Taking on the Porsche 911 isn’t an easy thing to do; many have tried and failed in their attempts to wrest the crown from Porsche’s Kung-Fu grip. But, according to Auto Express, that is exactly what famed Italian automaker Maserati is aiming to do (the not failing part) with an all-new “hardcore” sports car.

So what exactly does “hardcore” translate to in engineering terms? We’re not entirely sure. Apart from the encouraging renderings you see here, confirmed facts remain slimmer than an Olson twin’s waistline. Auto Express seems to think that the new 911 contender could be named the GranSport and will slot alongside the Quattroporte, Gran Turismo, as well as the brutish Gran Turismo MC Stradale in Maserati’s limited lineup.

Another nugget of information claims Maserati’s 911 rival will be based on the upcoming Alfa Romeo 4C and outfitted with a Ferrari-sourced turbocharged V6. Thus, the car will likely take on a mid-engine layout and is aiming to pump out 450 thunderous ponies. For those who like to keep track of the numbers, that’s eight more horsepower than MC Stradale’s 442 horsepower 4.7-liter V8.

As is the case with any sportscar — especially those with price tags trailing with what seems to be an endless amount of zeros — the GranSport’s success will inevitable hinge on two aspects: performance and power. Maserati seems to have the former covered. The GranSport will reportedly feature a modified version of the 4C’s carbon-fiber chassis, making it leaner and more agile than the hefty Gran Turismo MC Stradale. While nothing is concrete, performance estimates place the GranSport’s top speed at 190 mph with a dash from 0-60 in under four seconds.

An official release date and pricing for the sportscar remain elusive, but if we had to take a stab on when we’ll see the GranSport, it will probably be sometime in 2015, after the Maserati Kubang enters the fray. Thankfully it looks like we’ll only have to sell one of our intern’s kidnies with pricing said to be in line with Porsche’s 911 (surprise) and Audi’s R8.

[Images courtesy of Auto Express]