NAIAS 2008: Maserati Quattroporte “Collezione Cento” gallery: 11 photos >>
NAIAS 2008: Maserati Quattroporte “Collezione Cento”
Maserati looks back on a year of great achievements, with over 7000 vehicles delivered, mainly thanks to its flagship the Quattroporte, on show in Detroit in a super-deluxe limited edition. In the meantime, with orders totaling 2333 in just six months, the Maserati GranTurismo is still firing the publicís imagination.
From production through to sales, Maserati's figures for 2007 speak for themselves: a production record was set in October, when 850 vehicles left the Modenese plant ó equivalent to the annual production of just a few years ago ó while December ended with a record of over 1000 vehicle registrations.
Throughout 2007, 7353 cars were delivered to customers, 33.3% more than the previous year, through a network of 272 dealers in 59 countries on 5 continents: the US market was in first place, with 2600 vehicles delivered in 2007, 20.5% more than the preceding year, followed by Italy with 714 vehicles, a 40% increase compared to 2006. In third place was the United Kingdom (611), whose close rivals throughout the year were Germany and Japan. These markets were followed by Switzerland, France, China (eighth place), The United Arab Emirates and Australia.
2007 was also a hugely satisfying year in financial terms. Pending the arrival of the official figures from the FIAT Group, expected at the end of the month, we can look back on the exciting results recorded during the third quarter, when the company earned revenues of € 141 million, up by 33% compared to the same period in 2006. Total revenues during the first 9 months amounted to € 485 million, an increase of 29.3% and profits of € 6 million from ordinary operations ó the exact opposite of the result for the previous 12 months, in which € 6 million was the loss that was recorded. Looking at the period from January to September, the comparison is even more pronounced: € 6 million profit in 2007, compared to a € 32 million loss in 2006.
These commercial and financial successes are mainly due to the Quattroporte model, restyled for the last Detroit Motor Show with the introduction of an automatic transmission, in addition to the Duo Select. Winner of 40 international awards, approximately 15,000 have been delivered since its launch.
Of all the Quattroporte delivered in 2007, 74% were automatic models and the remainder were Duo Select, in the following versions: Executive GT, Sport GT and Sport GT S, launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show with only an automatic transmission.
A closer analysis of the figures for the period from January to September 2007 in the eight largest international car markets in Europe (Italy, Great Britain, Germany, France, and Switzerland), and the USA, Japan, and Australia, reveals that the Quattroporte is the fourth most popular car in its category (on average), and the second-highest seller in the five European countries. The best performances were achieved in Italy and France, where the Quattroporte is top of its segment, while in Switzerland and Australia it is second.
QUATTROPORTE “COLLEZIONE CENTO”
To kick start 2008, Maserati has brought its flagship saloon in a super-deluxe incarnation to Detroit ó the Quattroporte “Collezione Cento” ó of which just 100 will be produced: comfort, technology, and luxury all rolled into one; dressed for the occasion in a sophisticated Italian outfit ó in a brand-new ivory colour, with a contrasting coach line on the sides that enhances the sinuous lines of the Quattroporte. 20” wheels are fitted with polished rims, adding the perfect touch of sophistication and elegance. The chromed honeycomb front and side grilles also bring out the executive nature of this flagship saloon.
The interior is no less spectacular. Everything exudes luxury, from the Poltrona Frau “Cuoio” coloured leather seats with diamond-shaped stitching and matching buttons in the centre, to the polished Wenge wood inserts on the steering wheel, centre console and small object compartment. The mother of pearl inlays are a true delight, adding an unusual gleam to the name of the vehicle and the trident on the gear knob. Cuoio coloured leather is also used for the superior-weight overmats, enhanced by edges in contrasting Beige. The interior's concept was exclusively presented to Maserati customers at last year's Frankfurt Motorshow; the “Collezione Cento” has been developed on the basis of their feedback and comments.
Technology is another area where the Collezione Cento scores highly. Back seat passengers in the new Quattroporte find themselves in a multimedia paradise controlled by the Maserati Multimedia Entertainment system. The technology is housed in the rear centre armrest, which contains an AUX-IN socket, iPod docking station, SIM card port and a USB port so that passengers can view photographs, videos or listen to MP3/WMA tracks on other external devices. The car's sound system or the special Bluetooth headsets can also be used.
The armrest also features a built-in keypad for Internet browsing and email access, which can be folded away. As image also counts, especially when it comes to luxury, there are two real eye-catchers built into the back of the front seats: two 10.4” touch screens complete with a CD/DVD player built into the back of the centre receptacle.
The 100 lucky owners will be guaranteed luxury and exclusivity, thanks to the numbered plate housed in the dashboard moulding.
The Quattroporte Collezione Cento is fitted with a 4244 cc engine (400 bhp) paired with a hydraulic automatic 6-speed transmission that guarantees the same performance as the Quattroporte Automatic range.
