Like it or not, a Maserati SUV is coming, and it will be based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The current Grand Cherokee is a far different animal than it was in the past; it is more refined thanks to a unibody platform. It also has shown the capability for significant performance upgrades with the SRT-8.
While that basis might make purists choke, it is part of Fiat’s plan to significantly expand Maserati’s lineup and global presence. That means taking sales from around 5,000 a year globally to 50,000 units. That plan includes the SUV, as well as a mid-size sedan slotting below the Quattroporte to compete with cars like the BMW M5. It marks a shift in focus downmarket for Maserati, which historically was more at the exotic level.
Maserati is scheduled to show a concept version of its SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Prior to this unveiling, a new image has appeared in Automotive News Frankfurt Motor Show catalogue. Is is the real thing? Some are saying it is a photoshop, others that it is indeed the actual vehicle coming to Frankfurt. Usually Automotive News is a reputable source, but they didn’t say anything about whether it was an artists rendering or a leaked image of the actual product.
We say it’s computer generated image. It doesn’t appear to be based off the Grand Cherokee’s platform. In addition to thinking its a fake, we’re sure hoping it’s one as well. The Maserati SUV has the potential to be a good seller, given the success of other models like Porsche’s Cayenne. Looking like that though? Not so much. The design of this SUV throws out any semblance of attractiveness. Yikes. Hopefully Maserati’s designers have better sense than that. There is only one way to find out though and that is to wait until next week.