It's like a modern-day Bora.

Aspirations are what drive the automotive industry – whether it’s innovating the minivan or introducing an all-new, mid-engined sports car. It’s easy to discount today’s automotive industry as nothing more than a numbers game between the finance department and the engineers. Often, the two are at odds, but that doesn’t mean goals just die before they come to fruition. Other times, they disappear completely from the discourse, such as that rumored Alfa Romeo 4C-based mid-engined Maserati.

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Back in 2012, former Maserati CEO Harald Wester revealed new details about a proposed mid-engined sports car with a carbon-fiber monocoque and a curb weight of about 2,645 pounds (1,200 kilograms). Power would come from a 4.7-liter V8 – or turbocharged version – producing 454 horsepower (338 kilowatts). However, the model never received the greenlight for a 2015 production year.

So, what would a modern, mid-engined Maserati look like today? Very Lamborghini-like, according to rendering above. The car has all the necessary hallmarks of a modern-day supercar. There’s the super-low ride-height, thin side-mirror stalks, sloping roofline, and svelte design lines running down the side of the car. Up front, there’s the massive and iconic Maserati slatted grille and trident emblem. It looks far removed from sharing any sort of underpinnings with the Alfa Romeo 4C.

If Maserati would produce such a halo vehicle for its brand, we'd love to see the 3.8-liter biturbo V8 from the recently-unveiled Levante Trofeo. It produces 590 horsepower (440 kilowatts) at 6,250 rpm and 538 pound-feet (730 Newton-meters) of peak torque between 2,250 and 5,000 rpm. It rockets the large SUV to 62 miles per hour (0-100 kilometers per hour) in just 3.9 seconds. That's plenty of power for a lightweight, mid-engined sports car. 

Currently, Maserati offers five models – Ghibli, Quattroporte, GranTurismo, GranCabrio, and the new Levante SUV. As awesome as it would be for the Italian luxury automaker to rekindle the likes of the MC12 and Bora, the likelihood is slim. What would better benefit Maserati is a slew of new crossovers and SUVs. No, they’re not as exciting as a mid-engined sports car, but they’re profitable enough that maybe one day, the automaker will have the cash to turn Wester’s dream into a reality.

Rendering: Rain Prisk

Gallery: 2004 Maserati MC12