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No Macan Rival from Maserati

No Macan Rival from Maserati

maserati-kubang-concept

Maserati CEO, Harold Wester,  has categorically stated that there will not be a smaller SUV to slot underneath the soon to be launched Levante SUV.

The Levante is scheduled to be revealed next year at the Detroit Motor Show and go on sale later in the year. While there were rumours that Maserati would consider expanding their SUV line-up to include a smaller, Macan-sized vehicle to fit within their range. However, these rumours have been quashed by Harold Wester, CEO of Maserati. He states that such a car is not on Maserati’s agenda because it would clash with other brands, such as the upcoming Alfa Romeo SUVs and Jeep’s products.

The Levante will provide  huge sales leap for Maserati, as the SUV is a growing segment which no manufacturer can afford to ignore. While purists may not like these sort of vehicles, they do bring in massive profits for manufacturers to use in other, more interesting areas. With this reasoning in mind, I tend to think that Harold Wester could eventually go back on his word and in fact offer a Macan-sized car.

Porschemacan
The Macan is the only sports-orientated mid-size SUV currently on sale. A similarly sized Maserati rival would make this segment a lot more interesting.

 

Time will tell if such a car will hit roads or not. However, the fact that Porsche has opted to enter such a segment of the market is quite telling. While what Wester says is technically true, VW seems to be managing quite well to market the Tiguan, Q5 and Macan in such a way that none is tip-toeing over the other’s customers. I see no reason why the Fiat Chryser Group cannot do the same. The Jeep would be the more utilitarian end of the market, targetting the Tiguan and Land Rover Discovery. The Alfa SUVs would focus more on the BMW X1/X3, Audi Q3/Q5 market and Maserati could tackle the high end, sportier segment of the market, currently only occupied by the Macan.

I am willing to bet that Maserati will change its tune once the Levante hits the market and the sales start climbing. For now, we will just have to make do with waiting for the Levante and the Alfieri.

The Maserati Alfieri Concept

The Maserati Alfieri Concept

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Last week the Geneva Motor Show opened its doors to the public, and while I was not expecting much from the Italian automakers, other than the Ferrari California T and a couple of hotter Alfa Romeo hatchbacks, Maserati has gone and created another masterpiece to replace its aging GranTourismo.

Aging? That gorgeous two-door, four-seater coupe cannot be more than three years old! Well much to my surprise, the GranTourismo was actually unveiled to the world in 2007. It is seven years old! I honestly had not realised, the car still looks as fresh as the day it was unveiled to the world.

So, despite its looks, its time to start thinking about a replacement, and come up with something that will add a fresh dose of excitement into the line-up.  A new coupe, to usher in its latest crop of engines and gearboxes, something to keep the kids interested in Maseratis.

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Here is what they have come up with. The Alfieri Concept. Yes, unfortunately still a concept, and the only unfortunate thing about it. However, do not fret, because having watched the press launch of this car, it is clear that all the heads of the Fiat group want this car to make production, most of all the head of Maserati himself, Harald Wester, a sharp suited, unassuming German who clearly knows what makes a Maserati, and knows how to push the brand forward.

If you have a spare twenty minutes, I suggest you watch the entire press conference. He shows off the car with a certain style and elegance that is not seen outside the Fiat Group. Anyways, here is the car. It is a a sharp looking thing, with its long bonnet, low front, short tail and gorgeous headlights, this machine just begs to be driven.  There is not a single line which I do not like about this car.  The man himself, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, the same man who penned the current Alfa Romeo Giulietta, the Peugeot 406 Coupe, and the Ferrari 456. Clearly, this man knows his way around a pen and paper. His latest design shows the world, that this guy is still churning out some great designs. Ian Callum may be good, but Ramaciotti is better.

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Now lets get to the technical bits. What exactly is powering this bad boy? Well the actual concept uses the same underpinnings as the GranTourismo MC Stradale, with the same 4.7 litre V8 engine and ceramic brakes. It also has the same gearbox as the MC Stradale.  If this car does see the light of day, expect it to be powered by the latest generation of V6 and V8 engines currently powering the Ghibli and Quattroporte, probably using the eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox too. However, it might be the case that they will use the MC Shift from the MC Stradale, to make it feel a little sportier.  Insiders are also claiming that if this car does make it into production, they want it to weigh about 1400 kg, which is about 300 kg lighter than the GranTourismo, and about 150 kg lighter than a Jaguar F-Type, one of its key rivals. Pricing will be around the region of £60,000, again F-Type money.

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All I will say is, this car needs to go into production. As soon as possible.