Maserati

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This article is about the Italian automobile manufacturer. For other uses, see Maserati (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 44°38′58″N 10°56′23″E / 44.649422°N 10.939636°E / 44.649422; 10.939636

Maserati S.p.A.
Type Società per azioni
Industry Automotive
Founded 1 December 1914 Bologna
Headquarters Modena, Italy
Key people Sergio Marchionne (Chairman)
Harald J. Wester (CEO)
Products Luxury Vehicles
Production output 15,700 units (2013)[1]
Revenue Increase 1.659 Billion (2013)[1]
Operating income Increase 171 Millions (2013)[1]
Owners Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, NV
Employees 1100 (2013)[1]
Parent Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, NV
Website Maserati.com

Maserati (Italian pronunciation: [mazeˈraːti]) is an Italian luxury car manufacturer established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna.[2] The Maserati tagline is "Luxury, sports and style cast in exclusive cars",[3] and the brand's mission statement is to "Build Ultra-Luxury Performance Automobiles With Timeless Italian Style, Accommodating Bespoke Interiors, and Effortless, Signature Sounding Power".[4]

The 2014 Maserati lineup, as shown at the 100th Year Anniversary in Autoworld Brussels

The company's headquarters are now in Modena, and its emblem is a trident. It has been owned by the Italian car giant Fiat S.p.A. since 1993. Maserati was initially associated with Ferrari S.p.A., which is also owned by Fiat, but more recently it has become part of the sports car group including Alfa Romeo and Abarth (see section below). In May 2014, due to ambitious plans and product launches, Maserati sold a record of over 3,000 cars. This caused them to increase production of the Quattroporte and Ghibli models.[5] This is also the first time that Maserati has had two four-door sedans in their lineup at once. In addition to the Ghibli and Quattroporte, Maserati offers the Maserati GranTurismo, the GranTurismo Convertible, and has confirmed that it will be offering the Maserati Levante, the first Maserati SUV, in 2015, and the Maserati Alfieri, a new 2+2 in 2016.[6] Maserati is placing a production output cap at 75,000 vehicles globally.[7]

History[edit]

See Maserati Brothers

The Maserati brothers, Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto were all involved with automobiles from the beginning of the 20th century. Alfieri, Bindo and Ernesto built 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. In 1926, Diatto suspended the production of race cars, leading to the creation of the first Maserati and the founding of the Maserati marque. One of the first Maseratis, driven by Alfieri, won the 1926 Targa Florio. Maserati began making race cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders (two straight-eights mounted parallel to one another).

The trident logo of the Maserati car company is based on the Fountain of Neptune in Bologna's Piazza Maggiore. In 1920 one of the Maserati brothers, artist Mario, used this symbol in the logo at the suggestion of family friend Marquis Diego de Sterlich. It was considered particularly appropriate for the sports car company due to fact that Neptune represents strength and vigor; additionally the statue is a characteristic symbol of the company's original home city.[8]

Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but three other brothers, Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore, kept the firm going, building cars that won races.

Orsi ownership[edit]

In 1937, the remaining Maserati brothers sold their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who in 1940 relocated the company headquarters to their hometown of Modena,[2] where it remains to this day. The brothers continued in engineering roles with the company. Racing successes continued, even against the giants of German racing, Auto Union and Mercedes. In back-to-back wins in 1939 and 1940, a Maserati 8CTF won the Indianapolis 500, the only Italian manufacturer ever to do so.

The war then intervened, Maserati abandoning cars to produce components for the Italian war effort. During this time, Maserati worked in fierce competition to construct a V16 towncar for Benito Mussolini before Ferry Porsche of Volkswagen built one for Adolf Hitler. This failed, and the plans were scrapped. Once peace was restored, Maserati returned to making cars; the Maserati A6 series did well in the post-war racing scene.

Key people joined the Maserati team. Alberto Massimino, an old Fiat engineer, with both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari experiences oversaw the design of all racing models for the next ten years. With him joined engineers Giulio Alfieri, Vittorio Bellentani, and Gioacchino Colombo. The focus was on the best engines and chassis to succeed in car racing. These new projects saw the last contributions of the Maserati brothers, who after their 10-year contract with Orsi expired went on to form O.S.C.A.. This new team at Maserati worked on several projects: the 4CLT, the A6 series, the 8CLT, and, pivotally for the future success of the company, the A6GCS.

