Manufacturer's Spotlight: Maserati
May 1, 2013
When one hears the Maserati name mentioned, they automatically think of unparalleled luxury and elegance. Even those who are not familiar with the current line know that whatever this automaker happens to be making must be pretty special. Maserati is not just a name; it is a social status. Most don't realize that the Maserati name dates back to December 1, 1914. Alfieri Maserati founded the line in Bologna, Italy, and the auto industry would never be the same again.
Alfieri began his racing career after the First World War, but after being disqualified in 1924, he directed his attention to his workshop. By 1926, he produced the first all-Maserati car, which he named Tipo26. In 1931, the 4CTR was produced; the last vehicle Alfieri would ever create himself. The Maserati brothers were more determined than ever to keep the dream alive after the passing of Alfieri in 1932.
Citröen bought into the company in 1968, but when the oil crisis hit in 1973 it was announced that the legendary name was in liquidation. To save the company, Benelli acquired most of the shares in 1975, and by 1976, the Kyalami was launched.
The Biturbo was Maserati's flagship of the 1980s. There were more than 30 versions created in coupe, sedan and spyder forms. Then, like other European brands, the automaker seemed to simply disappear during the recession.
When Fiat bought the entire share capital of Maserati in 1993, things really turned around. By 1997, control of the line was transferred to Ferrari, which was also part of Fiat. This is the year a modern assembly line was created to produce the 3200 GT.
Probably one of the most significant years responsible for the success of Maserati was 2003. The Maserati Quattroporte was previewed at the Frankfurt Motorshow and sales were certainly on the rise. Maserati was transferred back to Fiat in 2005, and North American sales started to increase.
In 2007, Maserati finally offered a vehicle that was practical for everyday driving. The GranTurismo provided a captivating ride, and superb handling, earning it an array of awards. Maserati is showing no signs of slowing down today. They have a fantastic lineup and exciting plans for the future. From legendary racing cars to luxury sport sedans, this is a line that echoes of sophistication, and holds true on its promise of performance.
Maserati and the Environment
Maserati appreciates the importance of preserving sources of natural materials. This is an automaker that cares about the environment, and has created a 5-year plan to cut CO2 emissions and consumption of their cars significantly. Their focus is on advancements in internal fluid dynamics and creating new heat management strategies.
Maserati will also make aerodynamic improvements, and work on reducing body weight, even though they already excel in those two departments. A higher percentage of natural components and recyclable materials will be used as well.
Maserati and Safety
Most people associate Maserati with either racing or luxury. You never hear someone say they are going to buy a Maserati for safety reasons. Still, it is nice to know that even if you are not thinking about safety, Maserati is. Every model offers advanced passive safety features and sophisticated active safety technology. The chassis is always rigid with exceptional weight distribution for control, and crumple zones to absorb impact.
All models get a collapsible steering column, airbags, antilock braking system, electronic brakeforce distribution and the Maserati Stability Program. Of course, there are plenty of extras to offer peace-of-mind on the road, such as a tire pressure monitoring system and xenon headlights.
The Maserati Quattroporte is definitely a headliner for this line. Available as Sedan or Sport GT S, this is a luxury vehicle well worth its high MSRP, because it is practical enough to drive every day. Since it is the only Italian four-door sedan currently made, it is really in a class of its own. It indulges old-world craftsmanship with elegant style and high-quality materials.
The Maserati Quattroporte Sedan gets a strong 4.2-liter V8 good for 400 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. Quattroporte S and GT models are motivated by a 4.7-liter V8 that boosts performance to 425 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque to reach 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo is available as a coupe and convertible. This is a vehicle that attracts a lot of attention thanks to scintillating speed and sexy styling. The comfort level is off the charts; you can actually drive this one long distances, and considering it returns 21 mpg on the highway, you will be inspired to take a road trip. It gets the same great 4.7-liter seen in the Quattroporte, but being a lighter and more aerodynamic vehicle, it is able to reach 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.
What is in Store?
The 2014 lineup is sure to be a profitable one. The new Maserati Quattroporte will trade in a bit of its aggressive styling for a nice dose of tamed elegance. Aluminum is used in abundance to reduce body weight and it gets a 3.8 twin-turbo V8 that screams 530 horsepower. Since the 2014 Maserati GranTurismo was unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show, it has been labeled as one to watch. Two modestly scaled rear seats will be the biggest change, along with sportier lines on the exterior.
Lastly, the 2014 Maserati Ghibli is a four-door sedan that is so comfortable and affordable it can be used for everyday driving. It will have the same underpinnings as the Quattroporte, but offer a much more sporty appearance. Like the rest of the line, it is highly customizable and should prove to be a successful vehicle for Maserati.
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