Maserati reveals plans for its electric future
As part of the $5.47 billion that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has allocated towards its Italian operations, Maserati has announced its plans for expanding its lineup with new vehicles and revisions of current models. All of them will be electrified in one way or another, and all of them will be made in Italy. Some will be hybrids, starting with the 2020 Ghibli, the brand’s first dual-power car, while Maserati is promising that the pure BEV models to follow will use next-generation battery cells, allowing for extended range and “ultra-fast” recharging.
Moving forward, all new Maserati (that’s how the company spells the plural), including updated versions of the current lineup, will also offer some level of driving autonomy, starting with Level 2 enhanced Highway Assist, and eventually progressing to Level 3, which the brand is calling “close to full autonomy.” Our friend Alex Roy may disagree about how close to fully autonomous driving Level 3 is, but Maserati seems committed to the technology, if only to try and keep up with Tesla and Cadillac.
The new Ghibli will be assembled in Turin, while the all-new, battery-electric Maserati sports car to follow, likely based on the Alfieri concept, will be produced at the Modena plant, which is getting a new paint shop, said to have a lower environmental impact than the current facility. New video cameras in the facility will allow Maserati customers to watch their cars being painted via live streaming. That Modena plant, as well as FCA’s factories in Cassino and the Mirafiori and Gruglisaco plants in Turin, will benefit from the company’s investments in Italy with revisions to allow for building electrified cars.
After the Alfieri-based sports car will come a new utility vehicle, scheduled to be built at the Cassino plant, which is getting almost $900 million invested in a new assembly line, with the first cars set to roll off that line by 2021. It’s not clear if the new crossover will slot in above or below the Levante, which will continue in production, as will the Quattroporte nameplate.
The Turin plants are getting a similar level of investment, to prepare for the production of the next iteration of the GranTurismo and GranCabrio, which will be pure battery electrics. The Modena plant will also be getting a dedicated customization shop to better serve the new customization program that Maserati is developing.