Fiat’s luxurious Maserati brand has plans to build its first Jeep Grand Cherokee based SUV at Chrysler’s Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit. The eagerly anticipated concept version of the model will debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show next month.
CEO of Fiat and Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, aims to expand Maserati and Alfa Romeo by drawing on Fiat and Chrysler’s combined size to boost profits. This is a very similar plan to what Volkswagen did with its production volume and Audi’s luxury to generate more than 40 percent of VW’s earnings from less than 20 percent of sales.
The vehicle will be based on the brand-new Jeep Grand Cherokee, but insiders have said it will be hard to spot the resemblance. The interior will be fitted with plush Italian leather as well as wood accents throughout the inside. Under the hood will be a Chrysler HEMI 6.4-liter V8 producing 465-hp. While Maserati already has their own 4.7L V8, the reality is that the HEMI already fits in the platform quite well and will help keep the cost of the vehicle down. The well regarded Fiat V6 diesel will also be available on the Cherokee platform.
[Source: Automotive News]