Upcoming Maserati models to get Chrysler components

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 13, 2011

Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said that Chrysler Group has a major role to play in his goal to increase Maserati sales to 50,000 units annually at the end of the decade from 5,675 units sold last year. To build two sedans to replace its Quattroporte flagship, Maserati will borrow systems and components from Chrysler sedans like the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Avenger.

The Quattroporte is considered too bulky to be a driver's car, but then, it’s too small especially in the legroom to be seen as a suitable chauffeur's car.

Those problems would be a thing of the past with these new sedans. So that customers won’t see the two Quattroportes as "Chrysleratis," these borrowed Chrysler parts would be hidden. These may include wiring, air conditioning, passive safety systems and seat structures. Production of the two Quattroportes would be done in Italy.

Chrysler will assemble a third new Maserati, its first SUV, in the U.S. by Chrysler on the same line as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. With the assembly line at full capacity, the two new Quattroportes would make up about 30,000 to 35,000 units annually. Meanwhile, the SUV would make up about 10,000 to 15,000 units.

The rest of the units that will hit the 50,000 annual sales target would be from Maserati's current core products, the GranTurismo coupe and the GranCabrio convertible, which continues to be produced in Modena, Italy. Towards the end of last year, Maserati will unveil a sedan smaller than the Quattroporte flagship – the Baby Quattroporte.

This project, which was originally conceived as a flagship model for Alfa Romeo, was changed early last year to Maserati since Maserati has global distribution and has the capacity to handle higher prices. This new model maintains Maserati's conventional layout of front longitudinal engine and rear drive.

This car will introduce a much revised 3.0-liter version of Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine. This revised engine, which comes with Fiat's MultiAir variable valve timing, twin turbochargers and direct injection, will generate over 400 hp and a respectable fuel economy.

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