Italian luxury automaker Maserati — a division of Fiat Chrysler (FCA) — plans to build an electric car by 2020. This would be the second EV from the parent company aside from the limited-availability Fiat 500e, which is more of a compliance car than a volume nameplate.
The news about the Maserati EV comes from an interview Car & Driver did with FCA engineering boss Roberto Fedeli, who is looking to launch the car as soon as possible. "I think that we could show something before 2020. Maybe 2019," he said in an interview with the magazine. "We are working to be ready with something that we can show during the next couple of years."
Fedeli notes that the first EV will be a low-volume model, perhaps a grand-tourer instead of an SUV or large sedan. Maserati will be one of the last to launch an EV, so it is looking to bring "something different" to market. Fedeli also had some strong words about Tesla, the leading EV maker, saying that "the execution and quality of the products of Tesla are the same as a German OEM in the 1970s. Their solutions are not the best."
He went on to say that EVs will be an interesting challenge for Maserati, which prides itself on a sporty driving experience and its signature engine note. The team will have to work around the lack of sound from the engine, "one of our most important parameters," as well as the sheer weight of the batteries. The inability of an electric car to be enjoyed like a sports car on a normal road is "inconsistent with the brand we are representing," Fedeli says, and will pose one of the biggest challenges for Maserati’s designers.