Confirming a recent string of rumors, Maserati has revealed that the elegant and visually stunning Alfieri concept will spawn the Italian luxury car maker’s first ever production EV.
First making its debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the Alfieri appeared as a sleek and stylish coupe, but the production version will also be joined by a convertible to appease sun soaking buyers looking for a good weekend cruiser. Look for the production version to largely retain the concept’s lines albeit with tweaks for safety and feasibility.
As for performance, Peter Denton the manager for Maserati’s northern Europe operations revealed in a statement to British website Just-Auto that the Alfieri will initially launch with a gasoline powered engine (most likely a V8) to help it establish a firm foothold in the marketplace. The electric model will be added to the lineup a year later, and will be sold alongside it.
“Alfieri will be bigger than Boxster and Cayman. It is being designed as a competitor to the 911 but it will be a larger car. More the size of the Jaguar F-Type, stated the executive.”
This is contrary to select reports that suggested the Alfieri would be smaller, and not only be primarily focused on the 718 Cayman, but also take aim at the upcoming Renault Alpine and the Alfa Romeo 4C.
Look for the Maserati Alfieri to go on sale in 2019 or 2020 and feature a pricing ladder that is very similar to the Jaguar F-Type’s. That model has a price tag of just over $61,000 when ordered with a V6, a manual transmission, and rear wheel drive. The electric version will be much more expensive in comparison, but its ability to serve as a halo vehicle will be beneficial to helping increase sales of its other models especially the Ghibli and the Levante SUV.
Maserati has always been known for being an automaker that not only has an extensive heritage in motorsports racing, but also a company that has always strived to make each of their road cars a rolling work of art. However in a timeline filled with gorgeous sedans and equally seductive coupes, the Italian firm is preparing to embark on a new path, the creation of its first ever luxury SUV.
Known formally as the Levante, the sleek SUV is expected to go head to head with offerings such as the Porsche Cayenne, Land Rover’s Range Rover model family, as well as the recently unveiled Bentley Bentayga. The elegant exterior styling is a welcome mixture of Quattroporte and Ghibli traits, with a dash of off road ruggedness thrown in for good measure. The Levante also embraces some of the curvaceous styling elements that have become a hallmark of recent Maserati models which should allow the Levante to standout when viewed alongside its competitors.
Maserati claims that the Levante will arrive in Europe with both diesel and petrol powerplants for buyers to choose from. However, it is currently unknown what will exactly be under the hood of U.S. bound units though we suspect that it will most likely be a gasoline only affair during the initial U.S. launch before possibly adding a hybrid or diesel option to the model family later on. The company revealed that the model will be assembled in Turin, with the first units already making their way down the production lines.
The rest of its performance specifications are being kept under wraps, but Maserati did confirm that the Levante will come equipped with an eight speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The latter does not surprise us since the Levante’s platform does borrow select traits from the trail rated Jeep Grand Cherokee, and would allow the Levante to live up to its claims of serious off road ability.
When the Levante does eventually makes its way to dealer lots, it will face formidable competition from Bentley, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, and Lamborghini who have all added SUV’s to their traditionally car exclusive lineups in a bid to take advantage of untapped revenue streams, as well as the renewed surge in the demand for SUVs due to free falling oil and gas prices.