Surprise of the show: Maserati unveils an SUV
Italian automaker's 4x4 Kubang concept is based on a Jeep.
Maserati has wowed and stunned in equal measure here at the Frankfurt Motor Show with the launch of the Kubang SUV concept. Yes, a Maserati 4x4 — and one based on a Jeep at that. We can't believe our eyes for another reason, though: It's actually pretty convincing, possibly the surprise of the show.
Maserati has always courted the world of fashion, so a special GranCabrio built with designer brand Fendi makes total sense. Maseratis are hardly lacking in style in the first place, but this is a Maserati for the truly fashion-conscious.
What is it? This Maserati SUV concept previews a future Jeep Grand Cherokee-based off-road Maserati. As Porsche, BMW and Mercedes have proven, luxury-car buyers these days want SUVs. This is Maserati's take.
What's hot? The Modena, Italy-built engines are exciting, as is the "Maserati essence" in the suspension, brakes, performance and handling. It looks surprisingly good, too.
What's not? Some people will never warm to the idea of a Maserati SUV, despite the brand's diverse heritage. Also, we question if it is truly possible to make a convincing sports off-roader based on a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
How much and when? It should arrive next year, priced from around $80,000. The high-revving V8 gas engines sound like a given, but will there be a diesel, too? That would be a step too far for some.
MSN Autos' verdict: We expected the worst, and we were pleasantly surprised. This is a shapely SUV that will help Maserati take on the Porsche Cayenne.
Maserati GranCabrio Fendi
What is it? A collaboration between Italian luxury-car maker Maserati and high-fashion merchants Fendi. There aren't any mechanical changes, but in the looks department it's been changed enough to justify a price increase.
What's hot? How about a specially commissioned paint job? Fine leather and Fendi's finest materials throughout. There's also a custom-designed logo and an exclusive car cover.
What's not? Maserati calls the paint color Grigio Fiamma Fendi, describing it as a "special dark gray with an iridescent golden finish on the surface." To our eyes, it simply looks brown. Not quite as glam now, eh?
How much and when? The recently released GranCabrio S costs a smidge less than $160,000, and you can't expect the Fendi edition to cost any less than this. Ships now.
MSN Autos' verdict: A fancy special edition of an existing car, for sure, but one with glamour to die for.
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its good to see that even in a bad economy, they are still making different versions of vehicles you could get for half the price, maybe less.
we question if it is truly possible to make a convincing sports off-roader based on a Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Why is that? The Grand Cherokee/Mercedes ML platform is new, state-of-the-art technology. In fact, it may be the best SUV platform available right now. Or are you going to try to tell us the aged VW/Audi/Porsche platform is better somehow?
but will there be a diesel, too? That would be a step too far for some
I don't know why? A clean burning diesel would be just the ticket in an SUV, And they have em. Can you imagine that SUV that gets 30 MPG? with more power and less pollutants than the V6 Cherokee?