Maserati was already late in the sporty SUV game when it first debuted the Kubang Concept back in 2003, and now the Italian luxury car maker is hoping we forget about the eight year long hiatus their SUV has taken to reintroduce the Kubang at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Tsk, tsk, Maserati. It’s one thing to bring about a second concept of the same vehicle (look at Toyota’s FT-86), but it is quite another to ignore the laid back attitude taken in developing it.
Regardless of the misguided marketing ploys, the new Kubang Concept is here again with a more modern interpretation and a promise that, this time, the concept previews a new sport luxury SUV that will be used to enlarge Maserati’s product range and strengthen its presence in the sport luxury market. The new Kubang was created by the Maserati Style Center headed by Lorenzo Ramaciotti and despite its Jeep platform, is supposed to be all Maserati. Everything from the style, engine, suspension, brakes, handling, and performance is said to be in continuity with the brand’s core values of sportiness, style, elegance, luxury, performance and craftsmanship.
Maserati has also promised that the production version will be powered by a new-generation high-tech Maserati proprietary engine designed in Modena by Paolo Martinelli and produced in Maranello by Ferrari. The SUV will also receive a new AT 8 speed automatic transmission and specific performance settings set to the configurations of the suspension, brakes, and steering exclusively developed in Modena by the Maserati Product Development Department.
Updated 09/28/2011: Maserati has unveiled a first official video for the Kubang concept who made its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. A production version will be built in Detroit and will be put on sale sometime in 2013. Until then enjoy the concept in action!
Updated 04/27/2012: In a recent interview with Automotive News, Maserati CEO Harald Wester announced that the Beijing Auto Show has been the last appearance of their Kubang concept. Next time we will see a Maserati SUV will be in 2014 at the Detroit Auto Show when the company will bring it in a production version and with a different name. Sales will begin in the first half of 2014.