According to scuttlebutt floating around the show, Sergio Marchionne has suggested that the Maserati Kubang won't remain the Kubang for much longer -- it'll undergo some manner of name change before it comes to market. It will, however, remain an SUV built on the platform that underpins the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Mercedes-Benz M-Class. Unveiled initially in Frankfurt, Maserati CEO Harald Wester announced one of the most poorly-kept secrets of the Trident brand — that Maserati will put the luxury SUV into production.
Wester spent about a quarter hour in an attempt to convince the assembled press gang that Maserati was a natural to build a luxury ute, citing the original Quattroporte as precedent for the company's expansion into new segments. It remains, however, a Grand Cherokee with a GranTurismo nose grafted onto it, not much more elegant -- and considerably less “I'm a casino magnate and I could give less than a titmouse's posterior what you think” -- than Bill Harrah's famed Jerrari, which, as you may recall, was a demented melange of Wagoneer and Ferrari 365, featuring the latter's majestic V12 engine.
Like the Jerrari, the Maser ute's motor will be built by Enzo's children in Maranello, while the chassis is to be constructed in the USA. They'll be mated at Chrysler's Jefferson North plant, home of the Grand Cherokee and Durango. Unlike the Jerrari, the new Maserati ute will feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. According to Wester, “All major system components will be 100% Maserati,” and the vehicle will reach customers “fully maintaining the integrity of Maserati's DNA.”
Which means of course, that there's a little 250F in every one. Also, a little Biturbo. Take your pick.