Maserati, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, could be the last luxury automaker to enter the electric vehicle space, but it will not be following the footsteps of any other car company.
In an interview with Car and Driver, Maserati engineering chief Roberto Fedeli revealed that the company is already working on its own electric car model, and then afterwards criticized the current batch of electric cars and the apparent leader of the industry, Tesla Motors.
According to Fedeli, who is the Italian engineering guru that masterminded the creation of some of the best modern vehicles of Ferrari, FCA boss Segio Marchionne has ordered him to release a Maserati electric vehicle as soon as possible. Fedeli thinks that the electric car could be unveiled in 2019, with a likely start of production in early 2020.
The Maserati electric vehicle, however, will be unlike the cars that other companies have currently released or are planning to launch by then. Only a low number of units of the electric vehicle will be made, which means that it will not be a direct competitor to the vehicles of Tesla Motors.
Also, by 2020, other luxury carmakers such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Volvo, Lexus and Jaguar would have released electric models.
"We will be last (with a production EV), and we have to arrive to the market with something different. Very different," Fedeli said, with Maserati to release a sleek grand touring coupe instead of a sedan or an SUV.
Fedeli went on to fire shots against Tesla Motors, claiming that it vehicles, while being made to the tune of 50,000 units per year, are not the best in the market, with the solutions that the company offers also being lackluster. He compared the quality and execution of the company's electric cars to those of the famed German automakers, but from back in the 1970s and not to where the companies are right now.
Fedeli added that the current electric vehicles are too heavy for drivers to enjoy being behind the wheel, with no emotion coming after the burst of acceleration for three seconds.
For the Maserati electric vehicle, one of the biggest hurdles is how to make it feel like a Maserati, as electric vehicles will not have the engine sound that Maserati cars are known for.
"The EV is something different and we have to [give] the car [Maserati character] without having one of our most important parameters," Fedeli said.
With Fedeli's statements, enthusiasts would likely be looking forward to what kind of electric car Maserati would come up with under his guidance. It might not be looking to challenge Tesla Motors like Henrik Fisker's new company, but it will likely be an automobile masterpiece nonetheless.