The famous Argentinian driver Juan-Manuel Fangio raced for Maserati for a number of years in the 1950s, producing a number of stunning victories including winning the world championship in 1957 in the Maserati 250F alongside Toulo de Graffenried, Louis Chiron, Prince Bira, Enrico Platé, and a few others. Other racing projects in the 1950s were the 200S, 300S (with several famous pilots, among them Benoit Musy), 350S, and 450S, followed in 1961 by the famous Tipo 61.

Maserati had retired from factory racing participation because of the Guidizzolo tragedy[9] during the 1957 Mille Miglia, though they continued to build cars for privateers. After 1957, Maserati became more and more focused on road cars, and chief engineer Giulio Alfieri built the 6-cylinder 3500 2+2 coupé, which featured an aluminum body over Carrozzeria Touring's superleggera structure, a design also used for the small-volume V8-powered 5000. Next came the Vignale-bodied Sebring, launched in 1962, the Mistral Coupé in 1963 and Spider in 1964, both designed by Pietro Frua, and also in 1963, the company's first four-door, the Quattroporte, designed by Frua as well. The two-seat Ghibli coupé was launched in 1967, followed by a convertible in 1969.

Citroën ownership[edit]

In 1968, Maserati was taken over by the French car manufacturer, Citroën. Adolfo Orsi remained the nominal president, but Maserati changed a great deal. New models were launched, and built in much greater numbers than before. Citroën borrowed Maserati expertise and engines for the Citroën SM and other vehicles, and Maseratis also incorporated Citroën technology, particularly in hydraulics.

New models included the Maserati Indy 1969 a grand turismo designed by Vignale and the Maserati Bora, the first mass-produced mid-engined Maserati, in 1971, and the Maserati Merak and Maserati Khamsin soon afterwards; the Maserati Quattroporte II, which shared some parts with Citroën SM, never came into production, although seven were made to special order. The 1973 oil crisis, however, put the brakes on this ambitious expansion when the demand for fuel-hungry sports cars shrank. Citroën went bankrupt in 1974 and on 23 May 1975, the new controlling group PSA Peugeot Citroën declared that Maserati was also in administration.[10] Propped up by Italian government funds (GEPI, Societa di Gestioni e Partecipazioni Industriali dello Stato Italiano), the company was kept in business.

The Maserati engine and its associated gearbox have been used in other vehicles such as Special Rally prepared Citroën DS, as used by Bob Neyret in Bandama Rally or in the Ligier JS 2.

De Tomaso[edit]

In 1975, the company was taken over by Alejandro de Tomaso,[10] an Argentinian former racing driver, who became managing director. De Tomaso, with aid from GEPI,[11] had arranged for the Benelli motorcycle company, which he controlled, to buy Maserati from Citroën and install him as its head. Beginning in 1976, new models were introduced, including the Maserati Kyalami and later the Maserati Quattroporte III in 1979.

The 1980s saw the company largely abandoning the mid-engined sports car in favour of squarely styled, front-engined, rear-drive coupes, cheaper than before but with aggressive performance, like the Maserati Biturbo.The Maserati Biturbo engine was fitted in a large number of models, all sharing key components. These included a short two-door coupe, the Maserati Karif, and a cabriolet, the Spyder, designed by Zagato. The last version of the Maserati Biturbo was called Maserati Racing. It has been a transitional model in which several features to be found on the Ghibli II and the Shamal were tested. Two new coupes, the Maserati Shamal and Maserati Ghibli II, were released in 1990 and 1992, respectively.

The company also worked loosely with Chrysler, now headed by de Tomaso's friend Lee Iacocca. Chrysler purchased part of Maserati and the two jointly produced a car, the Chrysler TC by Maserati.

There were also two further projects:

  • the Chubasco a canceled V8 mid-engine sports car.
  • the Maserati Barchetta a small open top mid engine sports car, designed by Synthesis design (Carlo Gaino); 17 examples were produced.[12]

Fiat ownership[edit]

Fiat acquired the company in 1993.[10] Substantial investments were made in Maserati, and it has since undergone something of a renaissance.[citation needed]

In 1998, a new chapter began in Maserati's history when the company launched the 3200 GT. This two-door coupé is powered by a 3.2 L twin-turbocharged V8 which produces 370 hp (276 kW); the car does 0–62 mph in 5.1 seconds. Its top speed is 285 km/h (177 mph). It was replaced by the Maserati Spyder and Coupé in the 2002 model year, which in turn were replaced by the GranTurismo and GranCabrio.

