As some of you might know, Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne has big plans for the automaker’s luxury sports car unit – Maserati. He plans to boost annual sales almost tenfold to 50,000 units from 5,675 last year.
The brand will introduce three new models including two new sedans to replace its Quattroporte flagship model and the third new Maserati will be the company’s first SUV. After many rumors and renderings, we can show you today the first leaked photo of Maserati’s SUV, thanks to AutoSpies who managed to put its hands on it.
It seems that the new SUV will be built on a Jeep Grand Cherokee platform, but the power behind it is still a enigma. Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne revealed very little, saying that the SUV’s engine will be “a rock and roll engine”.
However, the new model probably will be powered by Maserati’s 4.7-liter V-8 unit. As a reminder, this engine is capable of about 450 hp, teamed with ZF’s eight-speed automatic transmission.
In addition, only for Europe, the SUV could also get a diesel variant using VM motori’s 3.0-liter V-6, with power increased to over 300 hp from the 241 hp the engine currently delivers on the Grand Cherokeeexported to Europe.
The SUV will be built alongside the Grand Cherokee in Chrysler Group’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit.
The Italian car maker declined to give a price target for the SUV, but in Europe it would cost considerably more than Grand Cherokee 5.7-liter V-8 Overland thet in Italy starts at 63,800 euros.
Finally, in September the brand will take the first step and will present a prototype of their new SUV at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. Sales are expected to begin in late 2013.