The persistent trend in the automotive industry remains to be the shift to electric-powered models. While most brands are developing new products to achieving that end, customers and enthusiasts have been accustomed to hearing the word “delay” associated with Maserati.
All that is about to change with the recent announcement of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), Maserati’s parent company, outlining its green program. None other than CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed during a conference call with investors that at least 50% of the corporation’s range will be electrified, in one way or another, by the year 2022.
CEO Marchionne, who intends to retire by 2019, declared that given the fate of diesel in the Europe market, the issue has become mandatory. He said further that there will be no choice but to implement some degree of electrification when it comes to gas engines.
As expected, this announcement will have an immediate effect on this performance brand which is projected to release only alternatively-powered products beginning in 2019. Marchionne disclosed that this will not be limited to hybrids but will also include full EVs. While Maserati will indeed signal the start of FCA’s green agenda, it will only begin working towards EV once it has finished the two models currently in development. FCA did reveal that even with the push for electrification, there are no plans yet on making their own batteries.
Maserati expects that the new EV will likely be a two-seater coupe built using a new architecture. Sales are slated to begin sometime in 2020. There is the possibility that this will be based on the 2014 Alfieri concept. First presented to the public during the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, this concept car was seen as Maserati’s way of being able to continue its racing heritage
However until that happens, customers for now will need to be content with the Levante, the first SUV to come from Maserati. Officially debuting during last year's Geneva Motor Show, the Levante is powered by a choice of petrol and diesel engine, both of which are paired to an automatic eight-speed transmission. For the diesel version of the 3.0-liter V6 engine, output is given at 275 hp with maximum speed of 143 mph and acceleration from standstill to 62 mph possible in 6.9 seconds. Under the petrol version, the engine delivers power between 350 hp and 430 hp. Thus, its top speed is 164 mph with the 0-60mph acceleration of the former at 6.3 seconds and the latter measured at 5.2 seconds. By 2019 though, the Levante SUV will be fitted with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the one in the Chrysler Pacifica.
It has been revealed as well that the new GranTurismo could be revealed in 2020, possibly along with a SUV smaller than the Levante. Further, the Levante having the V8 engine could well be the range topper of this model.