Maserati is planning to use hybrid and battery-electric propulsion systems on future models even as its operations remain firmly planted in Italy.
The brand’s electrification initiatives begin this year and the first hybrid car to be built will be the new Maserati Ghibli.
Production of the first fully electric models, the Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio, will start in 2021 at the Mirafiori plant where automaker has invested an 800 million euros to prepare for EV production. The first pre-production versions are expected to come off the line by 2021.
During 2020, Mirafiori will focus on becoming the brand’s “electrification and mobility of the future.” The plan is the center the brand’s worldwide electric production at the facility with most of its capacity allocated to the production of electrified cars, the company said in a statement.
Maserati’s push into the electrification arena mirrors that of the parent company. FCA has been slow to jump into that rapidly growing side of the business. It’s former CEO, the late Sergio Marchionne, dragged his heels on the process. In fact, he begged the public to not buy the one electric vehicle Fiat produced, the 500e, because it was a money loser.
The company’s focus did begin to shift under Marchionne, with him beginning to put forth a serious effort in that area during his final five-year plan. In his final major move before his death he announced that the automaker would invest 9 billion euros, or more than $10 billion, in electrification. Michael Manley, who succeeded the FCA founder last July, has only accelerated plans.
In fact, last summer, Micky Bly, the Italian-American automaker’s new global powertrain chief. In an exclusive interview with TheDetroitBureau.com, he promised that FCA will try to reposition itself as one of the industry’s leaders in electrification “over the next 12 to 18 months.”
The company revealed last month it plans to launch more than 30 electrified nameplates by 2022. The 2020 calendar year will bring seven new EVs to the FCA global line-up, including a number of electrified Jeep vehicles, a second-generation Fiat 500 BEV, Fiat Ducato BEV and Maserati’s first hybrid.
However, Maserati and its parent, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., aren’t just focusing on the push into electrification. FCA is also spending 800 million euros at the plant in Cassino, Italy, for construction of the new production line to build its new utility vehicle, the Levante. Production is scheduled to begin at the end of the first quarter of 2020.
However, the statement also said the brand’s “heart will remain” in Modena, Italy, where it has its headquarters, noting vehicle design, development and testing – including the Innovation Lab – will remain at the site.
In 2020, the first of the new Modena-built Maserati models will be the aforementioned super sports car, with new technology even as it evokes the brand’s traditional values. Major modernization work is in progress on the production line at the Modena plant, partly to accommodate the electric version of the new super sports car.
At the same time, work has already started on a paint shop, a completely new addition to the facility.
“For Maserati, Modena is the place where extraordinary cars have been produced for over 80 years, all outstanding in their luxury, elegance, style, performance and quality, and which are sold in over 70 markets,” the company said.