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We may be just as (if not more) used to the idea of Maserati making four-door passenger cars as we are of Porsche or Aston Martin doing the same, but the Trident marque is no less routed in producing sports cars than its German and British rivals. The trouble is that, now seven years on the market, the GranTurismo is Maserati's only two-door model, and it's growing a little long in the tooth to serve as the brand's halo car. Especially when it starts looking back at its history on the occasion of its 100th anniversary. So to mark the milestone, and reconnect with its more sporting past, Maserati has rolled in to Geneva with the concept car you see here.
It's called the Alfieri, and we've been anticipating its unveiling since (if not long before) rumors surfaced last week of its impending arrival, followed by confirmation from the manufacturer and the leaked images we brought you mere hours ago. But now it's been unveiled in the metal.
The Alfieri's wheelbase is 9.5 shorter than the GranTurismo, but packs the same 4.7-liter naturally-aspirated V8.
Maserati has been teasing its crossover project since 2011, which is when it first showed off the Kubang concept (pictured above). Still, the production version, rumored to be called the Levante, remains a complete mystery. The CUV was first rumored to borrow the platform from the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but new rumors indicate that the Italian, luxury crossover might actually take the underpinnings from the Quattroporte and Ghibli.
In a brief interview, Maserati CEO Harald Wester told CNN Money that the Levante wouldn't use Jeep's platform. Motor Trend spoke with an unnamed Maserati engineer who confirmed the rumor. Officially, the company says that no decision has been made.
We can add this to another long list of rumors about the Italian CUV. It was originally supposed to be built at Chrysler's Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit. Then, plans were changed to build it in Italy.
We're not expecting to see a production version of the coming mid-engined Maserati coupe, expected to be named GranSport, for another few years; however, we might see it in concept form in just a few weeks at the Paris Motor Show. Australian site Car Advice got hold of an e-mail Maserati sent to friends of the Trident, and the first of the six cars mentioned is a "world premiere of a car that opens up new frontiers in terms of exclusiveness, performance and style."
Car Advice says it has been told that this will be a concept form of the GranSport, the GranTurismo replacement set to take on the Porsche 911 with ample use of carbon fiber and a 1,200-kilogram (2,600-pound) curb weight or thereabouts. The GranTurismo's 4.7-liter V8 hasn't been ruled out of the engine bay yet according to reports, but rumors persist that it will use the Ferrari-sourced twin-turbo V6 with 442 horsepower running power to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and have a 0-60 time of something like four seconds.
We can't see the full content of the e-mail, but among the other five cars that have been announced for the stand are the GranTurismo Sport and GranTurismo MC Stradale. With the 2014 Quattroporte not appearing until the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, the Kubang concept said to be retired before the debut of the production version at the 2014 Detroit show and the Levante still just a wee mule, guesses for the three remaining three would be variations on current models. Not that there's anything wrong with that when it's Maserati we're talking about...