17 February, 2020

Electrification begins at Maserati

Maserati has clarified its electrification plans, announcing that all new models will feature hybrid and battery-electric options.

The carmaker, which is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) recently announced it had begun testing of full-electric powertrains to be installed on future vehicles. It has now revealed more details, stating that the electrification plans start this year with the hybrid version of the new Ghibli.

Battery beginnings

Production of the new Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio, the brand's first cars to adopt 100% electric solutions, will commence in 2021, the company said.

Maserati has decided to build the GranTurismo and GranCabrio at the Mirafiori production hub, with an investment of €800 million. The latest generation of the two models have totalled more than 40,000 units sold from 2007 to 2019.

During 2020, Mirafiori will be strengthening its position as a world hub dedicated to the electrification and mobility of the future, with a large proportion of its capacity allocated to the production of the brand's new electrified cars, the manufacturer said. The location, near Turin, will allow it to work with FCA’s new battery hub currently under construction in the city.

Maserati’s electrification plans will be further improved early next year, once the merger between FCA and PSA Group is finalised. The French manufacturer is undergoing its own electric-vehicle (EV) push, with the Opel Corsa-e and Peugeot e-208 soon to be joined by the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense.

Technology advancements

Also upcoming is a new Maserati utility vehicle, which will be built at Cassino and is intended to play a leading role for the brand thanks to its innovative technologies. A further €800 million will be invested in the construction of the new production line, scheduled to begin at the end of the first quarter of 2020. The first pre-production cars will come off the line by 2021.

In November, FCA announced that all new Maserati models would feature level 3 autonomous technology, putting the Italian carmaker at the forefront of FCA’s technology plan. It also puts the company at odds with others in the automotive industry, who are sidestepping the ‘middle-ground’ technology in favour of more driverless capabilities.

Level 3 allows a vehicle to detect objects in the environment around them and make adjustments. It is considered the lowest level of full autonomy but the technology still requires a driver to be aware of what is taking place and prepare to take control at a moment’s notice. Some carmakers feel this negates the ‘full driverless’ experience and are concentrating instead on developing level 4 and level 5 systems, which need no human interaction.