Scalable architectures, modular engines, platform sharing even between competing brands – all with one purpose: cost cutting.
As new cars get more advanced, manufacturers have taken an old practice to a whole new level. Everyone does it, from low-end brands to ultra-luxury ones.
What you don’t know won’t hurt you, and you, dear customer, probably don’t know, and don’t care, what lies beneath this posh styling and prestige badge as long as it lives up to your expectations.
This last word brings us to our subject. Don’t care much for stereotypes, but there’s a good chance that someone purchasing a Maserati does so not for going all out in each and every occasion and squeezing the engine and chassis for all they’re worth, but mostly because of its Italian flair, heritage, great-smelling and stylish, bespoke interior…
At least that’s what is says on the label. Some, however, have taken issue with FCA scourging its parts bin, drawing some RAM parts and sticking them to Maserati’s first-ever SUV. And they’ve gone public with their discontent at the Levante, juxtaposing the Italians’ fancy brochure with the bits and pieces that stick out like a sore thumb among the Ermenegildo Zegna silk upholstery and carbon fiber trim.
This is certainly not the first time someone has received flak for borrowing parts from a “lesser” brand; just ask Lamborghini about the Audi bits in the Gallardo. A choice that might have worked well but launched a thousand criticisms for “tarnishing” the Raging Bull’s heritage.
Nevertheless, the Gallardo became the best-selling Lambo ever, Audi climate control, nav-screen and all. The Levante is supposed to do the same trick: take advantage of the customers’ thirst for SUVs and seduce them with its looks, Ferrari-fettled engines, heritage etc. Want a sporty and luxurious SUV? That Cayenne (which, ironically, is based on a VW) is too common, why not try the Trident instead?
Like we said, what you don’t know… But now that you do know, do you actually care? Does a start or window button from a humble truck on your chick Italian ride make that much of a difference?
H/T to Jalopnik!