2011 Frankfurt Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- Dubbed the "Maser-ango" in some circles, the Italian SUV leverages "potential synergies with sister brand Jeep," said the automaker.
- The Kubang will get Maserati proprietary engines and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
- Maserati first toyed with the idea of an SUV by introducing the original Kubang concept at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show.
FRANKFURT, Germany — It's been eight years since Maserati toyed with the idea of an SUV with the unveiling of the Kubang concept at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show. Maserati on Tuesday said it will take the plunge into a new segment, unveiling the latest version of the Kubang at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show.
In a statement, Maserati is still describing the Kubang as a "concept" and said it is "the forerunner of the future Maserati range." The Kubang is expected to target the Porsche Cayenne, although such critical details as launch date, pricing, powertrain and fuel economy were not announced.
Maserati said that "potential synergies with sister brand Jeep" are making the Kubang a reality. Fiat Group owns Chrysler and Maserati.
In the run-up to the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, there was speculation that the Italian luxury SUV might use the Chrysler platform for the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Kubang was nicknamed the "Maser-ango" because of the connection. There were also rumors that the Kubang would feature Hemi power. But that now seems unlikely.
Maserati said the Kubang will get "new-generation high-tech Maserati proprietary engines...designed in Modena by Paolo Martinelli," the head of the Maserati powertrain department. The SUV will get an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Maserati's statement about the Kubang noted that all of the major components "will unmistakably be Maserati: style, engine, suspensions, brakes, handling and performance."
Edmunds.com says: Maserati is a latecomer to the SUV party.