After over one year on the skids, Maserati has taken the wraps off a new high-performance supercar called MC20, which parent Fiat Chrysler hopes will help the automaker turn the brand into the “crown jewel” of its merger with Peugeot.
The sleek and super-lightweight supercar offers acceleration from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour (km/h) in under 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 325 km/h.
Discussing at the launch in Italy’s auto city of Modena, Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley predicted Maserati would get back to earning profit from next year and was destined to be a “crown jewel” for the new Stellantis group to be born from the Peugeot merger.
Manley said work to close the merger by the first quarter of 2021 was progressing well, and his role in the new group would be announced by the end of the year.
Maserati, which made an operating loss of 199 million euros ($235 million) last year, is expected to deliver annual sales of over 75,000 vehicles and a profit margin of over 15% “towards the end” of a five-year period, the CEO said.
That compares with 26,500 vehicles and a margin of minus 12.4% in 2019.
“Maserati is at the very beginning of a very exciting journey,” Manley said, adding any speculation about a possible spin-off replicating what FCA did with luxury sports automaker Ferrari was premature before targets were reached.
“A few years down the line we can have that kind of speculation, not right now,” Manley said.
The MC20 is part of a fleet of new cars planned between now and 2023 to bolster the automaker’s presence at the top end of the industry. Stellantis’s combined portfolio has no other worldwide luxury brand, apart from top-of-the-line Jeep and Ram truck models that sell for luxury prices in North America.
However, competition is tough from the likes of Aston Martin, Ferrari, Porsche, Tesla, and others.
The MC20 will release with an internal combustion engine and a starting price of 216,000 euros in Europe and $230,000 in the United States, with a fully-electric version anticipated later.
Carlos Tavares, the head of Peugeot-maker PSA who will be CEO of Stellantis, has said he observes no need to scrap any brands following the merger.
Manley has committed to investing 2.5 billion euros ($2.96 billion) in new Maserati models, saying its work on the latest technologies can benefit the rest of the group.
“We are looking to keep Maserati at the forefront of where it needs to be to benefit downstream,” he said.
Maserati earlier this year started selling a hybrid version of its Ghibli luxury sedan and prepares to launch between 2021 and 2022 a new SUV and redesigned GranTurismo and GranCabrio models, the brand’s first fully-electric vehicles.