Okay. Exactly how long did you think I was going to go before I said something about a very important event that I am passionate about?
MASERATI IS TURNING ONE HUNDRED THIS YEAR!!
I am “chuffed to bits” and have been barely able to contain myself until this point. I ordered my Maserati pins and shirts well in advance and visited my local Maserati dealer just to see all the shiny new trinkets from the company.
The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved with automobiles. The legacy these brothers would leave was established in Bologna, Italy on the first of December in 1914. Mario, who was an artist, designed the trident symbol in 1920 which symbolically would represent the active brothers who were down to three (Bindo, Ettore and Ernesto) by 1932 when Alfieri passed. The company has survived trials and triumphs through the hands of The Orsi Family, Citroen, De Tomaso, Ferrari and the current owner, FIAT. The company is now partnered with Alfa Romeo and thankfully, both companies seem to have enough life for us to take a collective sigh of relief after years of worrying about their survival.
To celebrate, Modena has pulled out all the stops, beginning with the Quattroporte, a car we featured here during its unveil at Continental Autosport. They ramped up production, built a new factory and rolled out this beauty. Next on the list was the Ghibli, which will be Maserati’s volume leader – a sweet and sassy alternative to a cold E-Class or run-of-the-mill 5-Series. Finally, Italian flair for the masses. The Ghibli was also the car that would mark history as feature in Maserati’s first-ever commercial during the Super Bowl.
The GranTurismo was already holding its own in all variations: Sport or MC – each one a thunderous, luxurious step above the last.
In Geneva this past March, Maserati displayed a magnificent concept named after one of the brothers (who drove the first racing Maserati) called the Alfieri. The company has confirmed that the Alfieri is scheduled to arrive in 2015 and be followed up a year later by a drop-top variant.
The car will be an entry-level model that will be an answer to the question that Jaguar posed with the F-Type. Although the powertrains to be offered at introduction were not specified, Maserati’s four-year projection documents indicate the Alfieri coupe and cabrio will be running V-6 engines. More powerful variants will be further down the pipeline as well as all-wheel drive versions. If you are thinking what we are thinking, YES!! A showdown with the Aston Martin Vantage, Jaguar F-Type and Maserati Alfieri would be cool. Trust us; every automotive publication extant has woken up in a cold sweat about that one.
We are not to believe the Alfieri is the Gran Turismo replacement, that car is slated to arrive for 2018.
Waiting in the wings is the Levante SUV, which has been popping in and out of press clips for almost two years now. The vehicle is approved for production and we cannot wait to see what Maserati will offer to well-to-do Soccer Moms. The Levante will be built by Maserati at the Mirafiori factory, in Turin, Italy in 2014 on the same platform as the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee but is equipped with a bespoke Maserati body, grille, front fender vents, LED head and tail lights.
Though the Levante builds upon Chrysler products, it attempts to retain Maserati’s Italian roots. The Levante has different powertrains to its Dodge and Jeep siblings, featuring Maserati’s 3.0-liter V-6 engine, and 3.8-liter V-8 Engine from the sixth generation Maserati Quattroporte. There is a nine-speed manumatic transmission, and the 8-Speed ZF Automatic Transmission from the sixth-generation Maserati Quattroporte. The Levante may be offered in rear-wheel drive (two-wheel drive) as well as four-wheel-drive. Models will have performance- and comfort-oriented driving modes, like its Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 sibling. The Levante will also gain Chrysler Corporation’s new U Connect System with a full color 8.1-inch TFT touch screen display, as well as a reconfigurable TFT gauge cluster with full color.
We are not the only ones who are excited about the offerings from the Trident. While at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, I had a chance to catch up with the Director of Marketing Communications for Maserati-North America, Andrea Soriani, who was more than happy to talk with us and floored us with his enthusiasm, wonderful accent and devotion to the Green Bay Packers.
The company has worldwide events planned as well as stateside celebrations at, West Palm Beach, Amelia Island, Monterey and Pebble Beach. Standards such as the La Belle Macchine & Trofeo USA will herald the centennial as well.
Maserati will have a stable of six vehicles in 2018. This is definitely a reason to celebrate. Some years ago, we didn’t know if they were going to make it. Now, they have a desirable and competent lineup.
Maserati is enthusiastic about their new prospects and rightfully so. The company wrote: “with the birth of every new Maserati car, Maserati itself is reborn.” This is evidently true and with the flow of new models to come, Maserati expects to be reborn for another hundred years.