FCA is taking the electrification route for the brands under its umbrella and Maserati will be the one to lead from the front.
You never saw this one coming, did you? FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne dropped the news in a recent conference call with investors and journalists. Apparently, all Maserati cars will feature some capacity of electric car/hybrid technology from 2019.
A report on the matter has emerged on Auto Express. FCA had not been that quick and intense in its electric and hybrid car programs with the Chrysler Pacifica and the Fiat 500 being the guinea pigs. The reluctance to pursue the electrification avenue full throttle was because they wanted to get a clearer picture of the path ahead.
The conference call discussion elaborated on the group’s plans to kick off the initial phase of going electric soon, targeting a 2022 conclusion date. And Maserati has been chosen as the brand to hold the torch for this cause.
The Auto Express report quotes Sergio Marchionne’s line from the call,
"When it [Maserati] completes the development of its next two models, it will effectively switch all of its portfolio to electrification. As these products come up for renewal post 2019, it will start launching vehicles which are all-electric and which embody, I think, what will be considered state of the art technology."
The Levante plug-in hybrid will arrive in 2019. The production version of the Maserati Alfieri concept (showcased at Geneva in 2014) could be the first all-electric offering from the brand and will land in 2020.
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Maserati isn’t exactly the first logo that many of us had thought of for FCA’s electrification plans. And the recent development implies that the trident badge is going to witness a sea change from its current identity as a maker of big, loud and luxurious sports cars for affluent chaps who find a Ferrari to be too hardcore. Switching that brand and its cars into hybrid and electric mode will not be an easy change in course. FCA could have picked Fiat or even Chrysler instead for the job.
But when manufacturers like McLaren and Porsche are meeting considerable success with their array of electrified supercars, it’s also natural to see FCA picking one of their performance car brands as the champion for the direction change. And then there’s Tesla which continues to beat gasoline-powered Italians, American and Europeans on drag strips almost every weekend.
We’ll still hold on to the fossil fuel-driven versions of Maserati’s lineup over the upcoming electrified ones. The new generation electric models may turn out to be faster, more efficient and of course, kinder to Mother Nature. But we doubt, how “Maserati” those cars will really be.
Source: Auto Express