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Maserati confirms Ghibli PHEV for 2020

Finally: The Trident badge will be seen on a production version of the Alfieri sportscar concept from March 2014, but fans will have to wait a more few years before it happens.

GranTurismo, GranCabrio get another run as Maserati details electrification plans

30 Sep 2019

MASERATI has released further details on its electrification plans, confirming that its first low-emissions model will arrive next year in the form of a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the Ghibli large sedan, while the GranTurismo coupe and GranCabrio convertible will carry on after all, albeit with a fully electric twist.


This announcement follows Maserati parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ €5 billion ($A8.1b) investment in its Italian operations, with all of the Trident brand’s new models to be made across three native cities that will all support electrified powertrains.


The Ghibli PHEV will kick off this new era for Maserati, with it to be produced in Turin, where the current-generation model is produced.


When Maserati revealed its five-year plan in June last year, it stated that a next-generation Ghibli was already in the works, and given that the existing model is nearing its seventh birthday, the now-confirmed PHEV variant is likely to be part of the incoming range.


The marque has also confirmed that a sportscar will be “the first of the totally new Maserati to appear”. It will be built in Modena and is expected to draw its nameplate and general inspiration from the Alfieri concept that debuted at the 2014 Geneva motor show.


As outlined by Maserati’s five-year plan, the Alfieri is set for production by 2022 and will be offered as a PHEV that employs an all-wheel-drive system with fully active torque vectoring as well as active aerodynamics, which will combine for a zero-to-100km/h sprint time of about two seconds.


Falling under the Maserati Blue banner, a fully electric powertrain is also planned for the Alfieri, which will feature three motors, an AWD system, 800V battery technology, a long driving range and quick charging times.


This set-up will also be used by the Ghibli as well as the Quattroporte upper-large sedan and Levante large SUV, both of which will get new-generation models riding on a fresh modular platform that also supports PHEVs.


While Maserati indicated in its five-year plan that the Alfieri would act as the two-door replacement for the mechanically related GranTurismo and GranCabrio, it has now changed its tune, announcing that they both will see another generation.


Significantly, the next GranTurismo and GranCabrio “will herald the full-electrification era for Maserati”, with the pair to be manufactured in Turin, where FCA is investing €800 million ($A1.3b).


As reported, the brand will add a second SUV to its line-up under its five-year plan, with the mid-size model set to be released by 2022.


Maserati has now revealed that this crossover will be produced in Cassino, where FCA sister brand Alfa Romeo builds its mid-size Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, both of which use the Giorgio architecture that the Trident brand is expected to share for its latest model.


FCA has invested about a further €800 million ($A1.3b) in adding another production line to the Cassino plant in order to accommodate Maserati’s mid-size SUV, which will be available with a PHEV variant at minimum.


The expanded factory is scheduled to open in the first quarter of next year, with the first prototypes of the model that could go on to become the marque’s best-seller expected to roll out by 2021.


In a statement, Maserati said its PHEVs and fully electric models will feature “propulsion systems capable of providing both innovation and the high performance embedded in the brand’s DNA”.


“Maserati’s all-electric models will combine traditional, highly appreciated Maserati driving dynamics together with next-generation battery-electric technology, offering unique driving modes, extended range and ultra-fast charging capabilities,” it said.


The brand’s five-year plan indicated that it will offer eight PHEVs and four fully electric models in its line-up by 2022, with the remaining internal-combustion engines to be exclusively supplied by Ferrari as it intends to stop selling diesel units.


Speaking to GoAuto in November last year, Maserati Australia chief operating officer Glen Sealey said local timings for these electrified offerings will depend on the establishment of a much stronger charging network.


“From a Maserati perspective, Maserati will indeed, as stated, go into not just internal-combustion engines, but hybrid engines and also full-EV production,” he said.


“That’s going to be an interesting transition. In five years’ time, it’ll be interesting to see if the infrastructure is around Australia to facilitate mass buying of EVs.


“At the end of the day, if the structure’s not there, the technology becomes an inconvenience rather than a convenience. It’s hard to see the consumers en masse going to EVs.”

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