Maserati’s lineup consists of only three models, the Quattroporte sedan and the GranTurismo coupe and convertible duo. Even for an exotic brand, this is considered small. Closest rival Aston Martin, for example, has five different models and a couple more on the way including a high-end supercar, but new things are brewing within Maserati’s Modena headquarters in Italy.
First and foremost is the addition of a brand new model; an ‘entry-level’ sedan with a pricetag around the $70,000 mark. This new model isn’t due until 2013 but when launched it will compete nicely with other high-performance sedans such as the BMW M5 and Jaguar XFR. Underpinning the car will be a new rear-wheel drive platform that will also be used for the Quattroporte replacement.
The new platform was originally developed for a new Alfa Romeo flagship but plans for that car have since been scrapped. According to insider information, the new platform will make extensive use of lightweight aluminum and be capable of implementing a hybrid system Maserati is likely to borrow from Ferrari. All-wheel drive will also be option.
Before the arrival of the new sedan, however, Maserati will refresh its GranTurismo in 2011. The just-launched GranTurismo Convertible, meanwhile, will go on sale relatively unchanged through 2012, though there could be some minor updates.
Finally, sometime in the first half of 2012, Maserati will launch a redesigned Quattroporte. Debuting in this car will be the new rear-wheel drive platform that will eventually spawn the entry-level Maserati sedan. Some expected features include a downsized V-6 engine in addition to a V-8, ZF’s latest eight-speed automatic transmission, optional all-wheel drive and a fuel saving engine stop-start system.
The series of updates and new model additions are key to Maserati reaching its goal of selling around 10,000 cars per year in the near future. Last year Maserati’s sales dipped 43 percent to just 4,911 cars, and profits saw a much more substantial drop of 85 percent, ending the year at $13.8 million.
[Automotive News, sub req’d]