Today Maserati is best known for producing four-door passenger cars, such as the Ghibli and Quattroporte, but it is no stranger to sports cars. But with their only truly sporty model being the 7 year old GranTurismo coupe and convertible, Maserati were at risk of being left behind in this particular segment. Until now.
Marking the brand’s 100th anniversary, Maserati unveiled their new Alfieri concept car at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show. Said to open “a door to the future of Maserati”, the Alfieri is a 2+2 that’s “sportier in character than the GranTurismo,” which itself (by name even) was always more of a GT car, rather than an all out performance machine. The Alfieri concept is 241mm shorter than the GranTurismo, but shares it’s 4.7-liter naturally-aspirated V8, sending 343kW through a 6-speed sequential gearbox and also has carbon-ceramic brake rotors with Brembo calipers. Inspiration for the design was penned by Lorenzo Ramaciotti, who drew inspiration from the classic 1954 Maserati A6 GCS-53, but modernised to include bi-xenon / LED headlamps, 21-inch wheels and a liquid-metal finish to the bodywork.
The long, low nose is a stylistic evolution from contemporary Maserati models. The grille is divided vertically into two concave sections that seem to hang in the air. The sleek DRLs are connected by a clear accent line with the iconic “V” motif in the centre. The aggressive headlights incorporate bi-xenon-LED bulbs and are rendered distinctive by a characteristic eyebrow, repeated on the twin exhaust tail pipes. The three dimensional candy-cane tail lights are made up of two red external elements with a white element inside. Their shape harmoniously follows the rear shoulder of the car and complements the air ducts underneath to create an impressive, racing style rear view. The Alfieri’s designers have developed a streamlined, uncluttered form where the only decorative elements – the restyled triple air ducts on the wheel arches – are finely integrated. This eye-catching silhouette almost entices you to caress it. The wheels have been specially designed for the Alfieri concept. Forged from single aluminium elements, the 21″ diameter rear and 20″ front wheels feature integrated decorative spokes that wink at the classic spoke wheels of the 1950s.
The same simplistic modernity caries through to the cabin with TFT screens used for the central display and instrument cluster, aniline leather, offset by copper-tone billet aluminium trim. The instrument panel has a classic layout with two main clocks with two smaller ones in between. Rather than analogue clocks, the instrument panel features TFT displays inspired by modern photographic camera menus in the way they indicate km/h and engine RPM. Instead of a rotating indicator, the numbers themselves rotate around the clocks. Current speed and RPM are highlighted by a magnifying glass effect. There is even a touch of racing brutality inside the Alfieri. The floor is finished in a material that imitates oxidised steel, a material commonly found on racing cars of the 1950s. Luna white and dark Basalt blue are the dominant colours inside the airy Alfieri cockpit. Poltrona Frau aniline leather with a natural look and feel covers the seats, dashboard and central console. Copper subtly highlights the most character lines and brings a retro feeling to an otherwise futuristic environment.
The interior has a classic 2+2 layout with an open space luggage compartment. The rear seat backrests have a unique, elongated design. Well visible from the outside, they add a sense of speed to the interior. The rear seats tilt forwards through 90 degrees and also serve as luggage bulkheads. The seat profile inserts, gearbox lever and oval clock on the central console are milled from single piece aluminium billets, hand finished and anodised in a natural copper colour. All other aluminium components, including the pedals, gearbox paddles and steering wheel spokes are also hand finished and anodised in a palladium colour. The passenger seats, though inspired by the racing bucket seats of the ’50s, look futuristic and have a modern structure with half-integrated headrests and a bridge-like profile that serves as main structural element. The three-spoke steering wheel and the crown deep in its centre form a three dimensional sculpture that seems to have been crafted in the workshop of an Italian artisan. Like the remainder of the Alfieri’s interior, it too is 100% handmade.
Whilst production has not been confirmed and no date has been set, it is understood that we could potentially see a production version of the Alfieri by late 2018, powered by Euro 6 compliant twin-turbo V6 and V8 engines. Both engines would be designed by Maserati, but manufactured by Ferrari for vehicles such as the 380kW Alfa Romeo Giulia QV. The Alfieri will also ride on a new platform likely sharing its hard points with the Quattroporte and Ghibli and would be available in both rear and all-wheel drivetrains.
According to Lorenzo Ramaciotti, “The Alfieri is a transition point between 100 glorious years of history and the future that is opening up before us. I sincerely can’t say that we’ll see this car in production in two years-time, but I’m certain we’ll see something very similar.”