Harald Wester, boss of Maserati, is on record as saying electric vehicles are "nonsense", but the Italian sports car firm is still planning to introduce plug-in hybrids
Jim Holder
26 January 2016

Maserati is likely to offer all future models with hybrid powertrains, with the exception of the range-topping Alfieri sports car due on sale in 2018.

Until now the firm has been ambivalent about electrification. Boss Harald Wester said in 2013 that EVs were “nonsense”, backing up his argument with statistics suggesting that producing, powering and disposing of electric cars resulted in more CO2 than the most efficient combustion-engined cars.

At the time he said: “If we want a realistic solution then the regulators need to be more honest in how they calculate emissions. Electric cars are not the answer.”

However, Maserati is now set to introduce plug-in hybrid variants of the Quattroporte, GranTurismo, GranCabrio and Ghibli, in order to meet average emissions targets by 2020.

It's already known that the upcoming Levante SUV will be offered with plug-in hybrid powertrain options.

Giulio Pastore, Maserati’s European general manager, said: “We have to do it - it’s that simple. In some countries where it is highly incentivised, they will be a success, in others maybe less so, but there is government and customer demand for such cars.

“What I can say is that we will only electrify our cars if it can be done without sacrificing performance. If there’s a sacrifice, then we won’t do it.”

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The Maserati GranTurismo has underlying brilliance, marred by frustrating niggles. But it’s the first Maser for an age that you don’t need excuses to buy.

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26 January 2016
It's the best bit about Maseratis. Can't they just leave their cars as they are and rebadge some Fiat 500s? Isn't that what Aston Martin did with Toyota?

26 January 2016
Beastie_Boy wrote:

It's the best bit about Maseratis. Can't they just leave their cars as they are and rebadge some Fiat 500s? Isn't that what Aston Martin did with Toyota?

In Europe, most of the Ghiblis (and no doubt the SUV too) have a VM oiler under the bonnet. If they replace those with hybrids then I doubt there will be much complaint.


26 January 2016
....agreed scrap, filthy diesel in a Maserati its sacrilege, who cares if they add a hair dryer lead!
I just wonder what sort of person (soulless I guess and obsessed by badge rather than driving satisfaction) buys a diesel Maserati in the first place.

An electric Maserati - Reminds me of a 'silent disco' - pointless and totally lacking atmosphere.

26 January 2016
Another dinosaur that wont recognise the changing world and that extinction is just around the corner

26 January 2016
He's not the only person to eat his words over the advancing plug-in. And course Telsa has nothing to so with his decision.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

26 January 2016
Absolutely spot on- Tesla is the elephant in the room and ice car makers are in the long term- fucked. unless they change

26 January 2016
Sad fact of matter is Tesla model S is first/second generation electric car from a company that has never built cars before. Yet it is not just keeping up with the BMW M3 0-60 etc., it has them completely and utterly licked for acceleration. Fossils are intricately complex and in the end, dump their pollution locally. Even if CO2 was identical, fossil cars produce NO2, particulates and CO which just can't keep being pumped into the local atmosphere. We're not living in Dehli or Beijing (at least I'm not), yet London has already exceeded the annual number of days for 2016 where NO2 levels are allowed to be above safe thresholds. It is absolute disgrace, yet has hardly been covered by the kow towing press who are happy instead to tell us all to cut back further on a little ale.

Next generation electric cars will utterly rule the roost. This is nothing about being a 'greenie', just the new order which VW have inadvertently helped along; and yes, I live on earth. Moreover, I find the insights from someone who sports a picture of an A reg. MG Metro as limited as I'd expect them to be.

27 January 2016
The assertion from 2013 that electric cars have a higher lifetime CO2 footprint than hybrids and tiny engines only holds water if the power grid is primarily coal-based, and the battery is scrapped rather than recycled.

Given that those provisos are virtually never applicable, Wester's claim is complete rubbish. EVs are by far the cleanest cars.

As for their use in a Maserati, I'd imagine a decent electric drivetrain would be more appropriate than a diesel, given that every EV from a main manufacturer has decent driving dynamics for its class. As others have said though, the important thing is that Maserati keeps the big petrol engines where possible.

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