Maserati’s current focus is on developing a new model that is far from what people have been anticipating - the new GranTurismo and the production version of the Alfieri.
This is because today’s trend is leaning towards SUVs more than sedans and other types of vehicles, and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is aware of that. This is why Sergio Marchionne announced that a Maserati SUV will be available in the market by 2020.
The still unnamed SUV will be positioned just below the Ghibli-based Levante, and it will be riding on the same Giorgio rear-wheel drive / all-wheel drive platform like that of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, but with a major difference. Marchionne also mentioned that the new Maserati SUV might be receiving a unique powertrain, but he did not give any more details after. We are also aware that the company will soon be electrifying all their models, starting in 2019. Therefore, it is likely that the Maserati SUV will also be offered with a hybrid setup.
The Maserati SUV will be going up against models like the Porsche Macan. And the Italian automaker hopes that this high-riding model will help them hit 70,000 to 80,000 annual sales. It’s also expected to boost the brand’s annual sales to reach 1 billion euros.
Marchionne said all these in his statement last week when he had a call with the financial analysis regarding the company’s third-quarter earnings. When the company introduced the first-ever Levante SUV to the market, the automaker was able to increase sales up to 36,000 units in the first nine months of 2017. Whereas the year before that, only 23,900 vehicles were sold within the same time frame.
Despite all that, it’s not all good news at the Maserati HQ. FCA insiders say that customer demand for the Levante has been reduced, and this led to the decrease in production of the said model. Aside from that, we also heard that a hotter V8-powered Levante GTS is currently in the works, as seen in spy shots. Hopefully, this would attract buyers who are interested in a more powerful SUV that is not made in Germany. Lastly, there is also a rumoured Chrysler Pacifica minivan that will be partially electrified with the hybrid setup it will be given.
That is not all, it also looks like Maserati is planning to launch a fully electric model around the end of the decade, and it is highly likely that it would be based on the aforementioned Alfieri. And as mentioned earlier, the long awaited Gran Turismo might finally hit the streets in 2020.
How many more SUVs will Fiat-Chrysler develop in the next decade will likely depend on how successful the first two models will be.