Maserati has repeatedly delayed production of its amazing Alfieri but now new reports indicate that the Italian manufacturer is planning an electric version of the supercar that will challenge Tesla. Maserati’s parent company, Fiat Chrysler, is just the next in a long line of companies who are trying to keep pace with Tesla.
FCA’s Sergio Marchionne says sleek new Maserati Alfieri 2+2 concept might just become a reality with a powerful electric engine. Marchionne’s comments came in an interview with Bloomberg news service, where he stated that the car could be in the works after 2019. Reports from elsewhere stated that the gasoline-powered version of the Alfieri has been delayed again and probably will not hit show floors before 2018.
The original Alfieri concept originally launched with great fanfare at the Geneva Motor Show in 2014. Maserati has positioned the car as a rival to Jaguar F-Type and the Porsche 911. However, it’s original plans to launch by 2016 have been scaled back. Although FCA has not commented on the reason for the delay, sources say that Maserati’s Ghibli sales have been disappointing, so the company had to shift more resources toward the Levante.
The Levante and Alfieri concepts are of great importance to FCA, since the company has set an aggressive goal of 75,000 sales by 2018. That’s a far cry from its current 40,000 annual sales. Maserati is counting on the Levante to be a big hit, but it also will devote substantial resources to a new version of the GranTurismo, which will most likely go to production before the Alfieri.
Alfieri is named for one of the founders of Maserati and anticipation was high that it could be “the future of Maserati.” CEO Harald Wester said the Alfieri was not intended to replace the GranTurismo. Rather, the car was considered a new model in the overall lineup. “It’s a completely different proposition – the Alfieri is not a GT, it’s the perfect size 2+2 sports car that could complete the Maserati range.”
The Alfieri begins with the MC Stradale platform, which comes from the GranTurismo, but was modified to be 24cm shorter. It also has the 4.7-liter naturally aspirated V8 found in the GranTurismo. The engine kicks out almost 460bhp and features to a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Sources now say the actual production model for the Alfieri may not use the MC Stradale platform at all, and may arrive with a next generation platform that is tied more closely with the brand new GranTurismo, which Maserati hopes to debut in 2017.
Although Tesla has yet to make a profit, the buzz generated by its electric cars has turned heads elsewhere in the auto industry. Since emissions standards continue to tighten, the race is on to develop green energy-powered cars. The electric car market is potentially enormous, according to a new report by Allied Market Research, which predicts the world market for an electric vehicle will generate revenue of $8.02 billion by 2022. With that kind of market, the automakers feel they have substantial room to grow their businesses. An electric Alfieri will certainly not be a value buy, but Tesla has already demonstrated that customers in the top of the market are also considering eco-friendly rides.