By on September 25, 2008

Maserati has a new version of the Gran Turismo called the “Corse.” (Check it out at AutoFiends). It’s stripped out, no sound insulation, racetrack ready. Lieberman tells me it’s like a Porsche GT3 RS or an Aston Martin V8 Vantage N24. I initially thought that these cars were pretty silly. When you’re talking about that level of money, you don’t need the car to be street legal. Sure you could drive it home from the racetrack, but would you want to? I saw the episode of Top Gear when James May drives one and sweats his walnuts off. These cars are just brutal; so I figured you would stick it in a trailer and haul it home behind your Escalade. Sure, I have plenty of friends that take their personal cars to and from autocross. But that’s a different story. But I have realized the benefit for manufacturers selling cars like these. First, they are profit machines because customers pay more and get less. But more importantly, they let buyers feel closer to the racecars and the brand’s supposed sports car credentials. Think of it as buying a set of kitchen knives because Gordon Ramsey uses the same ones at home. It’s all about what your car is capable of (I mean, I don’t usually drive 155 in the U.S.). And in this case, the special racing-spec version of already expensive cars are just what the millionaire toy collecter ordered.

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