The upcoming all-wheel drive Maserati SUV will be powered by a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine used on the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 instead of just any regular 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, according to a Top Gear report. Fans have been eagerly waiting for this SUV ever since the Maserati Kubang GT Wagon concept came out in 2003.
Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Chrysler and Fiat, said that production of the Maserati SUV will start at the Jefferson North assembly plant in 2012.
Back then, it was expected that the SUV will be underpinned by the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform and will use a V8 engine from Ferrari; however, it’s not the most financially viable choice. By using an American chassis and engine, the Maserati SUV will lose most of its European heritage but the upside is that its price will drop.
There are reports that company officials will present the HEMI as the best option due to its higher torque output. It’s likely that this unit will deliver 465hp, which actually isn’t a lot if you consider the large displacement of the V8.
In addition, Top Gear said that Maserati will offer a 3.0-liter V6 diesel with an output of about 240 hp and 550 Nm (406 lb-ft) of torque, combining refinement and efficiency. The Maserati SUV is expected to hit the roads in late 2013 as a 2014 model.
Maserati is introducing its new luxury SUV called the Kubang. This is a great and natural way for the company to expand its vehicle portfolio and become a significant player in the sport luxury segment. It seems like many modern SUVs aren’t as luxurious or delightful to drive compared to premium vehicles. Maserati consciously decided to deliver a new luxury SUV concept that will meet such expectations. Debuting today at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the Kubang will represent a future Maserati range. This foray into a new segment is a new direction for the company, but clearly, there’s every intention to leave an imprint with their original DNA here as well.
Maserati has actually already shown a luxury SUV before when they introduced the Kubang concept at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show. This was a period when premium brands were seldom thinking of, let alone producing luxury SUVs. But Maserati already had such plans.
A main driving force for Maserati’s entry into the luxury SUV segment is its partnership with Jeep, an SUV pioneer 70 years ago and still a leader of this segment today. For this reason, Maserati deemed it proper to name the new model being introduced today after the concept that started it for them: Maserati Kubang.
The core of the Maserati luxury SUV and all its major system components will completely bear the company’s trademarks, be it its style, engine, suspension system, brakes, performance and handling. This vehicle will truly reflect the brand’s main thrust for elegant style, luxurious craftsmanship and sportive performance.
The Kubang will unmistakably look like a Maserati as its style was developed by the Maserati Style Centre helmed by Lorenzo Ramaciotti.
The Kubang’s innovative and cutting edge Maserati proprietary engine development will be done in Modena and led by Maserati Powertrain Department Head Paolo Martinelli, who was engine chief of Ferrari’s Formula One racing team and had been with Ferrari for 30 years. In fact, Ferrari will be producing the Kubang’s engine in Maranello.
Maserati’s Product Development Department in Modena will be responsible for the development of all Maserati luxury SUVs’ performance settings including steering, suspension systems, brakes and the AT 8 speed automatic transmission.
Prior to the Kubang, Maserati only produced fixed roof or convertible sedans or coupes, with names such as Bora, Ghibli, Indy, Mistral, or more recently, GranCabrio, GranTurismo and Quattroporte. But they all carried the Maserati stamp of luxurious sportiness. As premium consumers’ tastes have evolved, luxurious sportiness has now been adapted in vehicles in other market segments, hence the evolution of the dynamic performance-oriented luxury SUV, where Maserati is set to make a big splash.