Yes, yes - CAR Online got a bit excited last week and thought it had scooped the new Maserati SUV when it hadn't. But this one is real: Maser showed the new Kubang concept in the metal at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show.
If that badge sounds familiar, that's because Maserati showed a concept car bearing the same name at the Detroit auto show 2003. It's stuck with the same motif for the 2011 concept car.
Maserati SUV: coming soon
It's now official: Modena calls the Kubang '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.'
As previously disclosed by CAR, the Maserati 4x4 will be powered by Jeep tech at launch in 2012. But Maserati confirmed at Frankfurt that the engine, design, suspension, brakes and more will be tuned by Italy.
It's no mere badge engineering; the Kubang looks nothing like a Jeep Grand Cherokee donor car, and Maserati design chief Lorenzo Ramaciotti penned the look.
Maserati Kubang: the tech
Little else has been confirmed for the Maser 4x4. The company confirmed it would have an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Here's an interesting snippet of the rationale behind building a Maserati SUV: 'Until today Maserati has been producing sedans, coupes and two- or four-seater convertibles. Whether we 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.'
Maserati GranCabrio Fendi
Also lurking on the Maserati stand was the GranCabrio Fendi special edition. It's pepped up with exclusive colours and trim, including Fendi's double F logo on the seats, wood trim running the width of the dashboard and Luoio Ramano - Fendi's trademark leather - is used too.
In the first quarter of 2011, Maserati announced revenues of €303 million, 2% up on the same period last year. More good news in deliveries - it sold 11% more cars at the start of the year, up to 3213. This was boosted, unsurprisingly, by strong demand in China and the US.