During the Capital Markets Day speech of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Maserati boss Tim Kuniskis said: “From a product standpoint, it may look as if Maserati is challenging Porsche and Tesla. We are. We’re going to accomplish this by bringing the market something no other player in the industry can match.”
He said part of the brand's uniqueness came from that all Maseratis, including the fully electric ones, will use powetrains created by Ferrari.
Leading the line-up expansion would be a halo car, the Alfieri, available in coupé and convertible forms. It will be built on a new aluminium space frame, with a fully modular chassis with three “state-of-the-art powertrains, including plug-in hybrid”, according to Kuniskis. One will be an all-electric version using a three-motor, all-wheel drive system offering torque vectoring. It will feature 800V battery technology.
Kuniskis said that the car will “offer an unparalleled mix of performance and luxury”, before revealing that it would be capable of reaching 62mph in around two seconds — making it a rival for the hottest Tesla Model S variants — and have a top speed of over 186mph.
The Alfieri concept was first shown in 2014, when it was powered by a V8 and scheduled for production in 2016. But legislative pressure on emissions and fuel economy meant a V6 powertrain became the favoured option. It’s therefore likely that the Ferrari-built 3.0-litre V6 unit used by the Levante will form the base of the Alfieri hybrid's electrified powertrain.
Also confirmed by Kuniskis is a new SUV to sit beneath the Levante SUV in Maserati’s range. Buoyed by the success of the Levante, which has helped to grow Maserati’s annual volumes from 30,000 units in 2014 to 50,000 units in 2017, the smaller SUV will seek to chase even larger volumes. The target is for Maserati to reach 100,000 cars by 2022.
Another key part of this new strategy and the brand’s assault on Tesla will be the launch of four fully electric cars, sold under a new ‘Maserati Blue’ moniker. Alongside the aforementioned electric version of the Alfieri and Alfieri cabrio, there will be electric versions of the next Quattroporte and Levante using the same powertrains.
Plug-in hybrid versions of these cars are also due as part of Maserati’s plans to expand into as many segments and categories as possible with each of its models. In total, there will be eight plug-in hybrid Maseratis on sale by 2022.