Maserati says it will go hybrid because it has to, not by choice

Maserati MC Stradale
Maserati MC Stradale
In the world of sports cars, several automakers are embracing electrically-assisted powertrains, but there are still holdouts who prefer the performance and character of naturally-aspirated or forced induction motors.

Maserati is a member of the group of conservative brands that recognizes the potential performance gains of hybridized powertrains, but doesn’t want to give up those lovable V8’s (Aston Martin is another example of a brand that shuns the idea of electric assistance).

Unfortunately for the makers of soulful sounds, tightening fuel and emissions regulations are forcing the hands of executives and engineers.

Back in 2013, Maserati boss Harald Wester called electric vehicles “nonsense,” citing statistics that showed producing, powering, and disposing of electric cars resulted in more CO2 emissions than the most efficient combustion-engined cars. “If we want a realistic solution then the regulators need to be more honest in how they calculate emissions. Electric cars are not the answer,” he said.

Three years later and Wester’s tune has changed, but not because he’s had a change of heart. Maserati has stated that it plans to introduce plug-in hybrid versions of the Quattroporte, Gran Turismo, Gran Cabrio, Ghibli, and upcoming Levante Crossover by 2020 to meet average emissions targets. Only the range-topping Alfieri sports car will shirk the hybrid trend when it goes on sale in 2018.

“We have to do it — it’s that simple. In some countries where it is highly incentivized, they will be a success, in others maybe less so, but there is government and customer demand for such cars,” said Giulio Pastore, Maserati’s European general manager. “What I can say is that we will only electrify our cars if it can be done without sacrificing performance. If there’s a sacrifice, then we won’t do it.”

If Porsche can accomplish the mission of performance without sacrifice for its upcoming 911, then there’s a good chance Maserati can do the same. The exhaust music may change, but the rush of speed will only intensify.

Product Review

Inside Maserati's Levante SUV beats the heart of a Ferrari

Maserati’s luxury SUV gets a shot in the arm by way of Ferrari-derived V8 power, but is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the established players in the high performance sport-utility segment? Let’s find out.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Cars

Infiniti previews its leap into one of the hottest industry segments

Infiniti has released a teaser image to preview a concept it will unveil at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The yet-unnamed design study is an electric crossover shaped by Infiniti's newest design language.
Deals

Amazon is slashing its prices on an array of top blenders

Quality blenders from Vitamix to Ninja and more are on sale at Amazon — just in time to gift them for Christmas. They're great for preparing tasty treats, and as a kitchen staple, they make a great gift for the budding chef in your life.
Cars

LM Industries’ autonomous shuttles head to Phoenix, Sacramento campuses

LM Industries will deploy Olli low-speed autonomous shuttles at school campuses in Arizona and California as part of its ongoing "fleet challenge," which asks local groups to propose uses for autonomous vehicles.
Cars

Bosch’s CES-bound shuttle concept takes us on a trip to a not-too-distant future

Bosch envisions a future in which driverless shuttles occupy their own market segment. The German firm won't build the shuttles, but it wants to provide everything else, ranging from the drive system to the apps used to hail them.
Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Emerging Tech

A lidar-equipped truck knows exactly how much de-icer to apply on roads

Lidar is best known as the laser-based technology that helps self-driving cars sense their surroundings. But the city of Knoxville has another, more seasonal use for it: De-icing roads.
Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Biometric security technology that uses face, fingerprint, and voice recognition is gaining traction, with Hertz emerging as the latest company to incorporate it into its daily operations.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Cars

Aston Martin’s 1,000-hp Valkyrie will boast the Mona Lisa of the engine world

Aston Martin has released new details about its F1-inspired Valkyrie hypercar. Co-developed with Red Bull Racing, the Valkyrie will be one of the most aerodynamic production cars ever made.
Cars

The redesigned 2020 Passat shows Volkswagen still believes in sedans

The sedan segment in America is shrinking, but Volkswagen still believes in it. The German firm has released a teaser sketch to preview the redesigned 2020 Passat it will introduce during the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

What’s next for in-car entertainment? Audi believes it knows

Audi is bringing two technologies to CES 2019. The first turns a car -- a luxury sedan, in this case -- into a drive-in movie theater. The second is presented as a new entertainment format that turns the journey into the destination.