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Discussion Starter #1
This article is of high interest to everyone here. It is an interview with new Maserati boss Karl-Heinz Kalbfell, as well as a drive in the Maserati Birdcage 75th, with the boss behind the wheel.

This article details Maserati's current status, as well as the future of Maserati.

- Mark

I *highly* reccomend buying this magazine, and reading the whole article for yourselves, but here are a few tasty tidbits in the meantime:

Karl-Heinz Kalbfell ..."Glance down the list of cars he's had a hand in developing and you'll find just about every 'M' car that BMW has launched since 1988 (it was Kalbfell's decision to move 'M' from a fringe activity to mainstream production), the McLaren F1 (he it was who made sure the F1 was powered by a BMW engine), BMW's Le Mans-winning car from 1999, the new Mini, which he insisted BMW kept when they pulled the plug on Rover, the BMW-engined Morgan Aero Eight (he admires Charles Morgan's independence as well as owning a Morgan plus 8 himself) and, most recently, the Rolls-Royce Phantom."

"I see the Quattroporte becoming the cornerstone of the Maserati brand in the near term, as I feel we have barely touched the potential sales this car can offer us."

"Ferrari was a very expensive partner to have. It's a unique company and is very successful in what it does but it was wrong to try to develop future Maseratis with Ferrari. Ferrari sales are at an optimum level but we wanted to expand Maserati sales so there was a mismatch there too. Also, Maserati customers use their cars in a completely different way to Ferrari customers, with much higher daily mileage, so it makes more sense to combine the development of future Maseratis with Alfa, rather than Ferrari, as they both need similar sorts of endurance testing. There are so many areas that can be jointly developed without affecting the DNA of Maserati - electronics, brake systems, control systems - where huge savings can be made. I also believe there is a place for a Maserati at a lower price-point than the current Coupe, and combining with Alfa will enable us to do this."

"We will continue to use the v8 engine built by Ferrari in the top Maseratis but you will see other engines coming forward in the future."

"The replacement Coupe was stopped just before I joined the company, basically it had too much Ferrari componentry to make it profitable, so it was right to halt development when they did. But there will be new Maserati models within the next two years, as well as some updates on current models."
 

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Any news on the new spyder, was it also stopped or is it still on? I'm getting tired of waiting, the new Aston Martin Vantage is looking more and more appealing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
According to his comments in the article, I wouldn't expect a replacement coupe or spyder for two years. I think we will see variations on the current models until then.

I have not heard either way for sure though, so I can't be more specific than that.
 

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the new Aston Martin Vantage is looking more and more appealing
AM v8 looks very appealing great looking car...but after all it is a ford. Look at Mercedes and Chrysler. I would still get it though :lol: [/quote]
 

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haha said:
the new Aston Martin Vantage is looking more and more appealing
AM v8 looks very appealing great looking car...but after all it is a ford. Look at Mercedes and Chrysler. I would still get it though :lol:
[/quote]

i honestly would not dismiss an am v8. if the chassis and DNA is as good as the DB9 sibling, i don't care about who the parent is.

similarly, if the new spyder/coupe has DNA of the QP or GS, i don't care if the parent is Fiat or it's married to Alfa. however, it sounds like it will be a half brother to alfa's... (and EVERYONE would much rather their Maserati is closer to a Ferrari than an Alfa Romeo)... so we will have to wait and see what they ended up with.

I can imagine if Maserati move downmarket, most of the current Coupe / Spyder / GS owners will end up with the 'defunt' coupe/spyder, or namely the Ferrari 'Dino'.

and in the mean time, if you find the current maserati's are aging, and you dont like porsches or bmws or mbs, the Aston Martin is fresh and nice. As well, it has similar uniqueness as Maserati's.
 

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Is there actually going to be a 2006 Coupe and Spyder or are those two models beging "discontinued" until the new Alfa platform is developed?
 

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BrianS said:
Is there actually going to be a 2006 Coupe and Spyder or are those two models beging "discontinued" until the new Alfa platform is developed?
i m sure the GS will be carried over. there is a GS Spyder that has just been announced. Not sure if the normal Coupe and Spyder are carried over. Can the dealer member fill us in?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey; I just recieved a copy of the changes for 2006 cars.

The 2006 cars went into production in July. All cars, except the 90th anniv car will carry over.

Changes for 06 include:

QP: new carpet colors - beige and cuoio
New natural leather selection for the US market. (comes with a poltrona frau logo on the side of the seats) This leather is available in six colors, avorio, beige, cuoio, cuioi sella, blu navy, and black. There are some requirements about the other color choices for different zones, but your local dealer can help you with this.
The 19" ball polished wheels from the neiman marcus car are now available on all QPs
An additional interior trim color has been added - Black Piano - and it looks great. This is an option for all normally wood surfaces - dash, steering wheel, handbrake.
The wood has also gotten an upgrade, with the availability of some new inlay work called "Bis de Bse". Its available with the rosewood, mahogany, and walnut briarwood.

For the Coupe\Spyder:
A new carbon fiber kit - includes steering wheel, door panels, and gear knob (GT), and now adds a carbon fiber center console.
A new vintage package - same silver calipers, chromed handles, grilles, side mesh intakes, aluminum pedals, but now adds 19" ball polished wheels instead of 18"
The executive package has the most popular options: Skyhook, rear park sensors, Xenon lights w/ washers, black mesh grilles, and the 19" Trofeo design wheels.

