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2002 Maserati Trofeo

2002 Maserati Trofeo

The Trofeo was Maserati’s first race car in a very long time and the vehicle that helped the brand establish its one-make motorsport series.

After many years of struggle under De Tomaso ownership, Maserati was sold to Fiat in 1993, which made substantial investments in order to save the brand. Four years later, Fiat sold a 50-percent share in the company to Ferrari, which took full control of the brand in 1999. Under Ferrari, Maserati launched the Coupe in 2001, a model credited for bringing Maserati back into business. Less than two years after the Coupe hit dealerships Maserati created Trofeo Maserati, a one-make championship for racing versions of its production sports cars. Thus the Coupe-based Maserati Trofeo was born.

Introduced in 2002, just in time for the inaugural Trofeo Maserati season of 2003, the Trofeo received several modifications inside and out that made it suitable for track racing. However, the vehicle maintained the main characteristics of the road-going Coupe, including the body and even the stock engine.

The Trofeo was raced in the series until 2010, when Maserati released the GranTurismo MC, also based on a production car. The Coupe also spawned a Trofeo Light version, which was developed for use in the international racing series, including the Rolex Sports Car Series and FIA GT3 European Championship, but that’s another story for another time. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at the standard Trofeo race car.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2003 Maserati Trofeo.

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Maserati Alfieri Gets Pushed Back Until 2020

Maserati Alfieri Gets Pushed Back Until 2020

Granturismo and Grancabrio models will get the earlier production dates

Maserati may have billed the Alfieri as a “true sports car,” but apparently, but apparently, even those flowery words weren’t enough for the Italian automaker to stick to its initial timetable. According to Autocar, Maserati has recalibrated the launch dates of the Alfieri, as well as the Granturismo and Grancabrio 2+2 GT. The initial plan was to launch the Alfieri between 2018 and 2019 with the Granturismo and Grancabrio 2+2 GT following suit in 2020 and 2021, respectively. But now, the latter two cars are now slated to be replaced in 2018 and 2019 with the Alfieri following suit in 2020.

The Italian automaker didn’t specifically explain the rationale behind the switch in timetables and the only thing that came close to an explanation came from Maserati Europe general manager Giulio Pastore, who told Autocar that both the Granturismo and Grancabrio models are “vital elements of the Maserati lineup.”

Vague as that may be, the decision likely boils down to Maserati having a change of heart regarding the status of some of its models, most notably the Grancabrio, which was previously linked to getting the proverbial axe. In fact, Maserati’s previous product plan stated that the Grancabrio was going to be replaced by a soft-top Alfieri.

Now it looks like the Grancabrio will live to see another day as Maserati continues to build up its product portfolio. There’s no word yet on whether the Alfieri will still get a soft top variant now that the Grancabrio is going to stick, but don’t expect an answer to arrive soon now that the Alfieri’s own production timetable has been moved back.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Maserati Confirms Development Of EV Model, Scheduled For 2020 Launch

Maserati Confirms Development Of EV Model, Scheduled For 2020 Launch

Better late than compromise brand identity

Like a lot of automakers in the industry today, Maserati is joining the electric car revolution. It just won’t subvert itself to the timetable of its rivals. That was the sentiment shared by Maserati’s engineering boss Roberto Fedeli in a recent conversation with Car and Driver, According to Fedeli, the Italian automaker has received an edict from parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to release a Maserati EV “as soon as possible.” That’s all well and good from Maserati’s point of view, but circumstances surrounding the development of the Maserati EV puts the company’s timetable to begin development of the car in 2019.

When it does arrive, don’t expect it to be branded as a rival to Tesla, or any of the other models that premium automakers like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, and Lexus are expected to already have by that time. The Maserati EV will be “specialized and low volume,” potentially hinting that it could be one of the most premium options of any EV that’s in the market by 2020. “We will be last (with a production EV), and we have to arrive to the market with something different,” Fedeli said, before adding, “Very different.”

The stretched timetable is something the company admits could be an issue, but it also knows that it can’t compromise the performance roots of Maserati just so it can accommodate an EV into its lineup. Certain features like luxury and sound are two of Maserati’s calling cards and the company’s future EV model needs to at least have both that meets the Italian automaker’s standards.

