Maserati was one of just a handful of manufacturers that truly surprised Geneva motor show punters this year by unveiling a model completely out of the blue, with nothing in the way of PR preamble during the run up to the show.

The model in question is the utterly gorgeous Alfieri, a 2+2 sports car that will boast the company's feisty 4.7-litre V8 engine and likely go on to replace the current GranTurismo.

Alfieri takes its name from the most prominent Maserati bother, who was responsible for much of the engineering genius that underpinned early Maser' models.

The Italian marque claims the concept is a 'functional prototype' that looks firmly to the future yet takes many styling cues from historic models.

The 1957 3500 GT, the 1959 5000 GT and the 1969 Indy can all be seen in the various curves and lines of the bodywork yet inside, it's all very modern.

TFT displays replace traditional clocks and dials while the floor is finished in a material that mimics oxidised steel, a fabric that was commonly found on racecars of the 1950s.

Based on the MC Stradale platform – the most hardcore model in the current Maserati family – the Alfieri boasts a slightly shorter wheelbase to create the silhouette of a genuine supercar.

The familiar Ferrari-fettled, naturally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 engine that develops 460bhp and 520Nm torque resides underneath the bonnet. Power is channelled through a six-speed, electro-actuated gearbox and driven to the rear wheels for genuine supercar performance.

Taking pride of place on the Maserati stand at this year's Geneva motor show, the Alfieri garnered a large amount of interest from punters disappointed by the general lack of exotic metal.

It looked stunning in the flesh, with the voluptuous curves and bulging wheel arches catching the bright spotlights while the squat rear and quad tailpipes revealed proper sporting intentions.

Let's just hope they go ahead and build it.