Maserati’s historic Viale Ciro Menotti factory in Modena is in the midst of a full refurbishment, signaling that the storied Italian brand is on the cusp of a new era. This time, Maserati is serious about its transformation, too, and promises the improvements will open the door to electric and autonomous driving technologies. The upgraded Modena facility will build a new super sports car slated for May 2020, as well as other new models, including electric ones. Before all that, though, Maserati will produce what it calls the “final” Maserati GranTurismo. The car is dubbed Zéda, and, unlike all the other remaining GTs, it’s still for sale.
The imminent factory upgrade also means the end of the line for the 2007–2019 GranTurismo both in coupé and convertible form (the Alfa Romeo 4C continues on for now, but its days are numbered).
Maserati built 28,805 GranTurismos and 11,715 GranCabrios in the last 12 years, all by hand, at a rate of 14 cars per day in a single shift. There are 12 stations on the Modena production line, and 32 unfinished GTs are currently waiting to be completed. The remaining stock is a mix of hardtops and cabriolets, some of which are right-hand-drive, but these standard GranTurismos are all spoken for already. The special-edition Zédas will be the last GranTurismos sold. Currently, the whole process is at halt as Maserati actively re-tools for the next generation of manufacturing in Modena.
The GranTurismo Zéda remains a Pininfarina-penned beauty, complete with its screaming, Ferrari-sourced naturally-aspirated V-8. More than 40,000 examples of the Maserati GranTurismo have been delivered since 2007. This special celebratory model is the product of the Centro Stile Maserati design team, featuring a new blue paint that morphs from pearlescent purples under a light satin finish to a burnished “metallurgic” effect at the rear. All done by hand, of course.
Currently, Maserati offers the Quattroporte flagship sedan, the mid-range Ghibli sedan, and the Levante SUV, all of which are built in Turin. The next-generation GranTurismo coming in 2021 will also be built there, and rumors are swirling that the next-gen car could go electric.
Looking into the future, the new high-performance sports car built in Modena and due May 2020 will most likely be based on the popular Alfieri concept from 2014. Maserati is positioning this model as a more hardcore two-seater than the current GranTurismo, and since Maserati’s engine supply deal with Ferrari is due to expire in 2021 or 2022, it would make sense for the new sports car to use Alfa Romeo’s excellent 2.9-liter, twin-turbo V-6. The centerpiece of the massively entertaining Giulia and Stelvio Quadrifoglio, it’s pretty much the only FCA engine that would suit a Maserati sports car.
Despite what the late Sergio Marchionne envisioned, amidst FCA’s merger with PSA, Alfa Romeo also had to cut back on its ambitions for a sporty GTV-like coupé and an 8C halo car. That, however, leaves more room for Maserati to stake out its territory as the home of Italian luxury and performance (underneath Ferrari, of course). Exciting times once again in Modena, to say the least.