Fortunately, the three- to four-year timetable gives Maserati enough time to address these issues. It’s doing so at the expense of being one of the last premium brands to launch an EV, but if it means having a Maserati EV that stays true to the company’s ethos, then it doesn’t matter if it’s late as long as it remains a true Maserati.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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1969 Maserati Ghibli Spyder

1969 Maserati Ghibli Spyder

A rare example of classic Maserati design

The Ghibli name has been used for three, very different vehicles from Maserati, with the most recent making its debut in 2013. The second-generation of the car was produced from 1992 to 1998 and was a two-door coupe that looked like it should have had four doors and somewhat resembled a Volkswagen Jetta. The first generation was arguably the best of any car to bear the Ghibli name, and a rare, spyder version just went up for auction through Mecum during Monterey Car Week 2016.

Produced between 1967 and 1973, the Ghibli was produced in 1295 examples, 1,170 of which were in coupe form. There were 125 Spyder examples created, but only 37 of those were produced with the 4.9-liter and a five-speed manual transmission as standard equipment. And, the beautiful yellow example that you see here is one of them. To make the car even rarer, however, is the fact that the car was built for the U.S. market but was completed to Euro specifications – an honor that only 14 other models are said to share with this model.

Knowledge of the car’s history is pretty thin, but it was delivered brand new to Prestige Motors in California. From there everything is a bit of a mystery until 1994 when a Maserati Owners Club member purchased the car. At this point, the car was due for restoration. In 2008, it was sent to Motorcar Galler in Florida and later returned to Europe for full restoration to the condition you see before you. Presented with the auction was a letter from Maserati Classiche that confirms it is authentic and a second letter that certifies the location it was shipped when new and that it still wore the Giallo Yellow paint that you see on the car today.

That’s about enough for a history lesson, though. Let’s dive on in and take a look at this Maserati Ghibli Spyder and talk a little about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1969 Maserati Ghibli Spyder.

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Fiat-Chrysler Considering Maserati Electric Sports Car

Fiat-Chrysler Considering Maserati Electric Sports Car

Could this EV sports car be FCA’s answer to Tesla?

Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne has once again opened the door for the company to begin adding full electric vehicles to its lineup of brands, including one for Maserati - an electric sports car - that could be developed to compete against Tesla.

The Maserati Alfieri, in particular, was hinted at as a possible model that could spawn a battery-electric version. He didn’t dive into the specifics of this consideration, but he did tell Bloomberg that a Maserati electric sports car shouldn’t be expected in the near future, or at least not until the Italian automaker completes its five-year plan that ends in 2018. Given that Maserati’s time table is two years away, it’s reasonable to think that this won’t be the last we hear of a possible EV version of the Alfieri.

Remember, this isn’t the first time that Marchionne has hinted on a possible Tesla fighter, although this is the first time we’ve heard any EV ties to the Alfieri. Back in April 2016, the FCA chief told Automotive News Europe that it’s looking at the success of the Tesla Model 3 and if it proves to be successful, FCA would “copy the formula, add the Italian design flair, and get it to the market within 12 months."

The FCA chief was a little more realistic this time, saying that FCA isn’t in any rush to fully commit to electric vehicles and that the company will have to experiment with the feasibility of EVs the same way it’s doing now to connected cars and mobility. But, this is the second time in three months that we’ve heard Marchionne discuss the potential of a Tesla fighter. That may or may not mean something in the long run, but the fact that the Maserati Alfieri’s name was specifically mentioned may be a hint that there’s more going on within FCA and Maserati than meets the eye.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2018 Maserati GranTurismo On Schedule; GranCabrio To Be Axed

2018 Maserati GranTurismo On Schedule; GranCabrio To Be Axed

With the Alfieri set to be unveiled in 2016, Maserati is also working on a successor to the GranTurismo, which will surprisingly not feature a GranCabrio version anymore. The information comes straight from Maserati CEO Harald Wester, who recently spoke with Car Magazine about the matter at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. On schedule to be launched sometime in 2018, the next GranTurismo will likely share its architecture with the Ghibli and Quattroporte, but will only come with rear-wheel-drive, unlike the optionally AWD sedans.

"The convertible will be discontinued. The Americans love it, but one major market alone simply does not generate enough volume. The new coupe will be a fully focused driver’s car - nimble, agile, responsive and stuffed with serious V8 power, not to mention a cascade of low-end torque." Wester told Car Magazine. With Maserati all about sales volume after launching the successful Ghibli and Quattroporte, it’s no wonder that Wester wants to keep the momentum going.

It’s probable that the new GranTurismo will be equipped with a version of the twin-turbocharged, 3.8-liter V-8 currently used in the Quattroporte GTS, likely paired exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF – especially seeing that the manual transmission has gone the way of the dodo with companies like Ferrari. Don’t fret about Harald Wester’s decision though, as Maserati will not remain without a convertible in its lineup. The upcoming Alfieri is set to spawn an open-top version of its own, even though that model will be slightly smaller than the current GranCabrio.

