It might be surprising to some who aren’t paying attention, but for luxury manufacturers the action is clearly in the Chinese market. With the largest population in the world and an increasingly wealthy clientele, it makes for a powerful allure.
As a result, the Shanghai Motor Show has seen no shortage of luxury introductions, particularly long-wheel base models. At the high-end the Chinese market is very chaueffer-driven, unlike in the United States where we like to drive our own cars.
A new report out by Car & Driver Maserati is laying out a future strategy for success in the country that includes new models.says that a staggering 115,353 Audi A6L sedans were sold in the country last year. With that background, according to
Currently, the Maserati lineup includes the Gran Turismo convertible, coupe and the classic Quattroporte sedan. We know from Fiat Group’s 5-year business plan that a new model to slot in below the Quattroporte is in the works.
This model would be in the mid-size sedan class and positioned toward the higher-end of the segment, leaving room for the Quattroporte to move a bit upmarket. C&D says both cars are being designed in cooperation with Italian design house Pininfarina.
A new revelation in the report is that Maserati would use a variation of the Pentastar V-6 for its future models. It would be a turbocharged Multiair-equipped performance version making 400 horsepower.
Perhaps worst for purists is an SUV in the works. Despite showing off concepts like the Kubang as far back as 2003, Maserati never entered the segment.
An SUV holds allure in the Chinese market, as well in the U.S, where Maserati would like to make further inroads. The new Maserati SUV would be based on Jeep’s unibody Grand Cherokee. A Maserati SUV, based off a Jeep? It is sure to make purists howl.
Production would either take place at the Jefferson Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit, Michigan or an ex-Bertone factory in Italy near Turin. The Italian location certainly would help to maintain a bit of prestige for the SUV. The new Maserati lineup is set to take shape by 2014. As long as Ferrari remains untouched, we think we’ll be able to handle it.