Over two decades after the ill-fated Chrysler TC by Maserati during Chrysler's brief ownership stake in Maserati, the two companies became interconnected again when Fiat purchased majority control of Chrysler in 2011 as a result of Chrysler's bankruptcy.

Ferrari[edit]

In July 1997, Fiat sold a 50% share in the company to Maserati's long-time arch-rival Ferrari (Ferrari itself being owned by Fiat).[2] In 1999, Ferrari took full control, making Maserati its luxury division. A new factory was built, replacing the existing 1940s-vintage facility. Ferrari is credited for bringing Maserati back into business, after many lackluster years of Maserati teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.[citation needed]

More recently, Maserati discussed an agreement with Volkswagen for the German company to share its Audi division's Quattro all-wheel-drive technology (originally meant for the still-born Maserati Kubang sport utility vehicle concept) for Maserati's current Quattroporte platform.[citation needed] This idea has since been abandoned because Volkswagen owns two of Ferrari's direct rivals, Lamborghini and Bugatti.[citation needed]

Meanwhile, two new models have been shown to the public: the MC12 road supersports and successful GT racer with a Ferrari Enzo–derived chassis and engine and the new Quattroporte, a high luxury saloon with the 4.2l V8 engine.[citation needed] Nowadays, Maserati is back in business and successfully selling on a global basis. In 2001, Ferrari decided to throw away all the old tooling and installed high-tech devices in the Modena factory, making it one of the most advanced in the world.[citation needed]

Since early 2002, Maserati once again entered the United States market,[13] which has quickly become for Maserati the largest market worldwide. The company has also re-entered the racing arena with their Trofeo and, in December 2003, the Maserati MC12 (formerly known as the MCC), which was developed according to FIA GT regulations and has since competed with great success in the world FIA GT championship, winning the teams championship three consecutive times from 2005 to 2007. The MC12 has also been raced in various national GT championship as well as in the American Le Mans series. The MC12 is based on the Enzo Ferrari sports car;[14] 50 street-legal homologation models (roadsters and coupes) have been sold for about US$700,000 each.

The Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Abarth Group/Partnership under Fiat Group[edit]

The Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Abarth brand group/partnership, under Fiat Group, started in 2005, when Maserati was split off from Ferrari and partnered with Alfa Romeo.[15][16] In the second quarter of 2007, Maserati made profit for the first time in 17 years under Fiat ownership.[17]

On January 22, 2010, Fiat announced that it had created a new partnership/brand group for Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Abarth. The group is led by Harald J. Wester, the current CEO of Maserati. Sergio Marchionne said that "[the] purpose of bringing the Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth brands under the same leadership is to emphasize and leverage the value of the shared qualities of the three brands in terms of their sporting characteristics and performance." [18]

In 2013, Maserati started its expansion with the sixth-generation Maserati Quattroporte, which was designed to better compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This was followed by the introduction of the Ghibli, which was slated to compete against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-series. On May 6, 2014 Maserati confirmed production of the Levante SUV and the Alfieri (previously a 2+2 concept car that was named after Alfieri Maserati).[6] At this event, it was revealed that 2014 will be the last year of production for the GranTurismo and GranTurismo Convertible.[6] The GranTurismo name will be revived in 2018 with a 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) V8, in rear-wheel drive configuration.[6]

Maserati sales in 2013 were 15,400 units, which is up from just over 6,000 units worldwide in 2012.[6] In May, 2014, Maserati sold a company record of over 3,000 cars worldwide, causing them to increase production of the Ghibli and Quattroporte.[19] For that same month in the United States, Maserati sold 1,114 vehicles, which is up 406.19% over the same month in the previous year in the United States.[20] Maserati's best month of sales in the United States was August, 2014, with 1,233 units sold.[21] The sales target for 2018 is 75,000 units worldwide.[6]

