Bad news for fans and enthusiasts of Maserati sports cars! Soon the Bologna-based manufacturer of exclusive luxury vehicles will have no new sports cars in its product lineup as Maserati is moving to focus on other vehicles. This was recently revealed by Giulio Pastore, managing director of Maserati’s European division, to the CAR Magazine.
Maserati’s GranTurismo and GranCabrio are still being produced at the carmaker’s production facilities at its Viale Ciro Menotti headquarters in Modena, Italy. However, that won’t be for long. Production of the GranTurismo and GranCabrio twins is bound to end sometime in 2017. This news would have been easier to take had there been replacement models for the GranTurismo and GranCabrio in 2018, but sadly, there aren’t.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Maserati won’t be producing sports cars anymore. Pastore quipped that a new era of sports cars was on the drawing board, since Maserati can’t do without them. He indicated that a standalone coupe and convertible were being planned. Maserati’s next sports cars replacing the GranTurismo and GranCabrio are still expected to arrive in 2019, although it’s most likely to turn up in 2020.
So, for the next two or three years, Maserati would only be selling the Ghibli executive saloon, the Quattroporte sports saloon and the Levante SUV. This, however, doesn’t mean that a slowdown is on the horizon for Maserati. The auto market is currently on the hot trail for SUVs, and even premium models are experiencing a high demand. In the United Kingdom alone, Maserati posted a 21-percent surge in sales – mostly SUVs and saloons – this year. It seems Maserati’s product strategy isn’t so bad at all and is even providing the needed volume of sales for the Italian carmaker.
The 2017 Maserati Levante SUV that is already being sold in the market is considered a vital piece of the carmaker’s efforts to hike its sales in the next two years by reviving otherwise dropping demand in the United States and China. The Levante is underpinned by an evolution of the saloon platform designed exclusively by Maserati to deliver both on-road drivability and off-road capability while offering much-needed practicality, functionality and comfort. This is the same platform that underpins the Maserati Ghibli.
But before we forget, there was the Alfieri 2+2 sports car concept that made its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show to mark the brand’s centenary. There were reports that Maserati would launch the Alfieri this 2016, and that wasn’t the case. There were reports also saying that 2018 would be the year for the final version of the Alfieri, but apparently the sports car project has been been postponed and we don’t know when it will come. The good thing is that it wasn’t shelved. Reid Bigland, Maserati’s new chief executive, told CAR that the Alfieri concept is “in a holding pattern,” and is “orbiting the Earth, awaiting landing.”
Meanwhile, Pastore admitted that Maserati is studying electrification, hybrids, plug-in hybrids and 48-volt systems. With the possible comeback of the GranTurismo and GranCabrio in 2020, the Alfieri could be transformed into Maserati’s a standalone EV sports car.