Australia and New Zealand are being treated to another Maserati GranTurismo variant, the MC Sportline, the launch of which coincides with the start of the sixth Maserati Trofeo racing series round in France.

In terms of spec, MC Sportline sits not far below Stradale in the ageing GranTurismo line, due for a new generational chapter in 2018.

A spin-off of the Trofeo series racing GranTurismo, the four-seat MC Sportline comes in two variants – MC Auto Shift and MC Shift. Whereas the MC Auto Shift provides a conventionally- placed (engine mated) six-speed automatic gearbox, the MC Shift features a transaxle-mounted robotised manual six-speed transmission, altering weight distribution to increase rear bias.

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Both gearboxes promise the opportunity to drive MC Sportline in as similar a manner as possible to the Trofeo series variant GranTurismo, with an aggressive algorithm in the automatic and true racing-style shifts with the robotised manual.

MC Sportline cradles a front-mounted 4.7-litre naturally-aspirated V8, roaring to 338kW at 7000rpm and 529Nm at 4750rpm. Fuel economy is a thirsty 14.5L/100km, however that pales into insignificance when accelerating from 0-100km/h in 4.8sec in the MC Auto Shift or 4.7sec for the MC Shift, and reaching a top speed of 298km/h and 300km/h respectively.

No aural expense has been spared, with the Ferrari-derived engine able to reach a pure sounding crescendo via bypass flaps in the exhaust system.

Braking is a sharp 100-0km/h in 35m, and while both variants share the same braking and tyre setup, MC Shift benefits from a specially-developed suspension setup to complement its increased rear weight bias and sharper turn-in.

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Both MC Sportline variants receive a lightweight aluminium bonnet, darkened headlights and 20-inch MSC Design alloy wheels. MC Shift is optioned further with a carbon fibre rear lip spoiler, door mirrors, door handles and front splitter.  Inside there is carbon fibre for the gearbox paddles, the instrument surround, the dashboard, and door panels.

The interior is appointed in luxurious Italian flair, with a handmade, bespoke Poltrona Frau leather design commissioned exclusively for the MC Sportline.

Maserati Gran Turismo MC Sportline is available now at $295,000 (excluding on-roads) for MC Autoshift and $319,000 (excluding on-roads) for MC Shift.

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Sometimes known to whisper to gravel, Alex crafted his early childhood driving skills in an old 260z on the back roads of country Australia. Having spent over a decade as an automotive photographer and freelance journalist he combines his wisdom to produce the unique content that is Trailing Throttle. t: @alexsrae