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Discussion Starter #1
I'm tired of hearing about the "Ferrari Connection" as a selling point or a morale booster.
Maserati is awesome in it's own right!
 

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Not really... You could argue that there's more Fiat/Ferrari DNA in these cars than Maserati and that there hasn't been a "real" Maserati built since the brothers sold their interest in OSCA in the 60s.

Maserati's really had a checkered past as a business entity. there's not reallly a continuous thread as there is with Ferrari or Alfa. The Maserati reputation really goes back to the late 40's early 50's race cars. and Sports cars like the A6G. Do you really want to point to the Chrysler TC by Maserati or the De Tomaso era cars as awesome examples? How about the Citroen SM?

After the problems with the BiTurbo cars, the brand was dead in the US and the Ferrari connection is what allowed Maserati to return to the North American market. Without the backing of Ferrari's reputation for performance and exclusivity it's doubtful the 4200 or QP would be available on the US market.

I think the modern "Maseratis" are great cars but think it has more to do with design by Pininfarina and Giugiaro and engineering by Ferrari than with their being built by "Maserati".

YMMV
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well...I'm not sure that is completely true. The engines aren't built by Ferrari technicians as Ferrari engines are (despite all the marketing hype), they may have had a separate construction line at Ferrari and built with different components, but now even less so with the separation from Ferrari. The modern Maserati cars werern't designed and built by Ferrari guys devoting Friday's to their little "Maserati side project." It is Maserati people designing, contracting, and building the coupe and spyder and certainly the QP (the MC12 much less so admitedly).
I think Maserati deserves some credit as a separate business enterprise that certainly should be thankful to Ferrari expertise, but that is waning. They are a fine outfit on their own right.
So many companies nowadays are intertwined, but they should still be recognised for their own defining character. Maserati is clearly a separate endeavor from Ferrari, and I for one am extremely thankful they make the cars that they do....and they don't need to hang their collective heads in servitude to any other entitiy in my opinion.
 

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Not really. I like the Ferrari connection. There's really no better "big brother" a car could have. I think the connection is a great from a business standpoint as well. Honestly if Ferrari hadn't been at least somewhat responsible for the car I don't know that I would have bought it--Ferrari's quality of late has been extremely good, whereas Maserati has always been somewhat checkered.
 

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The success of the modern Maserati models is due directly to the involvement of Ferrari and the percieved value of a bargain priced, classy, performance, luxury, 4 seater version of Ferrari which is built in Modena Italy.

Maserati is only now starting to truly rebuild it's brand and seperate from Ferrari to regain some of it's previous glory. I hope that good things are soon to come.

Many of us owners in this forum bought these cars because they really are a great bang for the buck in terms of owning an exotic. It just so happens that it's also a great daily driver and a very capable vehicle.

The solid initial depreciation of the GT/GS cars are proof that there is still doubt about the brand despite it's rich heritage and amazing quality.

With new models like the QP and 08 Coupe, I think that soon these vehicles will rebound a bit when Mercedes and BMW drivers realize what an exceptional car Maserati has produced. The everyday spender may decide that it's a real value over a 120K Mercedes and has the ability to let them stand out from the pack.
 

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Ferrari's quality of late has been extremely good, whereas Maserati has always been somewhat checkered.
Since you put "off late" in your sentence I cannot take issue with it, but in the 60s and 70s it was said that if Ferrari built their cars as well as Maserati they too would be going broke, and that if Maserati built their cars as flimsy (and as fast) as ferrari they too would be making a profit.....

I'm with maseratifan. The 4200 is a modern ghibli/indy clone. The QP traces itself back very nicely via the QPIII and the QPI.

The suave style, the poise and the understated panache is one completely of its own. Viva Maserati.
 

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i am not tired of hearing this, because it is very true and there is really nothing wrong with it. i believe a few engineers or test drivers at Maserati are ex-ferrari staff. sorry i dont remember where i saw it online or offline. many of the parts supplier are the same.

"It is Maserati people designing, contracting, and building the coupe and spyder and certainly the QP (the MC12 much less so admitedly)."

i don't know about this... ken okuyama of pininfarina designed the QP V, 612 Scaglietti, as well as the Enzo.

check out an 612 and then in a QP you will wonder if these girls are cousins.

in any case, i might be more upset if i have an aston martin and someone told me of the "Jaguar Connection".
 

