Welcome to what could potentially be one the most promising cars Maserati has made in a long time: the Maserati Alfieri. It originally started as a concept way back at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, and there is absolutely no denying that it is a gorgeous looking thing. While it was unveiled in 2014, Maserati at the time claimed they had plans for it to hit production in 2020 as the replacement for the current Gran Turismo. “Coupe” and “Maserati” are great kickstarters for emotion in the automotive world, but perhaps something even more evocative is the inspiration behind the car. First off, the name Alfieri comes from Alfieri Maserati, one of the original brothers who started the company. Additionally, the Alfieri concept took many design cues from the Maserati A6, the company’s first post-war car as well as the first true road car they ever built.
All of this may seem like irrelevant dribble, but to me it indicates that Maserati is returning to their true principles. In my admittedly conservative opinion, a Maserati vehicle is only meant to do one job: speed through the Italian countryside while looking and sounding wonderful. Driving a Maserati should be an emotional experience. For the longest time Maserati as a brand has evoked images of class, passion, and pedigree. It has always been a classic Italian brand. However, more recently (thanks to the corporate leadership of Fiat Chrysler I suspect) the company has lost a bit of that edge.
With the Alfieri, however, I anticipate some of that classic Maserati charm to make a resurgence. The Alfieri is actually part of a larger update to Maserati’s lineup in which new models such as the MC20 and the “baby” Levante (a new crossover) will be introduced. As I stated, the car is supposed to be the successor to the Gran Turismo, one of the few good cars in my opinion that Maserati has made over the last couple of years. This is slightly confusing, but while the Alfieri was originally expected to take the “Alfieri” name, at a later date Maserati decided to still put the Alfieri concept car into production but instead label it as a new generation of the Gran Turismo. So, maybe I shouldn’t have titled this article “Maserati Alfieri” but hopefully I can continue without creating too much confusion.
To speak more specifically about the Alfieri, there has been a certain level of ambiguity as to what details we have been provided with. COVID-19 has added yet more uncertainty to the timetable and specifications of the car, although I suspect uncertainty has become commonplace in the current environment we live in. Something we do know is how Maserati plans to power their new car, or at least some of the options they may provide (I’m afraid there is yet again more ambiguity and nuance to this). When the concept was introduced in 2014 the company announced that there would be a choice of three V6 engines, the highest power output option being 520 hp. For the first couple years of this generation’s timeline I can fully see Maserati going ahead and making use of these outlined engine choices. What the company has announced in more recent times, however, is that at some point in the car’s life span a plug-in hybrid and fully electric model will be available. Along with the new powertrain configurations, Maserati announced that they would be implementing torque vectoring in conjunction with a lightweight construction that would make the car only 175 kg heavier than its combustion-engine counterpart. Maserati also claims that the top of the range Alfieri will be able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in roughly two seconds and reach a top speed in excess of 186 mph. While I certainly understand the company’s motivations in introducing electric models, I was a little sad to hear that Maserati cars will eventually lose one of their trademark features: sound. It may seem a bit melodramatic, but it is that wonderful exhaust noise that has become a cornerstone upon which Maserati has built the image of classic Italian motoring. After stewing in this disappointment for a few minutes, I then promptly realized maybe I was being a bit pessimistic. I was looking at the glass half-empty when I should have been looking at it half-full.
I have held the belief for a while now that electric cars cannot be driver’s cars. Yes, they are quick off the line and have tremendous amounts of torque, but I never have seen an electric car that I can support as a gearhead. A perfect example of what I’m rambling on about is Tesla. I have personally test drove a Model 3 and I remain extremely impressed by it, but I can only appreciate the Model 3 as a machine. It might have a few cool gimmicks and features, but when it comes to the overall car, it is a purely utilitarian piece of technology. Make no mistake, it works extremely well as a piece of technology, but when I review cars I want to see a true character and personality- not just a machine. Maserati cars of the past have shown flashes of that character and personality, and if they are able to recapture this then maybe they can create something special with the Alfieri. I realize that a lot of this is based on conjecture and blunt optimism, but all the ingredients are there for Maserati to succeed. In the best of worlds, they end up creating a fabulous looking and dynamic car that you drive with a smile on your face. It wouldn’t be a car you drive from Point A to Point B, but a car that you enjoy and one that evokes emotion. I suppose only time will tell if my deluded Maserati fantasy becomes a reality, but if you are like me and care more about a car’s personality more than its trunk space, keep a tab on the Maserati Alfieri.
“Maserati Alfieri Production To Start In First Half Of 2020”. Motor1.Com, 2019, https://www.motor1.com/news/304972/maserati-alfieri-production-2020-confirmed/. Accessed 4 July 2020.
“Maserati Alfieri”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maserati_Alfieri#:~:text=The%20Maserati%20Alfieri%20is%20a,due%20to%20start%20in%202020. Accessed 4 July 2020.
“Maserati Granturismo”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maserati_GranTurismo. Accessed 4 July 2020.
“Maserati Alfieri Rendered With Concept Cues Ahead Of 2020 Launch”. Motor1.Com, 2019, https://www.motor1.com/news/378535/maserati-alfieri-supercar-rendering/. Accessed 4 July 2020.
“History Timeline – Excellence Since 1914 | Maserati”. Maserati.Com, 2020, https://www.maserati.com/international/en/brand/our-story/history-timeline. Accessed 4 July 2020.