Though it is the company’s first battery electric vehicle, fans should expect the same high performance that they get from the brand’s other vehicles. The electric sports car is not the only project soon to be released. The company has also hinted at an electric crossover SUV that should become available in 2020.
Addressing the anticipation mounting over the new sports car, the company’s head of communications recently issued a statement assuring fans that the vehicle will begin production by 2022 at the latest. While the company did not issue any further comment, insiders have offered some additional details. The car, likely to be unveiled at the 2020 Geneva International Auto Show in March 2020, is supposed to be the final production version of the new vehicle rather than a concept. Also, insiders note that the car will likely be a plug-in hybrid, two-door coupe.
The sports car will be the first on the all-new electrified platform that Maserati has hinted at in the past. The car’s preliminary specs include the ability to hit 62 miles per hour in under two seconds (topping out at 186 mph), as well as a three-motor powertrain and an 800-volt battery. This is the system that was previously announced for the stalled Alfieri model, which was virtually fully developed before the project was put on the back burner. Now, it seems like Maserati will simply transfer this powertrain to its new sports car. The electric platform will eventually include a much larger array of plug-in Maserati vehicles that could reinvent the image of the company.
The parent company of Maserati, FCA, recently signed a contract with ZF, a German company that produces hybrid-ready transmissions, indicating that the company’s plans are moving forward. Purportedly, Maserati will make use of the same eight-speed transmission system that was developed for BMW under the codename 8HP, which will be integrated into the Maserati motor system.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the coming lineup is the smaller, new SUV that will serve as the companion to the current Levante. Very few details have been released about this vehicle, but it represents Maserati’s push into a completely new market: the crossover. Maserati has promised that the vehicle will boast a 50/50 weight distribution and have world-class power-to-weight ratios. In addition, Maserati will implement some of the self-driving capabilities that the company invested in earlier this year. According to reports, the new SUV should have Level 3 self-driving capability, meaning that the car becomes autonomous when certain conditions, such as highway driving, are met.
The new SUV will feature the Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s Giorgio platform, which will allow a 3.0-liter V6 engine to fit in the vehicle, along with the plug-in hybrid powertrain. Insiders say that the entry-level version of the vehicle will feature the twin-turbo V6 engine, putting it on par performance-wise with most entry-level Maserati models currently available. However, it is likely that customers will also have the option for a larger engine like those found in certain Ghibli, Levante, and Quattroporte S models. This amount of power would also make the SUV similar in performance to its main competitors in the market, particularly the Porsche Macan.
Some Maserati fans think that the upcoming plug-in hybrids could prove even faster than the slated sports car, especially when electric versions of current models like the Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante become available in the coming few years. The three-engine motor has the potential to be combined with the 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8 engine found in the Levante Trofeo, resulting in an even more powerful option for consumers. This setup is very similar to the Ferrari SF90 Stradale plug-in model, which produces 1,000 horsepower. Maserati may wish to challenge Ferrari and create an equally powerful electrified vehicle. However, there is also the question of what consumers want. Many people who would opt for an electric engine may want a more economical ride. At the same time, there are still those who likely value speed over economy.
Roberto Fedeli, formerly of Ferrari and BMW, was hired by Maserati in 2016 to oversee the development of the squadron of electric Maserati cars. While at Ferrari, he helped to bring the hybrid hypercar Ferrari LaFerrari into production and then worked on electric powertrains at BMW. His commitment to performance mirrors that of Maserati and could translate into truly impressive electric vehicles as the rest of the lineup becomes available.