Alfieri concepts debut was at 2014 Geneva show

Alfieri concept's debut was at 2014 Geneva show

An EV rival for the next Porsche 911 and Jaguar F-TYPE will be released in 2020, a Maserati executive has told

Speaking on the sidelines of the UK launch of the Levante SUV, Peter Denton, who is Region Manager for North Europe, said an electric version of the  Alfieri sports car is planned.

When pressed for a release date, Denton said the variants with combustion engines would come first, followed by the BEV. This would be in "2019/2020, with the full electric in 2020" he believes.

Asked why a battery electric vehicle and not a PHEV, Maserati's man maintained that by the early part of the next decade, the taxation advantages for plug-in hybrids will most likely have been removed in many countries.

Of the Alfieri itself, Denton was keen to correct erroneous reports which have claimed that the car will be aimed at the successors to the Porsche 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster. 

"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".

As for pricing, the Alfieri, which should be available as both a hatchback and convertible, would be priced "in that [F-TYPE] segment".

GranTurismo replacement comes first

With the launch of the Levante SUV, Maserati is adding a new model to a range which in the UK will eventually stretch from the price points in today's terms of between GBP50,000 and GBP150,000 (US$61,899-185,708 and EUR58,266-174,799). In other words, below Ferrari and above Alfa Romeo.

The next sports cars for the brand have now been confirmed to as the follow-ups for the GranTurismo and GranCabrio. Production of the current models ended earlier in November but the replacements are "two years away," Denton replied when asked. The next models will be lighter and more compact too.

Maserati remains on track to achieve its long-stated goal of delivering 75,000 vehicles a year by 2018. Peter Denton, who heads up the UK, Irish, Dutch and Scandinavian markets, says the brand "should edge towards 50,000 in 2016". 

Towards 75,000 cars a year. And beyond?

Denton further notes that even with the end of GT and GC production at its Modena factory, Maserati has capacity of 49,000 vehicles a year at Grugliasco (Ghibli, Quattroporte) and "about the same" at FCA's Mirafiori plant where there is a separate line for the Levante: Mirafiori is where the Fiat Punto and Alfa Mito are made. There is thus already an opportunity to exceed the 2018 target if the new SUV turns out to be more popular than Maserati hopes it will be.

As with so many FCA models, the Levante's development program took some years longer than originally planned, as the vehicle changed platforms. Originally it was to be based on the Jeep Cherokee and have a Ferrari V8 but instead, it uses the same architecture as the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans. Maserati has been lucky too, as production of its big SUV is now ramping up just as sales of the Porsche Cayenne are falling steeply due to that model's age.

The Range Rover Sport, another named competitor which, like the Cayenne is both the same size yet pricier than the Levante, is now overdue for a mid-cycle styling and infotainment system refresh. Maserati therefore looks set to have a potentially very strong first full year of sales in 2017. The top two countries for the Levante are expected to be the US and China, with the UK number three.