Whether demonstrating a future design language or celebrating an anniversary, Maserati concepts could never be accused of being frivolous in nature.
They don't come along that often, so when Maserati brings out a concept the world takes notice. That was certainly the case in 1972 when one Giorgetto Giugiaro revealed his avant-garde creation dubbed the Boomerang, and even held true when a team of design students showcased its Maser concept at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. These and other concepts created over the years have given the Italian carmaker inspiration when creating production models, some of which are still on the horizon.
Penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Maserati Boomerang debuted at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show, building on the wedge-shape of the Bertone-styled Alfa Romeo Carabo that premiered in 1968, with inspiration coming from a trio of concepts: Alfa’s Caimano and Iguana and the VW/Porsche Tapiro. With a shape “drawn almost exclusively with a ruler”, the concept’s aerodynamic inefficiency was compensated by the 4.7-liter V8 borrowed from the Bora that gave it a 180mph top speed. Serving as a precursor to Giugiaro’s later cars, the radical design of the Boomerang allegedly convinced VW to appoint the Italian to design the original Golf.
The first Kubang debuted at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003, long before sport luxury SUVs became carmaker’s bread and butter. Nine years on and with luxury SUVs flooding the market, Maserati rereleased the SUV at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, sitting on the same platform as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The concept will spawn the Levante, which recent reports suggest will be built in Italy and come with the turbo V6 and V8 engines that have already been launched for the Ghibli and Quattroporte, paired to an eight-speed automatic and Maserati’s new Q4 all-wheel drive system instead of Jeep's.
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina chose Maserati as its featured marque, unveiling the Birdcage concept at the 2005 Geneva Motor Show. Using the underpinnings from the Maserati MC12 GT1 racecar (itself based on the Ferrari Enzo), the Birdcage evoked the classic 1960s Maserati Birdcage racers but in a decidedly modern form that looked straight out of the future with its aerodynamic lines and canopy roof. Eight years later, the Birdcage still stands as one of Pininfarina's most beautiful designs to date, even if the Maserati won't be using its design atop the LaFerrari chassis.
Carrozzeria Touring’s first new concept after restarting operations in 2006 following a 40-year hiatus came in 2008 as the Maserati A8 GCS. Unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este five years ago, the A8 GCS took its inspiration from the beautiful Maserati A6 GCS which Pininfarina designed in 1954. It was based on the Maserati GranSport that preceded the GranTurismo, complete with its 385-horsepower 4.2-liter V8, and showed up in finished concept form the following year looking better than ever. We don't know if Touring ended up building any for private customers, but regardless the design endures as a striking one.
At the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, students of the Instituto Europeo Design revealed their Maserati Chicane concept, a 2+2 coupe with dimensions smaller than the GranTurismo and Quattroporte. At the time of its release, fans of the Trident marque were hopeful certain design cues could be carried over to Maserati’s upcoming sportscar. That has yet to arrive, although rumors of a two-door model to slot below the GranTurismo continue to surface. The concept was powered by a front-mounted V8 powering the rear wheels, whereas the anticipated sportscar will likely pack V6 mounted amidship. One way or another performance and style is guaranteed.