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Maserati Alfieri and new GranTurismo coming

Gran designs: A new-generation version of the GranTurismo coupe is expected in about 2018.

Two-pronged Maserati coupe attack expected in Australia before 2020

30 Jun 2016

MASERATI Australia is anticipating the arrival of two new sports coupes, with the next-generation GranTurismo four-seater due in 2018 and the production version of the more compact Alfieri two-seater set to follow.

Speaking with GoAuto at the local reveal of the Maserati Levante in Sydney, Maserati Australia chief operating officer Glen Sealey admitted that vehicles such as its new SUV reduce the pressure to replace the ageing GranTurismo, but it was still in the product pipeline along with a more compact coupe.

“It (Levante) does take the weight off the GranTurismo,” Mr Sealey said, pointing to the SUV’s expected 500-plus sales next year that would double Maserati’s total annual volume.

“When that car goes, people will really look back on that car with great nostalgia. We’ll see a new GranTurismo (but) it’s two years away. GranTurismo has still got another year to run.” The GranTurismo launched locally in 2007 and last year contributed 115 sales to the brand’s 519-unit overall tally, a 16.2 per cent increase on the year prior.

Mr Sealey argued that the GranTurismo had become a “classic” in the range and there was not a pressing need for its replacement to arrive.

“We’re not worried (about the wait to new GranTurismo), we’ve got this car (Levante) coming through, we’ve got the most complete range we’ve ever had.

“We will never see cars made like GranTurismo again, we will never see things like a fuel tank that runs up behind the back seat so that you minimise fuel movement around a racetrack, we’ll never see that again (because) putting the back seat down for convenience is more important.” Mr Sealey also confirmed a production version of the Alfieri concept shown at the 2014 Geneva motor show was in the works as a smaller two-seat sibling to what he expects will be a proper four-seat new GranTurismo.

The Alfieri concept, however, was based on the GranTurismo platform but utilised a 24cm-shorter wheelbase, a 4.7-litre naturally aspirated V8 and had 2+2 seating.

“I think Alfieri will be a separate car to GranTurismo, it will be an additional model to GranTurismo not a substitute,” he said of the models’ expected positioning.

“So GranTurismo will always be that large four-seater coupe, Alfieri was a two-seat smaller sportscar.

“We will always have a two-door sportscar in the range, ideally for us a full 2+2, not a small 2+2. It’s one of the important things for Maserati, that it remains a proper ‘Grand Touring’ coupe. So you can fit four in comfort and enjoy the car.” Mr Sealey said he therefore hopes the four-seat GranTurismo will land before the production Alfieri.

“I would hope that we see the GranTurismo first because the market for two-seat sportscars is small and it goes like that (points downwards),” he continued.

“As we’ve seen with GranTurismo it has great longevity (but) I think Alfieri has a great role to play in being a great high-positioned, high-technology car when it does come.” Asked whether the Alfieri could start at $150K, or below the GranTurismo that currently retails between $295K and $345K, Mr Sealey replied: “Depending on the strategy, it could (start lower), or it could go very high.” Although Maserati expects to double sales on the back of its Levante launching in January, Mr Sealey accepted that the Porsche strategy of bringing buyers into showrooms with its 911 ‘halo’ car only to sell more Cayenne SUVs could apply to the Italian brand and there could be a need for it to get fresh coupe metal into showrooms.

“The 911 is obviously a key component to the Porsche (sales) strategy and the GranTurismo as was the GranCoupe before that for Maserati,” he said.

“We will continue that right through next year as well, but then the new GranTurismo will follow.”

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