(continued from above)
For some reason SUVs today never seem to offer the kind of uplifting driving
pleasure and luxury atmosphere that are two givens of today's high-end sports
and luxury cars. And this is precisely what Maserati set out to do with its new
sport luxury SUV concept that is being unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show
today, the forerunner of the future Maserati range, creating at once
discontinuity by entering a new segment, and continuity by maintaining the
integrity of Maserati's DNA.
The idea of a sport luxury SUV is naturally
not totally new to Maserati. Many will remember the Kubang concept that was
unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003. At a time in which few other brands
were going in the direction of a sport luxury SUV, Maserati was already thinking
to build one.
Today potential synergies with sister brand Jeep - a brand
that 70 years ago created a new segment of the market and is today a leader of
this very segment - are the important catalyst for Maserati's own interpretation
of a sport luxury SUV. And it seems only appropriate to give the model that we
are unveiling today the very name of the concept that opened the way: Maserati
The essence and all major system components of the Maserati
sport luxury SUV will unmistakably be Maserati: style, engine, suspensions,
brakes, handling and performance will all be 100% Maserati in picture-perfect
continuity with the brand's core values of sportiness, style, elegance, luxury,
performance and craftsmanship.
The distinctive Maserati style that makes
the Kubang immediately recognizable as a true Maserati has been created by the
Maserati Style Center headed by Lorenzo Ramaciotti.
high-tech Maserati proprietary engines will be designed in Modena by Paolo
Martinelli - Head of the Maserati Powertrain Department and for nearly 30 years
at Ferrari, where he also served as engine chief of the Formula One racing team
- and will be produced in Maranello by Ferrari.
An AT 8 speed automatic
transmission and specific performance settings such as suspensions, brakes,
steering will be exclusively developed in Modena for the Maserati sport luxury
SUV by the Maserati Product Development Department.
Until today Maserati
has been producing sedans, coupes and two- or four-seater convertibles. Whether
they named them Quattroporte, GranTurismo or GranCabrio - or, before them,
Ghibli, Mistral, Bora or Indy - their common denominator rested in two words:
sportiness and luxury. Times have changed: sportiness and luxury today don't
have just one definition. They can also take the form of a very dynamic looking
and high performing sport luxury SUV.