Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has ambitious plans for the Maserati, specifically to drastically improve sales almost tenfold from last years 5,675 units sold to 50,000. Marchionne believes this is attainable through three new Maserati models, all based on systems and components from Chrysler Group.
Maserati will introduce two sedans and an SUV with technology from the American automaker. The Quattroporte flagship model will be replaced by two sedans using technology from the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Avenger(!). The Maserati SUV will be built alongisde the Jeep Grand Cherokee in the Jefferson North plant in Detroit. Maserati has stated that the new models will not be rebadged Chryslers. The Maseratis will have different bodies and interiors, however shared parts will be in very discreet areas, similar to the Bentley Continental, and its Volkswagen Phaeton stablemate.
Maserati hopes to solve the Quattroporte’s size problem. The car is too large to be a driver’s car. This issue will be solved by offering both a “baby” Quattroporte and a larger Quattroporte. Maserati hopes to combat the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class with the “baby” model. The smaller Maserati sedan,will have a traditional layout, complete with a front longitudinal engine and rear-wheel drive. The engine will be a reworked, high performance version of the Chrysler V6 Pentastar, likely a 3.0-liter motor with Fiat’s fuel saving MultiAir air management system, twin turbochargers and direct injection. The car will crank out 400-hp and deliver good fuel economy. The price will range between $78,000 to $99,000.
The larger Quattroporte will be considerably larger than the current model, rivalling the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The larger Maserati will have an overall length of 5170mm, 70mm longer than the current model and 220 longer than the “baby” vehicle. The larger Maserati will feature a revised version of the Ferrari-built 4.7-liter 475-hp V8, mated to the ZF Group’s eight-speed automatic transmission.
[Source: Automotive News]