Maserati is joining the bandwagon of battery-electric cars. The Italian luxury brand has just admitted that it is working on an EV car that is reportedly going to be a direct rival of the Tesla Model S, though the company says it won’t be anything like the latter.
According to the Verge, Fiat Chrysler’s Maserati division is planning to showcase its electric car by 2020. However, for Fiat Chrysler’s engineering boss Roberto Fedeli, it’s possible that the Maserati EV could be introduced in 2019.
“I think that we could show something before 2020. Maybe 2019,” Fedeli was quoted as saying during the Paris auto show. “We are working to be ready with something that we can show during the next couple of years.”
Car and Driver reports that contrary to what is expected that it would be a Tesla Model S rival, Maserati is instead looking into building a “grand-touring coupe” that will be nothing like a Tesla vehicle. Explaining why it won’t be a Tesla clone, Fedeli said that Maserati is not going to benchmark Elon Musk’s cars in terms of engineering quality and driving dynamics.
“A Tesla fighter probably [is] not a good idea,” Fedeli told Car and Driver. “I don’t think that Tesla is the best product in the market but they are doing 50,000 cars a year. 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.”
Fedeli admitted that since Maserati is likely to be the last to market an electric car in the industry, it wants to deliver something “very different” from its competitors in the segment, TechCrunch has learned. And he is right in saying this, since Maserati’s entry would most certainly arrive at a time when Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Infinity, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have already joined Tesla in the segment.
Hinting at what consumers can expect from the Maserati EV, Fedeli said, “Sound is not the most important characteristic of electric cars. The EV is something different and we have to [give] the car [Maserati character] without having one of our most important parameters.”
In addition, he also admitted that they need to sort something out first when it comes to EV batteries, since the ones that are available right now add a lot of weight to vehicles and they don’t want Torque and power to be compromised because of this. “That’s inconsistent with the brand we are representing and needs to be solved,” Fedeli quipped.