Continue reading to learn more about the next Maserati GranTurismo.

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Maserati Alfieri Will Be "A True Sports Car;" Lighter Than Gran Turismo

Maserati Alfieri Will Be "A True Sports Car;" Lighter Than Gran Turismo

The Maserati Alfieri concept is easily one of the best-looking and most-exciting cars to hit the scene in the last several years. Its compact size and incredibly dynamic styling make it look like a supercar of the future. Well it seems that Maserati is going to be doing everything it can to make sure this new coupe drives as well as it looks. AutoGuide sat down with Maserati’s Chief Marketing Officer, Saad Chehab, at the Canadian International Auto Show to talk about this new car, and they got a lot of juicy details.

First and foremost, Saad promises that the Alfieri will be “a true sports car.” This will be accomplished by keeping the car small, making sure it is as light as possible, and getting all the details right like style and sound. The quote AutoGuide gave has Saad saying “We’re all about the f#cking sound.” Certainly sounds like they have their priorities in order for a car that is supposed to sell on its merits of passion and excitement.

Click "Continue Reading" to learn more about the Maserati Alfieri.

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Maserati Talks About the Past and the Future: Video

Maserati Talks About the Past and the Future: Video

Maserati might about luxury and performance nowadays, with half of its vehicle lineup consisting of four-door sedans, but the company was actually born as a race car manufacturer. It wasn’t until 1946 that the Italians built their first road vehicle, spending their first three decades on the race track, winning prestigious events such as the Indy 500. Obviously proud of its heritage, Maserati takes a look back on its early racing days; a period that seems to have inspired the upcoming Alfieri.

"I believe that the future is perfectly aligned with the past. We are at an inflection point separating a glorious past from a future that we would like to be equally glorious," said FCA head of design Lorenzo Ramaciotti, adding that Maserati decided to put the Alfieri into production following the concept’s massive success at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

Granted, the Alfieri pays homage to the company’s gorgeous GTs of the 1950s and 1960s rather than its race cars, but that’s not to say it lacks the flair of a full-fledged, Italian racer. It certainly has the looks, while the

Ghibli

sourced drivetrain will also provide it with the necessary power. "This is a race car with a very Italian style. A style that is thus at once simple, dynamic, in good taste, moderate and essential," Ramaciotti went on to describe the Alfieri.

Watch the video above to learn more about the upcoming Alfieri and take a trip down the memory lane with two of the company’s main honchos.

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Next Maserati GranTurismo Will Arrive in 2017, but Only as a Coupe

Next Maserati GranTurismo Will Arrive in 2017, but Only as a Coupe

Italian carmaker Maserati first introduced the GranTurismo in 2007 as a coupe. Right out of the box, this two-door from Modena presented an undeniably sexy design, plus impressive performance figures from a 399-horsepower, V-8 engine under a long, curvaceous hood. There were also two additional rear seats, albeit small ones, which were carried over when the GranCabrio was released two years later, making it Maserati’s first-ever four seat convertible.

Now, it appears as though Maserati will halt production of its convertible GranTurismo for the next generation, which is slated to hit the market late in 2017.

Speaking to UK publication AutoExpress, Maserati North Europe manager Peter Denton confirmed the move. “The GranTurismo will be replaced at the end of 2017, but as a coupe only. We feel the gap will be filled by the Alfieri Spider, due in early 2017.”

Cutting the Cabrio is part of Maserati’s recent big product overhaul, an effort designed to dramatically increase sales figures over the next three years. This includes the release of six new cars, including a revised Quattroporte and Ghibli, the Levante SUV, plus the Alfieri coupe and roadster. The new GranTurismo will top off the update with a design that is “more compact rather than bigger, ” according to Denton. “It’s simply the way the design language worked out.”

Note: Current Maserati GranTurismo pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Maserati GranTurismo.

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Maserati Alfieri Will Retain its Name and Have a Convertible Version

Maserati Alfieri Will Retain its Name and Have a Convertible Version

Maserati’s beautiful Alfieri coupe will keep its name when it moves into production for 2016. The news comes directly from company officials speaking to UK’s Autocar. What’s more, a convertible version will likely arrive the following year. The twin-seat sports car will serve as the company’s halo car, attracting customers to the brand, but it is not expected to be a sales leader for the FCA-owned brand.