The Coupe and GranSport are now available with the 90th anniversary blue paint, at no extra cost. This color replaces azzuro argentina, which is still available, but as an out of range paint color.

I will post some pictures of these changes as we see them on cars.

- Mark
 

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maserati of minneapolis said:
Hey; I just recieved a copy of the changes for 2006 cars.

The 2006 cars went into production in July. All cars, except the 90th anniv car will carry over.

Changes for 06 include:

QP: new carpet colors - beige and cuoio
New natural leather selection for the US market. (comes with a poltrona frau logo on the side of the seats) This leather is available in six colors, avorio, beige, cuoio, cuioi sella, blu navy, and black. There are some requirements about the other color choices for different zones, but your local dealer can help you with this.
The 19" ball polished wheels from the neiman marcus car are now available on all QPs
An additional interior trim color has been added - Black Piano - and it looks great. This is an option for all normally wood surfaces - dash, steering wheel, handbrake.
The wood has also gotten an upgrade, with the availability of some new inlay work called "Bis de Bse". Its available with the rosewood, mahogany, and walnut briarwood.

For the Coupe\Spyder:
A new carbon fiber kit - includes steering wheel, door panels, and gear knob (GT), and now adds a carbon fiber center console.
A new vintage package - same silver calipers, chromed handles, grilles, side mesh intakes, aluminum pedals, but now adds 19" ball polished wheels instead of 18"
The executive package has the most popular options: Skyhook, rear park sensors, Xenon lights w/ washers, black mesh grilles, and the 19" Trofeo design wheels.

The Coupe and GranSport are now available with the 90th anniversary blue paint, at no extra cost. This color replaces azzuro argentina, which is still available, but as an out of range paint color.

I will post some pictures of these changes as we see them on cars.

- Mark
Mark, and all:

Just returned from the LA Auto Gallery Ferrrarri/Maserati center. It was interesting the salesman let us know that you can't order GranSports or Coupes anymore. He reported that Maserati won't be making anymore until the 2007 model. All the ones you see on lots, he explained, are all that will be available for a couple of years.

Now what's to be made of that? Hmmm . . . :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hmmmm.

I don't know what to make of that.

I have a memo dated sept. 9th with the updated options and configurations for the 2006 model year cars. New information from what I posted before. The models covered are the new QP trims, Coupe, GranSport, and Spyder GranSport.

The Sport GT QP and Spyder GranSport will begin production sometime early 2006.

There are a couple of other surprises coming as well. I won't give them away just yet, but believe me, they're worth the wait.

- Mark
 

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maserati of minneapolis said:
Hmmmm.


There are a couple of other surprises coming as well. I won't give them away just yet, but believe me, they're worth the wait.

- Mark
Do you know when the new spyder with the retractabe hardtop will be shown?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
At the Frankfurt autoshow, the new CEO Karl-Heinz Kalbfell gave another overview of the year, and outlined his future vision for the company.

The start of this was the announcement of the two new QP versions, sport and executive, as well as the new GranSport Spyder.

After selling 4600 cars in 2004, they aim for 5,600 this year. "Our collaboration with Alfa Romeo is a strategic one and will not affect our technical relationship with Ferrari. This, in fact, will be strengthened."

"...Kalbfell has assessed the car market and he sees no room for another manufacturer restricted to just extremely low volume production. Rather he said that he saw a bright future for Maserati, building higher volume, desirable cars, and the Trident marque is now suitably placed - he believes - as the world's only builder of "understated, luxurious and very sporty cars." His vision will see Maserati reaching out to new customers"

"Kalbfell's plan for the future will straddle two technological angles. He will continue to build the close associations with Ferrari and Pininfarina, relationships that have proved fruitful this far, and he will create at the same time a harmonious partnership with Alfa Romeo, whom he believes can contribute an awful lot to Maserati's future, the two brands going forward side-by-side."

"He announced a new 'entry level' sports coupe will be built, to br priced at just under 80,000 euros saying "we want to broaden our potential customers, but our cars will still remain top class" The North American Ferrari-Maserati dealer network as recently been crying out for a slightly lower priced Maserati sportscar, to compliment the existing Ferrari and Maserati range."

It also sounds as though they will also be growing their racing programs as well.

On the 19th the MC12s finished 1-2-3 to clinch the Constructors' cup in FIA GT1 racing. After this race they had 197 points, with Ferrari being #2 with 88 points. They also finished 1-2 at the 24 hours of spa, their first 24hour win, and then another 1-2 finish at Oschersleben.


I think all of this news bodes well for all of us.
 

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Maserati of Minnesota

I am new to the forum and noticed your post of Sept.21 where you mentioned there were a couple of other surprises coming that will be worth the wait. I have decided to purchase a 2006 Quattroporte Sport GT
separate post on this asking for advice) and was wondering if you ever indicated what those other surprises were and whether they affect the QP?
Don't want to miss out on any worthwhile improvements !! I know there will be a 7 speed ZF automatic for the 2007 model year ( just visited the factory in Modena ), but not aware of any other changes. Thank you,
 
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