Why the Alfieri’s Delay Could be a Good Thing for Maserati
CEO Harald Wester announced in 2014 that the Alfieri coupe would make its debut in 2016, with a roadster following close behind. Now, the vehicle is going to be delayed until at least 2018, which is a rather lengthy and significant delay.
This isn’t necessarily bad news for the brand, as the company can now focus on other vehicles that will soon be headed to Maserati dealerships…
If you fell in love with photos from the vehicle’s debut at the Geneva Show, there’s no reason to worry. Georg Kacher of AutoMobileMag.com notes that the engineers will refer to that design “wherever possible,” noting that the car would include rear-wheel-drive and a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine (capable of producing anywhere from 410 to 520 horsepower).
When the concept car was shown as part of the automaker’s 100th anniversary, enthusiasts immediately fell in love with the “exotic” throwback design. As Eric Weiner of AutoMobileMag.com explains, the vehicle drew plenty of inspiration from previous Maseratis, like the 1954 Maserati A6 GCS-53 (the Alfieri borrowed the “extended bonnet; long, sculpted shoulders flowing back from the front wheel arches; and low, slung-back cabin”).
Of course, the interior also includes a variety of technological features, although Weiner does describe the cabin as “refreshingly minimalist.” The center-mounted touchscreen is the highlight up front, but consumers will also appreciate the “faux-historical materials such as copper-colored trim and oxidized-steel floor finish.”
In regards to performance, it was expected that the Alfieri would be able to hold its own against the GranTurismo (it was described as a “sportier alternative” to the vehicle). However, as Weiner points out, the two vehicles share many of the same features (as in regards to the Alfieri concept). They’re both built on the chassis of the GranTurismo MC Stradale, and they both include the 454-horsepower, 4.7-liter V8 engine.
Delaying the anticipated Alfieri coupe isn’t as much about the car as it is about the company. As Bogdan Zoltan of CarScoops.com explains, Maserati’s already had to stop production on the recently-released Ghibli as they look to fill the “market demand,” and even then, sales haven’t necessarily been as good as anticipated. Furthermore, the company has already committed plenty of resources to producing their upcoming vehicle, the Levante. The SUV will hit dealers in March, and the brand is hoping it separates itself from more rugged SUV brands like Jeep and Alfa.
There are some vicarious effects of the Alfieri being delayed, as it’s expected that the GranTurismo and GranCabrio are expected to stick around for a while longer. While it sounded like the pair of vehicles were headed towards their demise, Kacher believes they could actually be sticking around until late 2019 or even early 2020.
It’s continued to been the company’s plan to top 50,000 units sold by 2015. Considering the sales of the Ghibli, that may be tough for the brand to accomplish this year. However, the number is certainly obtainable in the near future, and if Maserati focuses on perfecting both the Ghibli and Levante, they’ll eventually be able to take minor risks and produce vehicles like the Alfieri.