Four doors of perception
Maseratis are in danger of becoming almost commonplace
GET an eyeful of Maserati’s new Quattroporte, the spearhead of three new models en route from the trident badge.
The prosaically named ultra-luxury sedan (it means ‘‘four door’’) leads the threepronged attack that will involve Maserati opening a new $1.5 billion factory and increasing sales by no less than tenfold.
The new Quattroporte was revealed this week.
Maserati Australia boss Glen Sealey says the Quattroporte, in company with the midsize Ghibli sedan and Levante SUV, will be the biggest step in the company’s 98 years.
‘‘Everything about (the Quattroporte) is new,’’ he says. ‘‘We are forecasting up to 1500 sales a year in Australia by 2015-16. That’s enormous growth but still leaves us as an exclusive marque.’’ Maserati sold 140 cars here last year, no mean feat for a brand whose least expensive model starts from $290,000. Sealey says the new Quattroporte — here next September — moves further upmarket, while the Ghibli (early 2014) and Levante (2015) bring Maserati in at a new price level.
‘‘If you look at Porsche’s line-up, then that’s a good example of how Maserati is going to market its models,’’ he says. ‘‘The Quattroporte will come first with a high
performance V8 engine that in price and performance would compete around the level of the Porsche Panamera and Panamera Turbo. Like the Panamera, we will have a V6 petrol and a diesel.’’
Sealey dismisses suggestions the Ghibli will take on BMW’s 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz’s E-Class, and says the new Maserati is more upmarket.
The Ghibli will be powered by a V6 petrol or diesel engine and — like the new Quattroporte — drive the rear wheels via a Maserati-specified ZF eight-speed auto transmission.
Maserati as yet has no V6 or diesel but Sealey insists these engines will be made by the company, not outsourced.
‘‘Maserati will not have an outside engine in its cars,’’ he says.