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Not at all!!! I think there is a huge ferrari link especially with the QP that's why I think it this car is such an incredible value proposition. And the more I visit the dealer/service the more I notice this link. Ferrari coach builder handbuilds the body and Ferrari sprays it. The QP motor is the F430 block (slightly smaller displacement for commercial reasons) but indeed many of the moving elements are made less critical that's why it only revs to 7500 (1000 less than F430)....the Ferrari link is undeniable though. Look at the QP drivers mirror outside and an F430 one.....notice the little sensor at the bottom on both......The F1 is basically a Ferrari F360 F1 and the suspension is a family of the scaglietti's I believe. Maserati just assembles everything and stiches the leather to the dash......Big question is what will happen now that they got linked to Alfa???? But Ferrari is a small volume producer and having some things in comon with Maserati can be helpfull also for them (to keep costs under control to use the same providers: Brembo brakes, Magnetti Marelli gears, Delphi airco and suspension etc) as long as Maserti doesn't get too close to them eating away market for Ferrari.....The big question though: will we see so much Ferrari in the next Maserati or will it be more an Alfa. That will be crucial for the value of the new cars.....Looking out to see which motor they'll put in the new Coupe and if we'll see the same block later in the F480(?) again.....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's kind of what I mean and what worries me a little bit. The idea that when it is more linked to alfa will Maserati "suffer." It is as if Maserati is some beaten stepchild being handed around the "family" and wherever it lands will determine the quality and value of their cars. I think they are on more solid ground now with much of their own uniqueness, identitiy, strength, and hopefully in house expertise. I hope it will stand tall as a more recognized separate entity making cars (and sharing parts like the germans do), but be Maserati (the 4 brothers would be proud).
 

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I too am happy for the Ferrari link; I think the car is way overengineered for the price, and great value.

I love the Giugiaro styling too. That and the engine are the best attributes of the car.

I honestly can't see myself buying one of the newer 07/08 cars. For one thing they will be trying to lower their build costs.

Next on my list would maybe be a used 612.
 

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Dolle Dolf said:
I'm with maseratifan. The 4200 is a modern ghibli/indy clone. The QP traces itself back very nicely via the QPIII and the QPI.

The suave style, the poise and the understated panache is one completely of its own. Viva Maserati.
No question. I called it a Ghibli by mistake for a good month after I bought it.

But to be honest, I've always wanted a 456, but aside from being far too expensive, I thought it far too impractical for a daily driver. The 4200 is the same concept, really...

I thought the Ferrari / Maserati marriage was one of the most successful ones in motorcars, as far as design and marketing goes. I can't really grasp why they severed it.
 

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I do understand your point Maseratifan but don't forget Maserati was only just relaunched and the big jump only came after a tie-up with Ferrari. The press was not too impressed with the new coupees back then and only got excited once they spotted Ferrari's hand in it. So I agree but think it is far too early. Maserati has to survive 1st and for that they need to use their capacity to make 10.000 cars/year (think they are half now). I think they will need the Ferrai-link a while longer. How many would buy a 100k Maserati with an improved Alfa motor at the Alfa dealer even if its stunning? Look how much trouble Jaguar has as each car reminds of the Ford link....Aston is also Ford but nobody mentions that....So right now Maserati can become Fiat's Jaguar or Fiat's Aston.....They will have to be very carefull to keep in "Aston teritory" and the safest bet for now would be to keep a Ferrai link.....and I am not complaining about that! Would love a Ferrari but 200k+ is a hard nut. Moreover I need 4 seats and a real trunk.....
 

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maseratifan said:
I'm tired of hearing about the "Ferrari Connection" as a selling point or a morale booster
My feelings too. Here's a paragraph from The Maserati Club that describes our V8s as more Maserati than Ferrari:

Following were the early technical details from TMC correspondent and automotive engineer, Andrea Lazzaro:

"The new Maserati 90° V8 engine marks the beginning of a new era for Maserati. This highly advanced V8 has been designed making the best use of the sinergies deriving from the Ferrari-Maserati partnership, but without losing any of Maserati's unique identity and heritage. Despite rumours to the contrary, this new engine has NOTHING in common with the Ferrari 360's. In fact, the architecture of the two engines couldn't be more different: the only thing they have in common is the number of cylinders. Everything from the block upwards has been specifically designed for Maserati, making it a TOTALLY NEW Maserati engine, a 100% genuine Tridente product. So it's welcome back Maserati!
 

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CDF, this quote is true for the Ferrari 360. But not at all for the F430. The V8 in the Maserati Coupé was designed by Ferrari and was used as a basis for the new F430 with only light changes...
 

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The key to that Maserati Club quote (and BTW a hardly impartial source) is: "Everything from the block upwards has been specifically designed for Maserati".

The block is Ferrari. The Silica/Aluminum material was developed and engineered for their F1 cars. The parts "designed for Maserati" serve to reduce the HP and torque so as not to compete with Ferrari's cars.