"While we don’t expect it to be a big seller we do expect it to anchor all values that are core to Maserati, and have a halo effect in drawing customers to us," Maserati’s James Cowan told Autocar. “…it can do a job in reaffirming in people’s minds all of the values that make Maserati special.” Cowan is the automaker’s marketing director in the United Kingdom.

He continued in saying the Alfieri will be the foundation on which Maserati builds its core identity and values of exclusivity and luxury.

While the Alfieri acts as the base, the automaker will build around it with the introduction of an SUV, along with a refreshed Granturismo, Ghibli, and Quattroporte. In terms of a time frame, the Levante SUV is scheduled first, launching before the Alfieri for 2016, then followed by a replacement for the Granturismo in 2018.

Click past the jump to read more about Maserati Alfieri.

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Maserati Plans to Expand its Lineup in the Future

Maserati Plans to Expand its Lineup in the Future

I hold that Maserati is currently one of the most underrated brands on the market. The Italian marque has a racing heritage that is more storied and illustrious than most brands, all of them are built using engines derived from Ferrari units, and they have a style that screams "instant classic." In short, Maserati is quintessentially Italian and lust-worthy. Still the brand sees comparatively little sales love, despite the introduction of the new cheaper Ghibli sedan. That all looks to change soon if this interview over on AutoCar is correct. A few weeks ago during the Paris Motor Show, Maserati boss Harald Webster sat down with the site and laid out his plans to increase the brand’s yearly sales by 500-percent in the next three years. The biggest step to that growth comes on the back of six new cars that will be introduced in that same time frame.

The first car in the new barrage of updated machines was the Quattroporte, followed closely by the Ghibli. The next new car will be the upcoming Lavante SUV that lives on the Ghibli’s platform. Then comes the production version of the stunning 2014 Alfieri concept All of this is to be completed before 2016 is over. The Levante and Ghibli will make up most of the growth for the brand, but the Alfieri will be sold as both a coupe and a roadster to compete with the Jaguar F-Type. Finishing out the model update will be the new Granturismo that is due late in 2017 as a 2018 model.

Despite rumors that Alfa Romeo, Fiat and Maserati would all be sharing engines and technology, Webster claims that is not the case. Every car will use components and engines unique to the brand, and they will all still be powered by Ferrari-derived engines. Webster is going to leverage the uniqueness of the brand to draw in buyers. Along with the new cars being debuted, the next three years should see a new permanent all-wheel-drive system become available and permeate through the lineup. AutoCar says every model except the Granturismo will offer the AWD option. The halo sports car of the marque will retain its rear-wheel-drive layout, and should come powered by a twin-turbo, Ferrari V-8 that pumps out more than 550 horsepower.

Click past the jump to read more about Maserati’s future plans.

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1956 Maserati 450S Prototype by Fantuzzi

1956 Maserati 450S Prototype by Fantuzzi

It all started in 1956 when wealthy American businessman Tony Parravano hired the Italian manufacturer, Maserati to develop a new V-8 for use in the chassis of the Kurtis Indy. Maserati saw the opportunity to revive the project codenamed Tipo 54 and develop its own engine for use its sport-specific chassis. The original car carrying a V-6 engine with chassis number 3501 became the test bed for the car ordered by the American.

The 450S made its first appearance at the Swedish Grand Prix’s practice session in August 1956, stunning everyone with its tremendous acceleration and top speed. The car clocked the third best timing in the practice, but the underdeveloped car could not handle the vibrations resonating from the wrong firing order of the engine’s spark plugs. Afterwards, the 450S received a new chassis at Mondena factory.

The development continued and in 1957, the new production 450S was rolled out to have its maiden race at the 1000 km of Buenos Aires where it led the Ferrari twin-cam sports car by 10 seconds. The car suffered from a failed transmission and retired from the race. However, the car went on to claim its first ever podium finish in the 1957 Swedish GP. Sadly, FIA changed the rules next year, making 450S ineligible for the Grand Prix.

The car was quickly prepared for the 1956 Mille Miglia 1,000-mile race. Legendary driver Stirling Moss, along with Denis Jenkinson as navigator, experienced a brake failure and the car came to rest against a tree. Driver and co-driver walked away without a scratch, but the car had to return to the factory for repairs and further development.

Fantuazzi then came into picture when he designed a new body with a contoured design. The car also got a longer wheelbase to accommodate the new V-8 engine. The updated vehicle was tested in the Swedish Grand Prix in August 1956 where the car’s builders continued to tweak is new chassis and make improvements.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1956 Maserati 450S Prototype by Fantuzzi.

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