With Bentley poised to unveil an SUV model, Maserati has become the latest luxury manufacturer to join the off-road market with its Kubang sport luxury SUV.
Although based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Italian carmaker has gone to great lengths to hide its humble origins, lavishing the exterior with Maserati design cues that should make it instantly recognizable to fans of the brand.
The most obvious differences to the Jeep include the distinctive front grille, sculpted flanks and curved roofline that suggest Maserati has cut few corners in its construction.
The idea of a Maserati SUV was first seen at the Detroit Auto Show in 2003 and this new direction will enlarge Maserati’s product range, strengthening its presence in the luxury market by opening the brand to a wider range of customers.
New-generation high-tech Maserati engines will be designed in Modena by Paolo Martinelli and built by Ferrari. Martinelli is Head of the Maserati Powertrain Department but spent almost 30 years at Ferrari, where he also served as engine chief of the F1 racing team.
An AT 8-speed automatic transmission and specific equipment such as suspension, brakes and steering will also be exclusively developed in Modena for the Maserati.