Drive Type: auto
Trim: MONZA SPYDER,
Goldsboro, North Carolina, United States
When Chrysler was developing the current Jeep Cherokee, matte black, lifted Alfa Romeo Giuliettas weren't an unusual site around the company's Auburn Hills, MI headquarters. That's because the Jeep rides on a modified version of the Alfa's platform.
Judging by these images, Maserati is following a similar path for the upcoming Levante. The presence of the modified and lifted Ghibli basically confirms that the company will look in-house for the new CUV's platform rather than outsource it to Jeep (otherwise, we'd be seeing modified Grand Cherokees running about).
The mule's Ghibli body has been fitted with a number of tweaks. Most notable are the higher roof and stretched wheel arches, which we're guessing are an attempt at increasing the sedan's center of gravity and width, respectively, in a bid to match the eventual production model.
You know what no one has ever said? The Maserati Quattroporte needs more Italian style. Just the same, Maserati has teamed up with Ermenegildo Zegna to give the QP just that.
Revealed here at the Frankfurt Motor Show is the (deep breath now) Maserati Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition Concept. And by "concept", Maserati means it intends to put it into production, likely with very few tweaks over what you see here.
So what do you see here? A QP in a business suit, to sum it up. It's got a beautifully deep bronze paintjob and an interior with the finest wool textile and soft leather upholstery. The lustrous paint repeats on the wheel spokes, and of course some discreet Zegna badges inside and out. The fashion house also worked up some special fitted luggage, as you can see from our gallery of high-resolution photos from the show floor, along with the stock shots, a video and a press release below.
With the new Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans out on the market, and the new Levante crossover and Alfieri coupe on their way, Maserati is making serious headway towards revitalizing its lineup. Now all it needs in order to reach its ambitious sales targets is to expand the network of dealers where they're to be sold. And according to Maserati chief Harald Wester in speaking to Automotive News at the Paris Motor Show, that's exactly what it has in store.
At the end of last year, Maserati had 79 dealerships across the United States. It has already boosted that number to 100 so far this year, but before 2014 is over, it plans to open another 20 to bring the total up to (carry the two, divide by the square-root of Pi)... 120 showrooms.
Globally speaking, Maserati reportedly closed 2012 with around 220-230 dealers around the world, and currently has about 355, but aims to close 2015 with a worldwide network of 450 dealers, representing a doubling of its network in two years' time. Having more than a quarter of those in the US alone is testament to how seriously Maserati takes the American market.