Drive Type: auto
Trim: MONZA SPYDER,
Goldsboro, North Carolina, United States
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.
This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend, folks, and you know what that means: racing. There was the Monaco Grand Prix for Formula One fans, and back Stateside there was the Indianapolis 500. You might expect to see a name like Maserati pop up at the former more than the latter, but that wasn't always the case.
These days its all about Dallara chassis powered by Chevy or Honda, but over the course of a century there have been plenty of foreign automakers that have won the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. McLaren won it twice in the 1970s, Mercedes and Peugoet won during the race's pre-WWI infancy, and in between them Boyle Racing won it two years in a row with a Maserati chassis and engine.
The car was the Maserati 8CTF "Boyle Special," and its first win came 75 years ago. So to mark the occasion (as well as Maserati's 100th anniversary), the car was brought back to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a revival lap. Unfortunately Wilbur Shaw, who won the Indy 500 three times (twice in the Maserati) and went on to be president of the speedway, died in a plane crash the day before his 52nd birthday in 1954. So in his place fellow three-time winner Johnny Rutherford took the wheel of the 8CTF in front of the gathered crowds.
Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe took the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte on a spin along snowy mountain roads to test it for a specific brief: as a limousine for the chauffeured class. It's sporting credentials are impressive: Twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8, 532 horsepower, 475 pound-feet of torque in casual circumstances that rises to 532 lb-ft in overboost, a 0-to-60 mile-per-hour sprint of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph.
However, citing Maserati's desire to not just increase its sales to 50,000-per-annum by 2015, but to sell many more of its cars in China, Sutcliffe wanted to find out if the livery side of the Quattroporte could match its sport sedan side. So after taking the pilot's seat and trying out the sport settings, Sutcliffe hops in back to test out the CEO's seat.
Then he compares the Quattroporte against the long-wheelbase Jaguar XJ with its supercharged V8, a sedan that's 15,000 pounds less expensive than the Maserati. It doesn't take long for him to find that one of them is a clear winner when it comes to transporting VIPs. To find out which one, enjoy the video below.