Maserati is going electric, but it doesn't want a piece of Tesla's market share

2014 Maserati Alfieri concept
Maserati confirmed it’s moving forward with the development of a new sports car inspired by the head-turning Alfieri concept. The model will launch with a powerful gasoline engine between the fenders, but it will become the Fiat-owned company’s first battery-electric model shortly after its introduction.

The Alfieri — a name that might not be retained for production — will be offered both as a coupe and as a convertible. Earlier rumors claimed it would take on the Porsche 718 Boxster/Cayman and Renault’s born-again Alpine sports car, but one of the company’s top executives recently told British website Just-Auto that it’s shaping up to be a considerably bigger model.

“Alfieri will be bigger than Boxster and Cayman. It is being designed as a competitor to the 911 but it will be a larger car. More the size of a Jaguar F-Type,” explained Peter Denton, the manager of Maserati’s northern European division.

The generous dimensions will presumably allow engineers to give the Alfieri a large battery pack. The added mass could be offset by using lightweight materials such as carbon fiber, which sister company Alfa Romeo already dabbles in. At any rate, it’s evident that Maserati is intent on blazing its own path toward electrification instead of simply following Tesla.

With the new Levante SUV headed to showrooms, Maserati is shifting its focus to developing a replacement for the GranTurismo/GranCabrio twins. Production of both models ended a few weeks ago but it sounds like the new cars are still in the embryonic stage of development; Denton hinted they won’t be ready for another two years. Insiders suggest the second-generation models will be smaller, lighter, and much more driver-focused.

Maserati is expected to introduce the V8-powered version of the Alfieri in 2019, about a year after the new GranTurismo/GranCabrio, and the electric model will appear in 2020 at the earliest. The gasoline-burning model will cost about the same as the F-Type, which carries a base price of $61,400. Executives are confident the onslaught of new models will help the brand achieve its ambitious goal of selling 75,000 cars annually by the year 2018.

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