Don't hate, the Pacifica has some of FCA's most advanced powertrain technology.
Electrification and Italian cars don't exactly go together like pesto on pasta, and FCA has become painfully aware of that as its lack of hybrids and electric cars threatens to put it behind the steep technological curve brought on by rigorous fuel economy standards. The only hybrid currently in its lineup is the Chrysler Pacifica, and as the brand's dual-powertrain ambassador, its technology will soon be seen across the range. Don't get too mad though, because its first target is Maserati.
If red lights and sirens are going off in your head right now, then Maserati's boss of overseas markets, Umberto Cini, would kindly ask you to calm down. Speaking with CarAdvice in regards to Maserati's hybrid future, Cini would like to point out that driving pleasure ranks high on Maserati's list of must-have qualities, and a hybrid drivetrain, even if it's the same one shared by the Chrysler Pacifica, will not dilute that. "If it will be a Maserati - Maserati means many things. One of these things is the pleasure of driving. If we can deliver with hybrid technology or electric technology the same feeling that you can deliver with the current product range, why not," Cini said. The key word there is "if."
In the past, Maserati's Managing Director of the European region, Giulio Pastore, mentioned that his company wouldn't make an electrified car if it sacrificed performance. Does that mean Maserati will ditch its hybrid efforts if it can't get the Pacifica's hybrid drivetrain nailed down in a Maserati the way that preserves the luxurious sporting character the Italian automaker is known for? That much is unknown, but it's also unlikely. If Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Cadillac, and almost every other luxury marquee is being forced to go hybrid and electric, Maserati will have to follow suit. And it's already doing so. "In any case, there will be something already developed in that direction," said Cini.
So far we know that Maserati's test vehicle is its most spacious, the Levante SUV. The Levante's cavernous body and a lessened need for it to retain a sporty character makes it a perfect stepping stone towards electrifying the rest of its passenger car range, which includes the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans. These ride on the same platform as the SUV and if Maserati can nail it, it'll be one more victory on its way to becoming a more competitive car company. Too bad there's still no word on our favorite electrified Maserati home-run, the stunning Alfieri we're still waiting for.