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Stunning new Maserati concept. Image by Newspress.

Stunning new Maserati concept
Maserati Alfieri celebrates 100 years and previews next generation of Italian sports cars.
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News homepage -> Maserati news

What's the news?

This beautiful creation is the Maserati Alfieri, a concept car launched on the premium Italian firm's stand at Geneva. It's a 2+2 named after possibly the most famous of the Maserati brothers who started the company 100 years ago in Bologna, and it's said to showcase future Maserati design. However, there are also enough hints from Maserati spokespeople to suggest that this could be a preview of a completely new model that would sit underneath the GranTurismo in the company's growing line-up. We certainly hope it does see the light of day...

Exterior

The Alfieri was styled in Turin and takes the glorious A6 GCS-53 of 1954 as its inspiration. A little historical footnote: the A6 GCS was the last Maserati styled by Pininfarina, prior to its return to the Trident fold with the Quattoporte and GranTurismo of the 2000s.

So the Alfieri has a huge bonnet, tiny cabin and truncated rear, which makes it breathtakingly good-looking. The designers didn't quite manage to incorporate the inverted A-pillars of the A6 GCS, but a clever optical effect has been added to try and replicate the look - the dramatic line that runs up the bonnet to the top of the doors makes the windscreen appear bigger than it is. There's enough of the current cars' DNA on show in the Alfieri, most notably around the concave front grille and in the wings.

There are LED lights at the front and three-dimensional clusters at the rear, plus we've also got twin pipes at the back with racing-style air ducts underneath. While the show car is finished in a grey colour called Steel Flair, there are flashes of Maserati Blue everywhere (perhaps 'Blue Steel' would have been more appropriate...) - most notably in Alfieri's signature, which is in the rear numberplate recess, covering the brake callipers and also on the decorative spokes of the 20-inch front, 21-inch rear forged aluminium wheels that are bespoke to the concept.

Finally, there's a smattering of the requisite carbon fibre in the front lip spoiler and the rear diffuser.

Interior

'Minimalist' would be the word here. It's a 2+2 cabin, which confirms that it is smaller than the GranTurismo (which can seat four adults at a push), and the whole dashboard is built around a central TFT screen, which displays all the relevant on-board info in a suitably dramatic fashion. The floor is also finished in a material that imitates oxidised steel, which was used in many racing cars in the 1950s.

There's a contrasting Luna white and Basalt blue colour scheme everywhere, with aniline leather swathing the seats, dashboard and centre console. Copper is used as a highlight material. As well as splashings of hand-finished aluminium, there's the classic Maserati oval clock in the middle to ensure you know what you're sitting in.

Mechanicals

The Alfieri uses a GranTurismo MC Stradale chassis with a 240mm shorter wheelbase at 2,700mm all in. It measures 4,590mm long, 1,930mm wide and just 1,280mm high. Mechanically, it features the transaxle platform of the GranTurismo, which means a front-mounted 4.7-litre V8 engine making 466hp at 7,000rpm and 520Nm at 4,750rpm.

The exhaust is bespoke to the car and gives the Maranello-derived unit incredible vocals, so we're told. There's a robotised manual six-speed transmission (known as MC Shift) at the back featuring a limited slip differential, with a rigid torque tube underneath the car connecting engine to gearbox. This layout promises optimum weight distribution, if anything leaning to a rear bias. Stopping power is provided by the MC Stradale's carbon ceramic brakes gripped by Brembo callipers.

Anything else?

Maserati has spent considerable time and effort recently trying to turn itself from a niche alternative to a mainstream, premium contender. It certainly looks to be working, as the company claims global sales in 2013 were up 150 per cent on 2012 figures - at 15,400 units compared to 6,200 the year before. This has been driven by adding new products, like the smaller Ghibli saloon beneath the Quattroporte.

So there's plenty of scope for more models from Maserati in the months ahead. It has already confirmed that an SUV is on the way, but what's to say the firm isn't planning to put the Alfieri into production alongside the bigger GranTurismo? Over to Lorenzo Ramaciotti, the leader of the Alfieri project centred at Maserati Centro Stile in Turin:

"The Alfieri is a transition point between 100 glorious years of history and the future that is opening up before us. I can't honestly say that we'll see this car in production in the next two years, but I'm certain we'll see something very similar."

Fingers crossed, everyone...



Matt Robinson - 12 Mar 2014


2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.

2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.2014 Maserati Alfieri concept. Image by Newspress.








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