Maserati hasn’t been doing that well recently, as sales continue to drop despite the fact that, apart from two relatively new sporty saloons, as well as the aging but gorgeous GranTurismo, they are having an SUV, the Levante, in their lineup for the first time.
A product rejuvenation has been planned, however, and will see them launch several electrified products being launched in the next decade. But does that mean that they will kill the internal combustion engine? Not by far, reports MotorTrend, who spoke to the brand’s North America chief of operations, Al Gardner.
The exec pledged that contrary to the obvious trend in the auto world to slowly phase out internal combustion engines, they will never do so. In his opinion, no zero-emission powertrain could ever provide driving enthusiasts with that special emotion that they’re looking for when buying a Maserati. “This is a brand that needs combustion engines”, said Gardner. “It needs that raw emotion.”
By the end of 2022, Maserati’s lineup is set to be overhauled and new products will be added. The first one will be a sports car that will be presented at next year’s Geneva Motor Show, whereas following it will be a smaller SUV, slotting under the Levante. Thus, over the next three years or so, Maserati will have electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles on sale.
Gardner believes that poor interest shown in their cars is not due to product lineup, but rather tied to awareness. In fact, he’s convinced that people only need to drive the Levante to make them fall in love with it.
Maserati offers several different versions of the SUV, including the Levante Trofeo, which takes on the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that’s been built by Ferrari. The unit delivers 582 hp (590 PS / 433 kW) and 538 lb-ft (730 Nm) of torque, rocketing it to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and up to 186+ mph (300+ km/h).
Note: 2014 Maserati Alfieri Concept pictured