The name Maserati carries a level of prestige that many car makers can only envy. You are a company filled with so much historical significance. From decades of racing success to a number of truly special road cars, your back catalog is seemingly filled with highlights. However, I must point out that your modern lineup simply doesn't live up to that standard. Sure, every company has its missteps from time to time. But it seems like it has been far too long since I've been properly excited about the name Maserati. I hope this changes sooner rather than later. Until then, allow me to explain why your trident logo doesn't excite me like it should.
The short answer is your current lineup. Your current offerings, as you surely know, consist of the Granturismo, Quattroporte, Ghibli, and Levante. They are consistently some of the best cars in their respective segments in terms of looks (minus the Levante) and engine sound. However, they all seem to lack the cohesiveness to truly top their competitors. I'll begin with the Granturismo as my first example.
The Maserati Granturismo is undoubtedly a cool car. Its aggressively sculpted Italian design and naturally aspirated V8 are surely enticing features to prospective buyers. But that's just scratching the surface. Once you delve into further detail, you begin to realize how truly outdated the Granturismo is. The Granturismo has been in production for nearly a decade now, and when compared with competitors, it really shows its age. While a decade of production is not a drawback in itself, the lack of constant improvement is. Look at the Bentley Continental GT for example. That car has been in production since the early 2000s, but has remained relevant and desirable due to countless facelifts and upgrades. The Granturismo, to my knowledge, has not received any sort of changes in around four model years. Due to this, I can't really figure out why anyone would ever buy a Granturismo when cars like the Mercedes-AMG GT or Jaguar F-Type exist. Either of these cars, as well as several others, easily top the Granturismo in nearly every category. You could compare performance, technology, comfort, interior quality, and see the Maserati consistently falling towards the back of the pack. As the brand’s current poster car, this does not bode well.
Moving past the Granturismo, another example of Maserati falling short is the Ghibli. If I could sum up the Ghibli in one sentence, it would sound something like this: an overpriced and underequipped mid-sized sedan designed to steal badge snobs from the Germans. The Ghibli is a disappointing car in many aspects to the point where an entire piece could be written on it alone. So, rather than me rant on for a while, I recommend you go to YouTube after reading this and search for Doug DeMuro’s Ghibli review. He does a fantastic job at fairly pointing out this car’s many flaws.
The Ghibli’s big brother is the Quattroporte, a larger sedan to take on the likes of the Mercedes S-Class or Porsche Panamera. At the end of the day, I really don’t have much against the Quattroporte. After learning more about the Ghibli, possible build quality issues come to mind, but considering I haven’t ever heard much about that, it could be a non-issue entirely. Apart from that, and a similar lack of equipment or technology, I think the Quattroporte is a pretty decent car. That, however, might be its biggest problem. In a segment of the automotive market where every competitor presents a high-tech, luxurious, capable offering, being “pretty decent” doesn’t exactly result in sales. In and of itself, the Maserati is an acceptable offering. But, when presented with an S-Class, Panamera, Model S, 7-Series, or A8, the Italian doesn’t really seem like an ideal choice.
The Levante follows very much in the same vein as my opinion on the Quattroporte. To be completely honest, I really don’t know a whole lot about the car. I know some basic information and, while I could definitely spend time researching it more before publishing this, I think I know enough to make my point. The car is a twin-turbo V6 SUV targeted at the mid-size market. That market includes cars like the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5, Mercedes GLE, Range Rover Sport, and more. What person in their right mind would say no to every single one of those options and choose the Levante instead? The standout cars in this segment are established, competent, and well-known machines that the Maserati can only dream of outclassing.
Now, Maserati, I know it seems like I’m being hard on you. Admittedly, I have said some negative things about every car you produce. But, I promise that’s all with the intent of constructive criticism. As I mentioned before, your history is riddled with some pretty incredible machinery, and I think it’s a shame that your modern lineup doesn’t reflect that. What ever happened to that gorgeous Alfieri concept from a few years back? Wasn’t that supposed to go into production? That right there could give the brand the spark it needs to reinvigorate its offerings. What about the rumored MC12 successor? That might be a long shot, but I definitely wouldn’t be opposed to seeing a range-topping Maserati hypercar. Ideas like this shouldn’t be mere ideas, though. They should be executed. I know you, Maserati, have potential to do wonderful things. You need to kick the streak of mediocracy and build something truly special. Easier said than done, but more improbable things have happened. Only then will the chrome trident on a car’s grille give me the feeling of excitement it once did.