Considering the massive success Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and numerous other luxury car makers have had with expensive performance SUVs, it’s little surprise to hear Maserati is considering adding a sport-ute to their lineup; however, news that the car company may build it on the platform of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee seems more likely to make heads turns.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne told reporters yesterday that the Grand Cherokee platform, which he said can handle more powerful engines than it currently offers, could be used to underpin a Maserati SUV packing a Ferrari engine—no surprise, since Ferrari already builds all the engines for the Maserati lineup. If the plan goes through, the new model (along with a possible Alfa Romeo SUV based off the Grand Cherokee as well) could hit production within a year and a half, and both models would likely be built alongside the Grand Cherokee in Detroit.
A Maserati spokesman confirmed the report, saying the company is in fact working on the project and confirming the timeframe Marchionne projected for the new vehicle. For our part, we’re kind of excited to see how a Maserati SUV (“Cinqueporte?”) turns out; the new Grand Cherokee is as good a platform as anyone could really hope for, even if Fiat is probably not super-thrilled about their new sport-ute using a platform co-developed by Daimler. At any rate, should Marchionne’s plan go through, look for our head-to-head story comparing the Maserati SUV to the 2013 Grand Cherokee SRT8 in our Fall 2012 issue. [via Automotive News]
Pictured: The Maserati Kubang concept SUV, which we hope the production car looks absolutely nothing like.