Maserati has not done much to liven up its stable of luxury and sports cars as of late, despite its goal to sell 75,000 vehicles a year. That might change with the addition of the Levante this spring, but Maserati has more than just a new SUV in the works. According to Autocar, Maserati will introduce five plug-in hybrid vehicles to its lineup by 2020.
The first Maserati to get a hybrid system will be the Levante SUV in early 2018, which according to AUTOMOBILE European bureau chief Georg Kacher will also be offered as an all-electric model in China with the help of a local partner there. Following the Levante will be the Quattroporte, Ghibli, GranTurismo, and GranCabrio. No hybrid system will be available for the Alfieri sports coupe, which was initially planned for 2016 but has since been delayed to 2018. The roadster will follow in 2019.
More sales however, aren’t the main motivator for Maserati’s move toward electrification. The real impetus behind the decision to plug in has to do with federal average emissions targets.
“We have to do it–it’s that simple,” Maserati European general manager Giulio Pastore told Autocar. “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.”
Maserati chief Harald Wester thinks this EVs are “nonsense,” and has cited studies indicating that the C02 footprint to build, power, and discard electric cars is actually larger than compared to efficient combustion-engine alternatives.
Wester made clear to us when we spoke with him last year that he wants cars with soul. The question is whether Maserati can deliver its signature sound and emotionality with a battery on board. “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,” said Pastore.