Maserati electric powertrain begins testing

Replacement for Maserati GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be an electric car, with testing of the powertrain now underway

Maserati has begun testing the electric drivetrain that'll power its upcoming replacement for the GranTurismo coupe and GranCabrio convertible. The company says its engineers are working to give the motor a distinctive and noticeable sound, in contrast to the vast majority of electric cars, which are close to silent.

Production of the new electric Maserati is set to take place at the company’s factory in Turin, following €800 million (around £709 million) of investment. The new GranTurismo will go on sale in 2021 and the GranCabrio will follow in 2022.

Before then, an all-new sports car – thought to be the long-awaited Alfieri – will be launched with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain. It will also eventually be offered with a purely battery-electric powertrain.

A plug-in hybrid Maserati SUV is also in the pipeline, with production set to begin at the manufacturer’s Cassino plant in 2021. However, we understand an all-electric version of this car, which could a replacement for or development of the current Levante, is not being considered at this stage. The company’s first hybrid powertrain will make its debut on the next Maserati Ghibli, which is due to enter production early in 2020.

Maserati's electrification plans follow a commitment from parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to ditch diesel engines. The firm plans to have 12 new or significantly updated electrified models on sale by the end of 2021, including the forthcoming Fiat 500 electric.

FCA has invested €5 billion (around £4.4 billion) across its brands, with all cars set to be built in its factories in Italy. Maserati, meanwhile, is keen to assure its customers that its new and updated cars will combine “traditional highly appreciated Maserati driving dynamics” with the latest technology.

It considers autonomous driving technology to be an important step for its future models. All new cars will feature the company’s ‘Level 2’ Highway Assist, which will eventually evolve into a ‘Level 3’ standard system. The Level 3 system would allow Maserati’s cars to move in and out of lanes automatically, as well as pull over to the side of the road and bring and slow down to a complete stop if the driver was unable to do so.