Test mule is said to be developing a completely new powertrain package.
Maserati has something completely new coming. It told us so when the Italian automaker announced last week the forthcoming new model will debut next May. But the vehicle itself, it turns out, won't be the only new development. It'll also usher in a new family of engines.
The Trident marque released these images of a test mule running around its home town of Modena. And its purpose is to develop a completely new powertrain "entirely developed and built in Maserati," paving the way for "a new family of engines integrated exclusively on the vehicles of the Brand."
That by itself will mark a significant departure for Maserati, which has relied heavily on its FCA sister companies to develop its engines. The current Ghibli, Quattroporte, and Levante all use a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 (designated F160) and 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 (F154) developed by Ferrari. They also offer (in some markets) a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel furnished by VM Motori, another FCA division that also provides the diesels for various Jeep, Ram, and Chrysler models. And the recently discontinued GranTurismo employed a 4.2- or 4.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 from Ferrari's previous F136 architecture that also motivated the F430, 458, California, and Alfa Romeo 8C.
With Ferrari now spun off into its own entity, Maserati is apparently now undertaking its own powertrain development. But just what kind of powertrain that will be remains a mystery at the moment. The Modenese manufacturer is anticipated to roll out a series of electric vehicles, and this prototype could be testing their powertrain components. Or it could be developing a new internal-combustion engine. The automaker said "the engine is 100% Maserati," but otherwise referred more ambiguously to an unspecified "powertrain."
Whatever it's testing, the prototype looks like a modified Alfa Romeo 4C, which is something Maserati has previously considered. Whether the finished product will ultimately look anything like this, we'll have to wait another six months or so to find out.