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    Maserati Gets Infected with the SUV Craze
    Maserati Gets Infected with the SUV Craze

    The line-up of the luxury Maserati vehicles will be added by a brand-new SUV, which means that the Porsche Cayenne will soon have a very strong rival. Production of the Italian-shaped crossover is planned to begin at the Jefferson North assembly plant early next year.

    The crossover is to be built on the Grand Cherokee platform. It is still unclear whether the Maserati will have the shorter wheelbase version of the platform or the longer version, which now underpins the Dodge Durango and is supposed to be used for the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The suspension will be a sophisticated independent system with the adaptive front and rear damping. The company's designers say that the Maserati SUV will not be that much off-road focused. The SUV will be designed with a 'patrician nose' and the 'wavy waistline,' in keeping with the Maserati’s recent designs. The interior will boast Italian luxury with leather-upholstered seats and wood accents.

    It was rumored earlier that the Maserati SUV would be powered by the Ferrari V8, but according to the latest data, it will get a Chrysler 465-hp HEMI 6.4-L V8. This is not surprising as HEMI gives more torque, which is better for the SUVs, and what is even more important, it already powers the Grand Cherokee SRT8. The Chrysler's engine will perfectly fit the Grand Cherokee-based crossover, and moreover, it'll help to keep the vehicle's cost down as Ferrari's engines are not that cheap.

    Maserati Plans to Add Smaller Sedan, SUV to Product Portfolio
    Maserati Plans to Add Smaller Sedan, SUV to Product Portfolio

    The next-generation Maserati Quattroporte, expected to bow later this year at the Frankfurt Auto Show, will be the first of three new models Maserati plans to add to its lineup. The Italian automaker is reportedly working on a smaller sedan and a luxury crossover, powered by a Ferrari engine.

    The successor to the Quattroporte exotic sedan, code-named M156, has been designed in-house and is inspired by the design language of the GranTurismo coupe and convertible. The power for the new QP will come from an improved version of the existing 4.7-liter V8. The vehicle will also increase in size and luxury in order to better compete with the likes of Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera.

    Maserati is also working on a mid-size luxury sedan with a code name M157, which is aimed to become a rival to the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class models. This new “entry-level” Maserati is expected to arrive closer to 2014 with a price tag around $75,000.

    In the next two years, the company plans to add a luxury crossover to its lineup. The new SUV is likely to share platform with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, although it will have more potent powerunits (at least of the engines will be shared with Ferrari), and an interior at the top of chic.

    With the redesigned Quattroporte and two new models, Maserati hopes to increase annual sales to around 20,000 units, which is quite an ambitious target taking to account that last year the company sold 5,675 units.