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Maserati Ramps Up Its Electrification Plans, With One Big Caveat

The hot thing for automakers to do now is to hold an "EV Day" event to show off future electric plans, and despite being known for its ferocious internal combustion engines, even Maserati is no exception. And today during Maserati’s "Folgore Day" press conference in Italy, the automaker announced it was moving up the timeline on its all-electric future by two years, from 2030 to 2028.

Maserati’s lineup will include electric versions of all its vehicles by 2025, aiming to phase out its gas-powered cars before the end of 2028. (Folgore, which translates to lightning in Italian, is the brand’s nomenclature for its EV lineup.)

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Maserati goes electric

The Italian brand is most famous for putting Ferrari engines into luxurious SUVs and sedans. Transitioning to an electric era without such an obvious character may prove more difficult for Maserati than others.

However, that statement comes with a significantly sized asterisk. Maserati CEO Davide Grasso told reporters at the Folgore Day press conference that different markets are adapting to electrification at different rates. In other words, all systems are go for an all-EV lineup, but the words “customer choice” were uttered several times, implying that it’s poised to pivot depending on which way the market swings.

That's in keeping with recent moves seen from other automakers, including Mercedes-Benz and Ford, who have gotten somewhat skittish about the slowing rate of EV adoption despite the market being pushed heavily in that direction by emissions regulations. Still, in the meantime, the automaker is in the process of phasing out its trademark V8 along with the engine’s signature roar.

Maserati, like many luxury and supercar manufacturers, is dancing on a fine line.

The Folgore Future

Maserati launched its first all-electric vehicle, the 761-hp GranTurismo Folgore, in 2022. Following on its heels later today is the reveal of its droptop version, the GranCabrio Folgore, which Maserati calls the "first" luxury all-electric convertible on the market. That ignores the Tesla Roadster, but they must not count that as a luxury car.

The architecture it uses was designed to be modular so it can work for a gas-powered or electric motor with what Maserati calls “minimal adaptations.”  Employing three 300-kilowatt permanent magnet motors, the GranTurismo and GranCabrio include 800-volt technology for fast charging.

Like the newest Ram 1500 pickup truck in the Stellantis lineup, Maserati’s new EV is built with the Atlantis High electrical architecture, previously seen in the GranTurismo. Equipped with more advanced cyber-security and over-the-air update capabilities, the EV convertible also uses Maserati-designed software.

Will Maserati Fans Follow?

When it comes to the EV market, Maserati may not be the first brand that comes to mind.

What Maserati brings to the EV transition is couched in choice, which makes sense for this vintage Italian automaker. Known for putting Ferrari-sourced engines into four-door sedans, Maserati is a company known for what you hear behind the wheel. That may make it a tough sell for people who loved the idea of supercar-grade engines powering luxurious SUVs and family cars. 

But its CEO sees things differently. “Electrification is an incredible opportunity,” Grasso said today.

The company has put some time, energy, and cash into sound effects for its EVs to bridge the gap. Working closely with Sonus Faber (Italian companies stick together) to create a bespoke 3D sound system that can be heard inside and out, the GranTurismo and GranCabrio will imitate its gas-powered predecessors’ rumble. A similar system will be heard on Stellantis cousin Dodge's new electric Charger as well

South Florida is the seat of Maserati’s highest-earning dealerships, catering to a mostly-retired community with its luxury cars. It’s reasonable to believe that those buyers won’t make the jump to the Folgore lineup, but Grasso begs to differ.

“Modern luxury customers tend to be Alpha customers who move faster,” he said today, adding, “The roots of our brand builds our future.”

A New Attitude

While Head of design Klaus Busse says the Trident represents a “don’t mess with me” message, but it’s “not in your face.” That tracks, as Maserati gives off a vibe of elegance versus its wilder countrymate Lamborghini, which drives like a cheetah pulling on a leash.

However, a new commercial for the Trident stars Damiano David, the lead singer of Gen Z-loving rock band Måneskin. It's quite a choice for the brand. The musician is most definitely in your face, etched with tattoos that cover his body, including his hands—all of which are visible in the commercial. David dates (as of last celebrity sightings) American actress Dove Cameron and walks with a swagger only an Italian Alpha male can convincingly pull off. He dresses and undresses, titillating in a way that Maserati hasn’t in the past.

The new ad is a little shocking in its brazen audacity; it’s clear that South Florida isn’t the targeted demographic for the future. It’s a smart move, too, because the next generation will determine the direction of automotive propulsion, design, and functionality. By focusing on the craftsmanship and performance of the Maserati legacy, the brand can make the switch to EVs as planned.

Today, however, Maserati is living in sin with electrification but hasn’t put a ring on it. As quickly as the market is shifting, it’s keeping its options open.

Gallery: 2024 Maserati Folgore Day Event

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