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Maserati Ghibli hybrid to kick off electrified era

Italian manufacturer commits to hybrid and full-electric power; Ghibli hybrid will be followed by a new SUV and EV GranTurismo

By Sam Sheehan / Friday, February 14, 2020

Maserati has doubled down on its electrification plans by confirming that all new models from here on will feature either full or partial battery power. The Italian brand’s new chapter will kick-off this year with a hybrid Ghibli, which will precede the anticipated Alfieri hybrid before fully electric versions of the next-gen GranTurismo and GranCabrio land in 2021. For a brand most renowned for its characterful engines, the upcoming models represent a dramatic shift from tradition. But arguably it’s one necessary for long term survival, given that the present strategy has seen Maserati sales steadily decline.

Maserati has remained tight-lipped on technical specifics, but it’s possible that the hybrid Ghibli and production Alfieri – the innards of which were tested last year under the cut-and-shut body of an Alfa Romeo 4C – will share part, if not all, of their hybrid powerplants. If they do, it’s likely V6 hybrid or at the very least highly electrified four-cylinder solutions may be on the cards. Our dreams of an electrified V8 to keep the tone of high-revving Masers alive are sadly fading; it’s probably too far-fetched to assume such an option would duck under Euro6 regs.

Still, it’s unquestionably good news to hear that Maserati has committed €800 million to upgrading its Mirafiori plant for electric GranTurismo and GranCabrio production. And a further €800m has been allocated to prepare production lines in Cassino for a yet to be revealed new “utility vehicle”, which will come with “innovative technologies”, suggesting it could be highly or fully electric. The company said all of its cars will continue to be developed, designed and built in Italy, with Modena remaining at the heart of its technological research and development. It houses static and dynamic simulators, as well as user experience labs for customer feedback throughout development.

Far from being a brand tightening its purse after challenging times, then, Maserati is clearly attempting to capitalise on growing demand for electrified cars and the anticipated electric revolution that’ll hit some time this decade. As such, it doesn’t exactly appear to be taking massive gambles, as illustrated by the safety of kicking things off with a hybrid rather than a full EV. Even if the business changes do deliver much needed success, though, there’s no doubt this final confirmation that “the music is changing” for all new Maseratis will also give fans of its models as much reason to mourn as to celebrate.

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