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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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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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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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