2018 Maserati models unveiled
Maserati introduced its slate of 2018 models to the Philippines market at an event last week.
Wellington “Willie” Soong, chairman and president of Formula Sports Inc., official distributor of the luxury Italian car manufacturer in the country, led the launch held at Shangri-La At The Fort in Bonifacio Global City.
He was joined by VIP guests that included Italian Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmo and Maserati Regional Sales manager Filippo Caracciolo.
Despite concerns that the implementation of the Duterte administration’s new tax plan at the start of the year might severely impact local car sales, Soong said he believes that the industry would not only be able to survive, but thrive.
“We are very fortunate that Congress…was able to rationalize the pragmatic realities of the effects of the excise tax,” he said. “They brought it to a more realistic level. The business can continue to grow. And we’re still here to support the TRAIN program of the government. So we’re very thankful.”
The unveiling of the new models was also a sign of Soong’s belief in the automotive industry in the country.
“We feel confident,” he said. “The future is very promising. The economy is strong. We have a great program from the government, and we’re working in partnership to bring this to the next level. It’s in that regard that our confidence is really strong. We have a very solid foundation.”
Toplining the unveiling was the GranTurismo, the popular car concept pioneered by Maserati. Launched in 2007, it’s often regarded as one of the most iconic GT cars ever built.
There are two versions of the GranTurismo—the Sport and MC—both of which feature a naturally aspirated 4.7-liter V8 engine, hand-built by Ferrari in Maranello and capable of producing 460 hp at 7,000 rpm and 520 Nm of peak torque at 4,750 rpm.
The Sport version can go from zero to 100 kph in 4.8 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 299 kph, while the lighter MC version makes it to 100 kph in 4.7 seconds, and has a top speed of 301 kph.
Here are the other 2018 Maserati models unveiled at the event:
Maserati’s all-time bestselling vehicle, the Ghibli sports sedan, now comes in two trims (GranLusso and GranSport), and has been updated with significant exterior restyling and hi-tech accoutrements.
The Ghibli GranLusso has enhanced exterior finish and a luxurious interior with Ermenegildo Zegna silk upholstery, while the Ghibli GranSport, conceived to reflect Maserati’s racing heritage, displays a sportier exterior design and upgraded interior.
The top-range Ghibli S and S Q4 versions now deliver 430 hp and 580 Nm peak torque, 20 hp and 30 Nm more than the previous model year. Top speed: 286 kph.
Maserati’s first-ever SUV, the Levante, now also has two distinct trims (GranLusso and GranSport), just like the Ghibli.
The 2018 edition has also adopted electric power steering (EPS) and advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), as well new active functions like lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist, and traffic sign recognition.
The 2018 Quattroporte now has headlights with adaptive full LED technology.
The S and S Q4 have an upgraded 3.0L V6 petrol engine, delivering 430 hp power output and 580 Nm peak torque, respectively, which is 20 hp and 30 Nm more than the previous model.
Result: Quattroporte S now accelerates from zero to 100 kph in 5 seconds, while the Quattroporte S Q4 needs only 4.8 seconds (improved from 5.1 and 4.9 seconds, respectively).
The 2018 GranTurismo and GranCabrio have undergone an elegant restyling, which helps reduce aerodynamic drag from 0.33 to 0.32 and from 0.35 to 0.33, respectively.
Each model comes in two versions, Sport and MC, both of which are equipped with a naturally aspirated 4.7L V8 engine, producing 460 hp and 520 Nm peak torque.
The interior, meanwhile, features individual Poltrona Frau leather seats, integrated headrests, and a new, high resolution 8.4-inch capacitive touch screen and refined ergonomics.
In addition to the car models, Maserati also announced two watch models—the new Octo Maserati GranLusso and the GranSport by Bulgari—as well as a Maserati capsule collection by Ermenegildo Zegna, which features a dedicated Ermenegildo Zegna fabric that can be used for the Ghibli, Levante and Quattroporte models.
Soong, whose company also used to be the official distributor of Jaguar and Land Rover in the country, said it was his decision to cut ties with the British brands.
“After investing 20 years, of course there is an attachment, but when you are told by the regional head that ‘this business is not about relationships,’ I did not see any future in working with this group anymore.
“There is a complete divergence of business philosophy,” he added.
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