In 2014, Maserati started their re-entrance into the high-performance car field, in order to compete with brands such as Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, Porsche, Jaguar, and in certain cases, even Ferrari. This is being done with Maseratis that have high output engines and all-wheel drive. The fastest Maserati Alfieri will be receiving a 520 bhp (388 kW; 527 PS) V6 with all-wheel drive, while the Quattroporte, Ghibli, and Levante are receiving 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) V8s in the future with all-wheel drive, in order to better compete with their respective AMGs, M cars, Jaguars, and Porsches.[4][22] The Maserati Alfieri will be competitive against the Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche 911 Turbo, Jaguar F-Type R, and even the Ferrari 458 in terms of performance. For the Ghibli, this will be in addition to the standard version, which gets a bump to 350 bhp (261 kW; 355 PS), and the S Q4, which gets a bump to 450 bhp (336 kW; 456 PS). The high performance all wheel drive version of the Ghibli (as mentioned above) will likely wear a GTS badge. For the Quattroporte, this will be a replacement for the GTS version (with increased power and all wheel drive, as mentioned above).

Since 2009, Marco Tencone (born 1967) has been the head designer of Maserati cars.

Automobiles[edit]

See List of Maserati vehicles for a complete historical list

Current and upcoming models[edit]

Quattroporte Ghibli GranTurismo GranCabrio Levante (upcoming) Maserati Alfieri (upcoming)
  • 4-door saloon
  • 4-door saloon
  • Grand tourer
  • Convertible
  • 5-door SUV
  • 2+2 grand tourer
Geneva MotorShow 2013 - Maserati Quattroporte grey front right view.jpg Maserati Ghibli - AutoShanghai 2013 (01).JPG
Maserati GranTurismo front 20071104.jpg
Maserati Gran Cabrio Goodwood.jpg
Maserati Kubang front.jpg
2014-03-04 Geneva Motor Show 0833.JPG

Maserati Quattroporte

Main article: Maserati Quattroporte

Italian for "four-door," the Maserati Quattroporte is a sporting luxury saloon. The sixth generation Maserati Quattroporte was introduced in 2013. The Quattroporte is currently available in S Q4, GTS and Diesel trim. The S Q4 has an advanced four wheel drive system, and a 404 horsepower twin-turbo V6.[23] The GTS is rear wheel drive, and has a 523 horsepower V8.[24] A Quattroporte Diesel model is offered on selected markets, making 275 horsepower (250 hp in Italy) and 442 ft-lbs of torque. The sixth-generation Quattroporte has grown in size in order to better compete with the roomier luxury saloons like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.[25]

By 2018 the Quattroporte S Q4 will have a 450 horsepower V6 and a 560 horsepower V8, both with all-wheel drive (for the V8 to increase performance).[4]

Maserati Ghibli

The first presentation of this car was on 20 April 2013 in Shanghai. It is a sporting/luxury executive saloon that competes against the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class or Audi A6. This new model is expected to be key in order to reach the ambitious target sales of 50,000 cars a year by 2015, and 75,000 by 2018. The car, along with the new Quattroporte, is built in the Italian factory of Grugliasco, Turin (former Bertone). The base Ghibli comes with 330 horsepower, the Ghibli Diesel with 275 horsepower (also 250 in Italy only), and the Ghibli S Q4 with 410 horsepower. By 2018, the base Ghibli will have 350 horsepower, the S Q4 450 horsepower, and a higher performance version (likely GTS) which will have 560 horsepower and all-wheel drive.[4]

Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio

Main article: Maserati GranTurismo

The Maserati GranTurismo is a grand tourer introduced in 2007. The GranTurismo has a 4.7-litre V8, making 454 bhp (339 kW; 460 PS) in Sport form and MC form. A convertible (GranCabrio) version is also available in standard, Sport, and MC form. The final production year for the Maserati GranTurismo is scheduled to be 2014, but it will be revived in 2018 with a 560 bhp (418 kW; 568 PS) V8, again in rear wheel drive form.[6]

Maserati Levante

Main article: Maserati Levante

The Maserati Levante is a crossover SUV due to be released in 2014. It has been anticipated with the Maserati Kubang concept SUV in September 2003 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and again in 2011. It was announced, at the Paris Motor Show held in Paris in September 2012. The Levante will be assembled in Mirafiori Plant, in Turin. It was confirmed on May 6, 2014.[6] The Levante 3.0L V6 will be offered in either 350 or 425 horsepower states of tune, with a 3.8L V8 producing 560 horsepower down the road, due in 2018. All models will have all-wheel drive.[4]

Maserati Alfieri

Main article: Maserati Alfieri

The Maserati Alfieri was a concept 2+2 presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014. The concept was based off the lighter chassis of the GranTurismo MC Stradale, although it had a shorter wheelbase. The concept was introduced with a 4.7 liter V8 producing 460 bhp (343 kW; 466 PS).

