Looks like the Maserati Alfieri will be left in the dust, as another performance car will be unveiled by the Italian luxury vehicle automaker. The all-electric Maserati Alfieri concept was unveiled in 2014 at the Geneva Motor Show. The production version will have 3 V6 engine variants - the 410 hp (306 kW), a 450 bhp (336 kW) and 520 bhp (388kW). The 450 hp and 520 options will only be offered as an all-wheel drive system. A 2016 release was scheduled, but to the public's dismay, the release has been delayed to give way to the launch of the Maserati Levante. Sigh.
Previously, Aston Martin decided to venture to producing a 4 wheel-drive city car to hit the streets and it came up with a rebadged option of a Toyota/Scion IQ marketed as the Cygnet. Bearing the price tag of around £30,000, about as three times as much as the iQ, it had a 1.3L inline-four engine that produced 97 bhp (72kW; 98 PS) and emitted 110 g of CO2/km and fuel consumption of around 3.99L/100 Km.
But in September 2013, just after 2 years of production, Aston Martin representatives proclaimed that the Cygnet would be officially discontinued from the Aston Martin line-up due to its disastrously low sales with the automobile only reaching 150 unit sales in the UK (estimated to be 300 in total rather than its yearly target of 4,000). Ouch, that has got to hurt.
Now, Maserati must try not to follow in the footsteps of the Cygnet. The Italian automaker is looking to spark the curiosity of the car enthusiasts and the overall public as it is putting its trademark image on a considerably wee cutie hatchback. Images of the supposed hot hatch were leaked, and it's so similar looking with the Fiat 500 we thought we were seeing double.
For now, it is called the Maserati 500, and all we can base it on is a single render that displays the Maserati grille, some performance wheels and what we assume are vents put onto the frame of a Fiat 500. Closely identical to the Aston Martin Cygnet, the Maserati 500 would also perform as a fuel-efficient entry to the lineup in contrast with the gas-jugging vehicles including the Gran Turismo, Quattroporte, and Levante SUV.
It sounds like Maserati is levelling its gameplay to offer clients a range of its vehicle variants. Rumours flew that the Maserati 500 power will likely come with a 1.4 L turbocharged engine that produces around 190 pure horsepower (141 kW). All that power would be exclusively directed to the front wheels via a manual gearbox-- this would keep emission on the low therefore diminishing the overall average for the brand.
The Italian sports car manufacturer is still mum on how much the said hatchback will cost, but given the luxurious name trademark and the fuel efficiency appeal of the hatchback, it would possibly bear the price tag of an estimated $50,000. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the Maserati 500 will not suffer the same fate as the Aston Martin Cygnet, which was sadly short-lived.