Maserati's a manufacturer. They don't have a design studio. They rely on Pininfarina and Italdesign (Giugiaro). Admittedly that's not a shabby bunch to rely upon, but they're not Maserati people. They don't have engineering - they rely on Ferrari to engineer their engines and transmissions. Magneti Morelli does all the electronics. Brembo the brakes, and so on.

None of this detracts from quality, beauty, performance or competence of the cars.
 

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Swiss-Maserati said:
this quote is true for the Ferrari 360. But not at all for the F430. The V8 in the Maserati Coupé was designed by Ferrari and was used as a basis for the new F430...
Yes, that's an old quote that predates the F430 and seems shaky now in light of the Ferrari. Like you say, the F430 and Maserati share an engine base, and the 4.2L V8 is assembled by Ferrari.

Nevertheless, how does one know the 4.2L V8 is not an original Maserati design? A hardcore Maserati fan like myself might remember this old quote and wonder if Ferrari learned something from Maserati.
 

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Maybe somebody that has actually visited the factory can add some comments???? I only saw videos (30min each) of ferrari and maserati factories inside and the Maserati one looks very very different. They just assemble the parts they get from their providers (and Ferrari is a big one!!!). The only thing the Maserati video showed was the fitting of the leather on dash and door panels and assembling the cars......The Ferrari video was very different with redhot alluminium being caried around to make parts out of it, making of motors, testing motors etc.....The F430 (not F360) and Maserati V8 are cousins but Ferrari puts less "precise" (can't find a better word) moving parts in the Maserati one so that it can only rev to 7.500rpm safely. The Maserati one was also designed to be used more (daily driver). Does this make Maserati inferior?!? No, the opposite I would say.....they are (were?) linked to one of the best sport car engeneers in the world! And thanks to that they make exciting beautifull cars at half the cost of a Ferrari. And srry CDF but I don't believe Maserti could teach Ferrari a lot a few years ago......In the 50ies it was different...however it is fair to say that the F430 is the first Ferrari V8 (don't know about V12) that can be used moreoften and has cut down maintenance dramatically (belt changes etc) so maybe just maybe Maserati did have a small contribution.....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think my point was meant to be more philosophical in nature (perhaps more wishful too). I know Ferarri engineering and technical expertise is at the heart of Maserati's worldwide rebirth (for lack of a better term). But for ~5 years now Maserati has been building cars under their own day-to-day management, borrowing ongoing technical expertise from various suppliers, and I think it is time to start saying that Maserati is great because of the people who work there now. Every modern automotive company relies upon outside sources for various components. Saying a Maserati is designed by PininFarina is no more a slight against Maerati's in-house capabilities as saying the same thing about every Ferari designed by PininFarina. I am VERY thankful for the Ferrari connection, I don't think Maserati would be where it is today without it. But going forward, more and more, Maserati must be recognized as a technological/design/manufacturing tour-de-force in it's own right if it is to survive the couplign with Alfa.
(JGT your points are well taken.)
 

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A Brief History of Maserati

I have been loyal to Maserati since my early childhood. So when I found this article, I had to share it with the community.

A Brief History of Maserati

The name Maserati conjures different images to different people. If, say, you remember the first Mille Miglia or other races of the day you may remember Alfieri or Ernesto Maserati as builders and drivers of some of the best race cars of the era. For some who remember this era, it was the ever talented Nuvolari who was, the only person able to beat the all conquering Mercedes/Auto Unions, at the wheel of his Maserati. For some the name brings back images of the golden years of F1, the tipo 250f, and all of it's successes. Still for others it was the brilliant GT cars of the sixties and seventies. Exotic, but seemingly very practical when compared to their cross town rivals at the time (Ferrari).

The name Maserati, first and fore most belongs to the family, that produced the Maserati brothers. There were seven Maserati brothers (born to Rodolfo Maserati and Carolina Losi) Carlo b 1881; Bindo b 1883; Alfieri b 1885 (he died in infancy and his name was given to the next son) Alfieri b 1887; Mario b 1890; Ettore b 1894 and Ernesto b 1898 Each brother helped contribute in some way to the company that still bears their family name.

Carlo the eldest brother was the first to actually build a car. This single cylinder engine with the very simple chassis was the first ever Maserti. Carlo worked for Junior, and was the director. He built not only cars but was actually commissioned to build aircraft engines as well. While working for junior Carlo raced cars himself.

Carlo raced a Bianchi at the 1907 Coppa Florio, unfortunately he had to stop often to replace the low voltage ignition breaker arms. He still finished seventh. After that Carlo began replacing low voltage systems with high voltage ones, which alleviated these problems.