The Alfieri was confirmed for production in 2016 at a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles event on May 6, 2014.[6] The production version will receive three different V6 engine choices, producing 410 bhp (306 kW; 416 PS), 450 bhp (336 kW; 456 PS), and 520 bhp (388 kW; 527 PS), respectively.[6] The 450 horsepower and 520 horsepower versions will only have an all-wheel drive system. The Alfieri will be joined by an Alfieri convertible in 2017.[6]

Motorsport[edit]

Throughout its history, Maserati has participated in various forms of motorsports including Formula One, sportscar racing and touring car racing, both as a works team and through private entrants.

Maserati developed fifteen GranTurismo MC racecars, homologated for the European Cup and National Endurance Series, one of which was raced by GT motorsport organization Cool Victory in Dubai in January, 2010.[26]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2013, February 19, 2014". 
  2. ^ a b c "Company history". maserati.com. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  3. ^ "Maserati: Luxury, sports and style cast in exclusive cars". maserati.us. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Maserati 5-year plan". fcagroup.com. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  5. ^ "Maserati ramping up production of Ghibli, Quattroporte - Autoblog". autoblog.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Maserati confirms Levante SUV for 2015, Alfieri for 2016 - Autoblog". autoblog.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  7. ^ "Maserati to cap output at 75,000 cars - Autoblog". autoblog.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  8. ^ "Maserati | 100 Years | History Timeline". Maserati100.com. Retrieved 2014-06-22. 
  9. ^ Near the town of Guidizzolo, a 4.2-litre Ferrari traveling at 250 km/h blew a tire and crashed into the roadside crowd, killing the driver, co-driver, and ten spectators, including five children. In response, Enzo Ferrari was charged with manslaughter in a lengthy criminal prosecution that was finally dismissed in 1961.
  10. ^ a b c "Fangio Remembered, 50 years after historic Nuerburgring victory". edition.cnn.com. 2007-08-28. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  11. ^ "Short Story of Maserati". Maserati Automobili Modena. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  12. ^ "Synthesis design - Maserati Barchetta". Synthesisdesign.it. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 
  13. ^ Eldridge, Earle (2004-03-30). "Maserati tries for comeback in USA". usatoday.com. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  14. ^ "WCF Test Drive: Maserati MC12R by Edo". worldcarfans.com. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  15. ^ "Ferrari/Maserati Split". carkeys.co.uk. 2005. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  16. ^ Shawn Maynard. "Fiat Divides Maserati from Ferrari to Bolster Alfa Romeo". automobile.com. Retrieved 2010-04-28. 
  17. ^ "News/24.07.2007 Maserati in the black for the first time under Fiat ownership". italiaspeed.com. Retrieved 2007-07-24. 
  18. ^ "Fiat will merge Alfa, Maserati and Abarth into single brand group". autonews.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  19. ^ "Maserati ramping up production of Ghibli, Quattroporte - Autoblog". autoblog.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  20. ^ "May 2014: May The Sales Be With You Edition - Autoblog - Autoblog". autoblog.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  21. ^ "August 2014: Up, Up and Away Edition - Autoblog". Autoblog. 9/3/2014. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  22. ^ "Ghibli, Quattroporte and GranTurismo to Receive 560HP V8". carbuzz.com. Retrieved 2014-07-21. 
  23. ^ "Maserati: Models: Quattroporte S Q4: Intro". maserati.us. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  24. ^ "Maserati: Models: Quattroporte GTS: Intro". maserati.us. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  25. ^ "2014 Maserati Quattroporte to get twin-turbo V6 - Autoblog". autoblog.com. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  26. ^ "Cool Victory acquires Maserati MC for 2010 Season". duemotori.com. Retrieved 2009-10-20. 

References[edit]

  • Maurizio Tabucchi (March 2003). Maserati: The Grand Prix: Sports and GT Cars Model by Model, 1926–2003. ISBN 88-7911-260-0.

External links[edit]