Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Maserati goes diesel
Maserati has given further endorsement to VM Motori’s 3-litre V6 diesel engine by offering it as an alternative to a 3-litre V6 gasoline engine with an output of 410bhp.
It will be the first time the Italian automaker has offered a diesel variant. The diesel will be installed in the Ghibli, a four-door saloon that will be revealed at next week’s Shanghai Auto Show.
As readers will be aware, the V6 diesel has a compacted graphite iron (CGI) cylinder block and bedplate. The engine is already offered in the Chrysler Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Dodge Ram 1500, as well as the Lancia Thema.
Maserati is using the diesel as part of its bid to increase total sales in 2015 to 15,000 from 6,288 last year. The company states that the Ghibli will play a ‘significant role’ in the company’s growth plan to reach the new target, which will be further good news for VM Motori if the target can be achieved.
The engines will be mated to an eight-speed transmission and a further option will be the new Q4 all-wheel-drive system.
Sales in Europe begin in the summer with the US market opening up shortly afterwards.
VM Motor of Cento, Italy, is jointly owned by Fiat Group and General Motors. The issue now is whether the Cento facility will have enough installed V6 engine capacity to meet future demands is all the market expectations come true. Further investment may be necessary, especially if GM plans to use the V6 diesel in its own vehicles in North America.
Fiat has owned Maserati of Bologna since 1993. The Maserati business was formed on 1 December 1914. Initially within the Fiat Group Maserati was associated with Ferrari SpA, but more recently it has been linked to the sporting Alfa Romeo brand. It continues as a luxury car maker.