Information on Maserati's third model variant shifts from Spyder to smaller Coupe
20 February 2007

With the current Maserati Spyder bowing out of production alongside its Coupe, Maserati knows it needs a third model to reach its '10,000 cars by 2010' target. This week, new plans for the identity of that model have emerged.Currently Maserati sees three possibilities for the required growth. It can make a smaller coupe, a replacement for the Spyder open car, or the so-called 'small Quattroporte' saloon. The presumption until now has been that the third of those options might be likeliest, utilising running gear from the latest Alfa Romeo generation (the new 169 saloon will use a rear-drive platform), but a rival proposal has emerged for a two-seater coupe based on a 'cut-down' Quattroporte platform, which would boost economies of scale of the existing saloon and the new GranTurismo coupe.Autocar has learned that, with the replacement for the Coupe a CL-rivalling four-seater, Maserati bosses have been favouring a cheaper coupe model as the most dependable way of growing the brand. A Porsche Cayenne-rivalling 4x4, inspired by the Kubang concept would be, they say, 'too ungainly and aggressive,' and a smaller saloon too far removed from the marque's current range of products. 'Maseratis should occupy the gap between €70,000 and €120,000,' Maserati CEO Roberto Ronchi told us. The entry-level Maser would therefore be a sub-£50k rival for the BMW M3 and Porsche Cayman S. Insiders say that, if approved, it would use the company's 4.2-litre V8 detuned to around 350bhp, and its paddleshift 'duoselect' gearbox.Abandoning the Maserati Spyder for a smaller coupe, however, would leave the current Spyder without a successor, and Maserati without a convertible model at all for the foreseeable future.

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