It's been delayed so long that it's technology is no longer up to the task.
Maserati seems to have a bad case of being plagued by delays, which is rather unfortunate given that we like the brand and hate to see them fall behind the curve. But that’s exactly what’s been happening as Maserati struggles to meet one release target after another while the rest of the industry has begun the shift to electric cars. Thankfully, that grim snapshot of Maserati doesn’t tell the whole story because as Autocar has just uncovered, FCA’s Trident wing has been working on some compelling projects.
Previously we heard that an all-electric Alfieri would be hitting the market in 2020, but Maserati Europe head Giulio Pastore claims that it won’t happen before a hybrid is out since electrification is impossible on the current platform. “The current platform allows for hybrid,” said Pastore. "We are working on it for 2019 when we will be ready to offer hybridization.” Maserati is taking a look at various approaches to alternative power sources before it pulls the trigger on one. “We’re exploring different ways to get hybrid, looking at both plug-in and standard, as well as 48v system and full-electric cars. Everyone is trying to understand what is best,” said Pastore. Eventually these hybrids would give way to full electrification.
The first hybrid Maserati could very well be the Levante SUV, which would be followed by the Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio replacements that are supposed to roll out in 2019 (although Maserati has been delaying its products left and right as of late). Once the battery battalion takes over the company, we can expect every model, from the GT twins to the Quattroporte and the Ghibli to the Levante, to be offered with hybrid drivetrains. Other automakers like GM or Toyota have been toiling with gas-electric drivetrains for years and have gotten the science down to a tee, but FCA is late to the gathering (not counting the thousand or so Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen hybrids built in 2009).
Just like the high school punching bag who can't be cool to save his life and who’s just been to his first party during senior year, the automaker has shown up in a minivan….literally. Reasons to love FCA's quirky nature aside, let’s just hope the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is a technological masterpiece so that the next generation of Maseratis can be birthed into this world a little sooner.