Like the Porsche 911, the Tesla Model S is quickly becoming the car to compete with.
It used to be that the old benchmark car that every sports car manufacturer was gunning for was the Porsche 911, and who could find fault in that? The 911 has been one of the best driver’s cars on earth since a stubborn Ferdinand Porsche decided that he would engineer past a rear engine handicap. Nowadays, not much has changed, but there is another car on the block that everyone, even Porsche, is aspiring to compete with. That car would be the Model S.
Unlike Porsche, Tesla is fresh to the game, but it remains as fierce as any other veteran automaker. Now, Sergio Marchionne is putting the floatable Model S in his sights and may hit it with the best (brand) he’s got, Maserati. Marchionne told Bloomberg TV, "I’ve always thought the economic model that supports Tesla is something that Fiat Chrysler could replicate as we have the brand and the vehicles to do it." He followed up by saying, "I think that to use one of our potential cars as an experiment in this area is interesting." Ideally, FCA would put two cars into the arena against Tesla, a sports coupe and a city sedan. Given Tesla’s current high dollar customer base, the coupe could be an electrified version of the Maserati Alfieri.
The Alfieri already has one similarity to Tesla, delays that are leaving both CEO and customer base frustrated. If FCA decides to compete upmarket with the Model S, an EV rendition of the Ghibli could be a wise route to take provided that the architecture could support it. Venturing into the EV market would be good for FCA because it hasn’t really done so yet. Its only EV is the Fiat 500e, which it begrudgingly made to appease California regulators and causes a $10,000 headache for the company with each car sold. By investing into profitable and practical EVs, FCA would position itself as a brand that is ready for the future by keeping an ability to fight with other car companies that are investing heavily in electric car technology.