Variable intake and exhaust valve timing
Variable intake manifold
Flat-plane crankshaft
Dry-sump lubrication

Alfa 8C-Competizione
94.0 x 84.5mm
7500rpm redline
Variable intake valve timing
Dry-sump lubrication

Fangio Footage

I ran across some great vintage racing footage of Fangio behind the wheel of the Maserati 250F:

“In his memoirs, Giulio Borsari, one of the most famous mechanics to have worked for both Maserati and then Ferrari, says “the Nürburgring is recognised as Fangio’s greatest victory in his entire career: on that occasion he drove impeccably, sealing his fifth world title.””

“On lap 12, Fangio came into the pits for his planned tyre change, but unfortunately, the mechanics lost a rear knock-off spinner under the car. Fangio, frustrated to say the least, not only sat and watched as his advantage was lost but also saw the distance between him and the leading car increase dramatically. When he got back into the race, the “Maestro” was 45 seconds behind the first Ferrari. Fangio recalled: “I was really disappointed. I was on the way to win the race and take my fifth world championship, but there were only 10 laps to go and I realised that there was little hope of winning unless I managed to do something very special.” “

“Although after the race Fangio declared “I had never driven like that before, and I knew I never would again”, his courage, strength and sensitivity led him to win a magnificent victory on the Eifel mountains. With this success, he earned a permanent place in Formula 1 history and legend. And with him, so did the 250F.”

Maserati has setup a great minisite to celebrate Fangio’s success behind the wheel:

Quattroporte Collezione Cento

Unveiled at the Detroit Autoshow, the new Maserati Quattroporte Collezione Cento is a limited edition masterpiece.

Created from brand new materials and constructed using traditional methods, the Collezione Cento is dedicated to those looking for the last word in luxury, but who do not want to compromise on comfort and advanced technology.

The car’s elegant Avorio livery, with its contrasting air vents, catches the eye. The chrome honeycombed front and side grilles give the berlina an executive air while the 20″ ball-polished rims provide a refined look.

The interior oozes taste with its tan Poltrona Frau seats. These feature diamond shaped stitching and colour coordinated button covers. The new polished Wenge wood can be found on the steering wheel and central console, a characteristic enhanced by the mother-of-pearl insert that spells out the name of the car and traces the Trident set in the gearknob.

Conceived for technology buffs, the ‘Maserati Multimedia Entertainment’ integrated system has audiovisual functions that can be accessed via two 10.4″ touchscreens set in the back of the front headrests. The system also boasts a hi-fi set up equipped with Bluetooth headphones. Using the internet and sending emails is easy thanks to the keyboard that folds away inside the armrest.

This new take on luxury and innovation is achieved by employing original styling cues. These create an immediately warm and welcoming interior, but one that is, at the same time, both smart and modern. The numbered plate set in the dashboard, running from 1 to 100, is another sign of the car’s exclusivity.