Carlo resigned from Junior, and he took over a plant formerly devoted to pharmaceuticals. There Carlo with Ettore converted many ignitions to the high voltage type for private customers. Carlo was working on a radial aircraft engine that he was commissioned to build during this time. Carlo fell ill and died at age 29, the radial engine was never finished.

The birth of Maserati the trademark as we know it happened on April 25, 1926, at the start of the Targa Florio. At that race Alfieri introduced and drove the first Maserati "production" car. This was the first car to bear the Maserati Trident. The symbol was taken from Giambologna's Neptune designed by his brother Mario, and was to become the signifying feature of future Maseratis. Alfieri drove a brillaint races, first in class, and ahead of many other larger displacement machines even though he had to stop once for a burst radiator hose!!

Alfieri had started Officine Alfieri Maserati in 1914, and this is where the brothers continued their car building and race efforts. The type 26 went on to win several races, and I will include a story about the type 26, for its place in Maserati history needs a chapter unto itself. Suffice it to say, Maserati was on the map, building cars for customers and winning races. Thus Maserati started building race cars. Currently only 4 automotive manufacturers exist that were founded on racing. These are Maserati, Ferrari, Lotus, and Mclaren, of these 4 Maserati is the oldest by far.

From 1932 till 1939, after Alfieri's death, Maserati cars were built and raced by Ernesto. Ernesto was also the soul engine designer after Alfieri's death. He drove the cars with some success and this lead to many of his sales his sales.

In 1938-1939 Maserati was absorbed into Orsi Group, this after winning the Indianapolis 500 twice, almost 3 times. The firm was then moved to Modena, where it is still based today. Shortly after WW II The remaining Maserati Brothers left the firm that bears their name and started OSCA.

A Special thanks to the following people :

Dr. Giorgio Grassi (National Council of Research - Italy)
Paola Maserati (Ernesto's daughter)

So there... Ferrari fans..... Maserati is the marque Enzo would loose to, when he was a driver.

Ciao..
 

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The real question is where does Maserati fit into Fiat's plans?

Fiat, Lancia, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo all scuttled away from the US market with their tails between their legs in the late 70s early 80s crippled by horrible build quality/reliability and inability to meet DOT/EPA regs and retain their price/performance points. By 1995, only Ferrari was able to survive and arguably the late 80's early 90's examples of the prancing horse are among the worst of the marque.

Fast forward to 2000. Maserati is has been aligned with Ferrari since 1997 and has reestabilished itself in Europe with the 3200. In 2002 they reenter the US market with the 4200 and later with the Quattroporte.

Meanwhile Fiat's auto division is in turmoil and needing to raise money. The most likely route is to take Ferrari public but that can't be done with Maserati dragging the bottom line down. Ferrari jettisons Maserati and Fiat combines Maserati and Alfa into the Polo Sportivo.

GM also finds itslef on hard times and needs to buy itself out of the option to acquire Fiat's auto assets which it does to the tune of $2 billion (yes that's with a B). Suddenly there's no need to market Ferrari.

Fiat makes citicars and soccer mom suburban sedans and minivans. Fiat is not in the US market and seems content not to be.

Alfa makes moderately priced sporty cars and sports sedans and is scheduled to return to the US market in 2007 sold through Ferrari/Maserati dealers. In true Italian fashion they're adding character to their model line by planning to produce the 8C in limited numbers at a price point of $125-$150 K.

Fiat doesn't seem to have a clear Idea what to do with Lancia. Models range from the Ypsilon citicar to the Thesis luxury sedan. They're not in the US and show no inclination to return. My bet is they go the route of Olds and Plymouth.

Maserati makes high end sports cars and sports coupe, a luxury sports sedan, and a supercar. They also have an agreement with Audi to use their AWD technology possibly in the QP or more likely the Kubang derived SUV. Maserati returned to the US market in 2002.

Ferrari makes exotic sports cars, luxury sports sedans and a supercar. Ferrari is in the US Market.

There's a LOT of overlap and inefficiency in the system.

There's little chance they're going to mess with Ferrari.

If they don't take Lancia out behind the barn and shoot it the only sensible thing is to make them the luxury car division, but where does that leave the QP?

Alfa inherits the moderately priced sports car/sports coupe/sports sedan niche.

Fiat retains the citicar/minivan/soccermom market.

So - what to do with Maserati?

The most sensible market is the $100-150 k Sports GT competing with AMG, Aston, Audi RS and BMW M division. Maybe they become an in house tuner ala AMG, M Sports.

If Luca di M is reading he can send the check to me in Los Altos :D
 
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