Technology

Will Hybrids Ruin This Italian Luxury Brand?

Italians don’t really do hybrids.

Italian automakers like Ferrari and Maserati don’t really do hybrids. In fact, the only luxury hybrid you can get with an Italian badge is the Ferrari LaFerrari. At $1.3 million a piece, there aren’t a lot of people out there that can afford the hypercar. Maserati plans to change all of this with an Italian hybrid that’s actually affordable to purchase. According to a recent report by Autocar, Maserati is set to launch plug-in hybrid models by 2020. To meet emissions, Maserati is planning on creating hybrid variants of four of its luxury cars.

Atuocar reports that the Italian automakers plan to create plug-in hybrid variants of the Maserati Quattroporte, GranCabrio, GranTurismo and Ghibli to meet emissions standards by 2020. The move from sporty vehicles to hybrids will be a major shift for Maserati. Maserati’s European general manager Giulio Pastore admitted that the brand has no other choice. “We have to do it—it’s that simple,” stated Pastore. “In some countries where it is highly incentivized, they will be a success, in others maybe less so, but there is government and customer demand for such cars.” Maserati may not have a choice, but the automaker plans to keep its cars’ performance the same.

Pastore notified Autocar that “we will only electrify our cars if it can be done without sacrificing performance. If there’s a sacrifice, then we won’t do it.” Until now Maserati hasn’t even opened up to the idea of using electricity in its vehicles. In 2013, Maserati CEO Herald Wester called electric vehicles “nonsense.” But it would look like the automaker doesn’t have a choice. Here’s to hoping that Maserati can make a hybrid that’s actually fun to drive.

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