Think of the name Maserati and you'll likely be picturing glamorous sports cars roaring up the Autostrada and cruising down Mediterranean coastlines. And that's still largely the case, except for the sports car part of it all. Because today Maserati seems more focused on passenger cars — luxurious ones at that, and fast ones as well — but not sports cars as you'd traditionally define the term.
The latest vehicles released by the Modenese automaker are the Quattroporte and Ghibli — both four-door sedans — and its next one will be the Levante crossover. Its only two-door model, the GranTurismo, has been on the market for longer than it should by now. But Maserati aims to correct that wrong with the reveal of their Alfieri concept at the Geneva Motor Show this year.
Named after the company's founder (and its most notable engineer), the Maserati Alfieri concept is based on the aforementioned GranTurismo, but is more stylish, more compact, and altogether more modern. Its wheelbase has been shortened by nearly 10 inches, while the 4.7-liter V8 engine remains, driving 460 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission. State-of-the-art carbon-ceramic brakes feature at each corner to keep the power in check.
The technical details are all well and fine, but what sets the Alfieri apart is its design. It was overseen by Lorenzo Ramaciotti, chief designer for the Fiat Group that owns Maserati and former chief designer at Pininfarina, the design house that's penned a fair few Maseratis over the years. It draws its inspiration from the 1950s-era Maserati A6 — one of the Trident marque's earliest creations – and wears a liquid-metal finish, bi-xenon and LED headlamps, and 21-inch wheels. The interior is decidedly modern but no less luxurious with aniline leather furnished by Portrona Frau, copper-tone billet aluminum trim, and high-tech TFT (thin-film-transistor) displays.
"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," says Ramaciotti. "We wanted the Alfieri to test future design paths. The car is very aggressive but still sober in style, forceful but understated."