QUATTROPORTE SPORT GT S, A FLAGSHIP WITH ATTITUDE
The Quattroporte Sport GT S deserves a separate mention. The ultimate expression of the Trident's sporty flagship model, it made a triumphant entrance at Frankfurt in the autumn.
The Sport GT S is a car for those looking for the might and muscle of the racetrack in a luxury saloon. With an automatic 6-speed transmission, it stands out for its remarkably dynamic on-road behaviour and uncompromising handling. Two real gems are hidden beneath the panels of this car: the single-calibration shock absorbers, the new lower, stiffer suspension, and the innovative braking system developed from the dual-cast brake disc, the result of a partnership with Brembo, used for the first time in the automotive industry on the Quattroporte Sport GT S.
The car also has a more aggressive look, with black being the dominant colour: black-chrome honeycomb mesh grille, twin exhaust pipes finished in black, door handles to match the bodywork and seven-spoke 20” wheel rims in the new Dark Chrome finish. As for the interior, it is every bit as striking: carbon detailing with a new aluminum weave design, restyled front seats for improved comfort, high levels of body support during sporty driving, and the traditional Poltrona Frau leather combined with Alcantara.
GRANTURISMO, GREAT SUCCESS
The success of the Maserati GranTurismo is now well-established. Maserati's high-performance sports car continues to amaze and captivate the international market. Its world debut in Geneva nine months ago has been followed by launches in each of the 59 countries in the Maserati network. The launch programme was completed at the end of the year with the introduction of right-hand drive models. By the end of 2007, the GranTurismo is parked in the garages of no fewer than 1326 customers, with orders totaling 2333.
The reasons behind its success are plain for all to see: the exclusive, exquisite lines penned by Pininfarina conceal a sporty, aggressive vehicle with a sparkling performance, suitable for everyday driving thanks to its excellent handling. Total comfort is guaranteed by the exquisite quality of the materials used, attention to detail and a spacious interior. The rear seats can comfortably accommodate two adults, even on long journeys.
The engine compartment houses a V8 4.2 engine (405 bhp at 7100 rpm), capable of a top speed of 285 km/h. With acceleration of 0-100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, an exciting drive and thrilling performance are guaranteed.
Just a few months after its launch, the GranTurismo has already collected four international awards, two of which were won in the United States.
The success of the Maserati GranTurismo began 60 years ago, when the Modenese manufacturer launched the first of 58 examples of the A6 Gran Turismo styled by Pininfarina. Ten years later, it was the turn of the first standard GranTurismo, the 3500 GT, a car which marked a turning point for the company as it shifted its attention from racing cars to road going production, turning out 1983 examples of the 3500 GT in seven years. Those days may be long gone, but they have been well and truly revived with the 2007 version of the GranTurismo.
Environmental issues, fuel and emissions reduction are central themes on the Maserati agenda. While preserving the Maserati tradition, cars that guarantee high performance to reflect the characteristics and content of Maserati models, the company is also researching ways to reduce fuel consumption and is paying more attention to environmental concerns. The designs of recent models have already led to considerable fuel savings, with a reduction of 9% (non-urban driving) for the Quattroporte Automatic and the Quattroporte Sport GT S, and a further 3% for the newly-launched GranTurismo.
MASERATI IN NORTH AMERICA
2007 was a significant year for Maserati in the United States and Canada. With the successful introduction of the GranTurismo and Quattroporte Automatic, Maserati now has a product that is not only competitive and credible, but industry leading in terms of design, performance and desirability.
In North America Maserati has reached a level of accomplishment it has never enjoyed before. Over the past three years, Maserati retail sales have grown by 26%. The critically acclaimed Quattroporte continues to set sales records for 2007. The elegant four door sedan was up approximately 56% in a segment whose general trend was one of a downturn. The new Maserati GranTurismo has been designed to target this price segment as well. Early indications lead us to believe the GT will also enjoy great success.
Maserati North America expanded its reach in 2007 with the opening of several new dealerships bringing the total to 54 dealers across North America, an increase of 18% over the past three years. 2008 will also be a year of growth for the Maserati dealer network, continuing the strategy of careful and controlled expansion into target rich markets. Maserati North America is proud to have the top selling dealer in the world, The Collection in Coral Gables, Florida. The west coast is the leading region for sales in North America followed by the Southeast, then the New York Tri-State area.
MASERATI FINANCIAL SERVICES
In 2007 Maserati North America also accomplished a significant business initiative with the establishment of Maserati Financial Services. MFS was created by CNH Capital, the financial services business company of CNH Global N.V. (NYSE:CNH), a firm under the control of the parent company Fiat SpA (FIA.MI; NYSE:FIA) and a maker of agricultural and construction equipment,
Maserati Financial Services provides competitive financing for all Maserati models and a range of financial instruments to help to consolidate further Maserati's position in North America.
Maserati Financial Services operates as a stand-alone division of CNH Capital, with a staff of specialists dedicated to serving the purchasing needs of customers
NAIAS 2008: Maserati Quattroporte “Collezione Cento” gallery: 11 photos >>
Text and photos: Maserati