► Expect future Maserati EVs to be bigger and more luxurious
► New Quattroporte, due to be unveiled next year, will be electric-only
► Latest showroom opened by David Beckham embodies the brand’s ambitions
Rishi Sunak wants to slow down the switch to electric cars. But the British Prime Minister’s thinking hasn’t made a bit of difference to Maserati, which remains determined to go full electric by the end of the decade.
Speaking to CAR the day after Sunak’s announcement, Maserati chief commercial officer Bernard Loire said: ‘The UK is an important market, because in the UK people love nice cars, love Maseratis. On the other side, when we are investing in new technolgoies, new platforms, we are of course having a global approach. It’s not going to change our strategy and our investments. We will strongly promote electrification, and probably through electrification get to more young customers, more female customers.’
The new Grecale SUV and GranTurismo coupe are both available with a choice of electric or combustion powetrain, and the GranCabrio convertible arriving next year will be the same. An electric version of the MC20 supercar is also due, joing the current petrol model. But the next car to be unveiled, the replacement for the Quattroporte saloon, will be electric only.
And don’t expect the Grecale to be joined by any smaller SUVs. Loire said: ‘There is even the ambition to go the other way. The Grecale is the entry point to the Maserati world, and will remain as such. Potentially with electrification we will go up. We are not shooting for volumes.’
Within the Stellantis group, Maserati’s role is to go big on luxury and performance, and definitely not to blur the boundaries with other brands: ‘The beauty of belonging to the group is we have access to the technology, access to the power of Stellantis, and that will be very beneficial for us.
‘We believe we can combine Maserati-ness – that experience – with an electric motor. At this moment, because we are in a transition period, we are offering both technologies. We will give the choice with a Grecale, an engine or electric. Same with the GranTurismo. Future product will be launching with electric powertrain.
‘The luxury experience and the performance experience, we have to deliver it, because that’s Maserati. The design must be timeless Italian design because that’s Maserati. An e-motor provides fantastic acceleration. We have our own sound signature. We don’t see major barriers to still providing the full Maserati experience, but with probably a larger audience, a new audience, because the younger generation likes luxury, but not necessarily because it is a V8 or a V6. Combining the newest technology, the newest in infotainment for instance, with the design and the luxury of a Maserati, will probably open new doors.’
Maserati x Beckham
Maserati’s upmarket ambitions can be seen in the spectacular new HR Owen Maserati showroom in Hatfield, opened by brand ambassador David Beckham. Its vast expanses include room for events as well as the more traditional roles of displaying the cars and offering customers the chance to inspect samples of steering wheels, paints and leathers they can specify in their car.
Beckham has taken full advantage of the scope for personalisation. He said at the opening: ‘My daily drive in London is a Levante – a great car for me and my family, taking my daughter to school every morning and going to the office. In Miami I have an MC20. That’s a car that every time I get in it makes me happy. Designing my own car and having it in my own colours was something special. It has pink brake calipers. There was a little bit more pink on it, but I’m getting to an age where I need to stop doing this to my cars.’
Loire told CAR: ‘This is the first new showroom in the UK, and it represents what the brand is about. A kind of new luxury, completely new atmosphere. We do believe in the physical experience – showing, testing, touching – but that doesn’t mean we don’t believe in digital.’
Maserati’s UK boss Peter Charters acknowledged that there was room for growth: ‘We love our enthusiast customers. But we don’t touch such a huge number of people currently in the luxury performance car market, which we want to. With the new products, new engine variants, we have the chance to start that conversation with them, making them aware of what we’ve got. It’s about growing from the base upwards and giving every customer the very best experience.’
Maserati’s involvement in Formula E marks the end of the company’s 13-year absence from racing. During the early 2000s, the brand raced its Ferrari Enzo-based MC12 supercar in the FIA GT Championship, where it enjoyed success by claiming two constructors’ titles.
‘We are very proud to be back where we belong as protagonists in the world of racing,’ said Maserati CEO, Davide Grasso. ‘We are powered by passion and innovative by nature. We have a long history of world-class excellence in competition and we are ready to drive performance in the future.’
Jean-Marc Finot, Senior VP of Stellantis’ motorsport division, added: ‘Formula E will be our technological laboratory to accelerate the development of high-efficiency electrified powertrains and intelligent software for our road sports cars. Formula E is the perfect Championship for this purpose and we are very proud to be the first Italian brand to join in.’
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