Maserati is probably the last brand on Earth that was left untarnished by footballers, Kim Kardashian and the Mafia so it is easy to see why the company wants to keep its pristine image. Let’s put it this way: Porsche screams mid-life crisis and your first Viagra prescription, while a Ferrari might be too flashy for some. That’s why Maserati falls nicely in the middle, offering thunderous performance, signature Italian style and a fruity engine note (even in the diesel models).
Their last concept was the beautiful Maserati Alfieri, bearing the name of the man that founded the company some 100 years ago in Modena. Critics and the public were stunned, and Maserati soon promised that the car will reach production anytime soon. How soon will that be? Apparently, not soon enough. In an interview for Car Magazine, the boss of Maserati and Alfa Romeo Reid Bigland confirmed again that the car is still coming but the launch has been delayed (again).
“Contrary to popular belief, the Alfieri is not dead, it is just orbiting the Earth, awaiting landing”, said Bigland. The company is now focusing on the new versions of their existing signature cars: GranTurismo and GranCabrio. Both are now almost 10 years old, but Bigland insists that they “still look great”. No one could argue with that, but in terms of tech they are seriously outdated. Both will continue production in 2017 and both will be replaced sometime in 2018, meaning that the first Alfieri coupes could roll out of production lines in 2020.
No technical details were confirmed but curiously, Maserati’s engineering boss Roberto Fedeli promised an electric Maserati in 2020 just a couple days before Bigland’s interview. Coincidence?
According to Car and Driver, the EV should be a low volume specialized grand touring coupe, and not a mass market car (that will be Alfa Romeo’s job in the group). If this really happens, Maserati will be the last premium manufacturer to release an electric car, but the company isn’t really concerned about that: “We will be last, and we have to arrive to the market with something different. Very different.”
Strong words, especially when BMW already have done their radical i8 coupe, but Fedeli should know a thing or two about that one because he came to the position in Maserati straight from BMW. Oh, and if you thought that Maserati wants to compete with Tesla, take a second guess. In fact, Fedeli dismissed Tesla as if it was completely irrelevant to them: “The execution and quality of the products of Tesla are the same as a German OEM in the 1970s. Their solutions are not the best”.
And the gloves are off! Fedeli might be on to something though, as Tesla can hardly compete with Maserati’s name, glamour, design and history, but we are truly anxious to see if Maserati can muster the EV as brilliantly as Tesla did.