There’s a couple of interesting things happening with Maserati at this point which, interestingly enough, coincides with the general timeframe directly following the merger agreement between the French PSA Group (Peugeot, Citroen, etc) and Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the parent company of this particular Italian automaker.
Last week, it was announced officially that the GranTurismo and GranCabrio would soon retire. Both these cars are already about a decade old and only barely surviving from the limited annual updates it receives to not be a total laggard against its faster, newer, and far more modern competition.
It was suspected that its perpetuation on the Maserati portfolio was mainly due to the marque not having a direct replacement waiting to take its place or that a susccessor was still too far out to be previewed. Regardless, the GranTurismo/GranCabrio’s overdue retirement was expressed in the form of the Zeda, the supposed final sendoff for the V8 coupe.
Now, Maserati has released some carefully selected pictures of a mid-engine prototype supercar to fill some of the void, saying it was “spotted” on the streets of Modena at night.
It wore a black and white pattern wrap to obscure certain design details and the general disproportionate shape could be attributed to filler panels put in place to - again - hide certain aspects of its final design (assuming that’s been ratified by Maserati top brass). Honestly, it resembles a Noble M600 more than anything Italian.
The official statement from the company reads that these are experimental vehicles, and just how far along they are through the development process is anyone’s guess. For all we know, they could have been thrown together in a week to look like a late-stage prototype.
However, let’s give Maserati the benefit of the doubt. The world would be in awe of a fully realised mid-engine supercar with the iconic trident logo at the nose. In fact, the last car to fit that description was the MC12 from 2004, an ultra-rare homologation-bred two-seater that shared plenty with the Ferrari Enzo, including its F140 6.0-litre V12 and single-clutch F1 transmission.
By contrast, Maserati insists that the prototypes shown here are equipped with a next-generation powertrain developed entirely in-house and will, in fact, be the basis for future high performance engines to be integrated within and exclusive to the Maserati brand.
The company previously teased a mystery May 2020 unveil and its clear from the obscured text within the vehicle wrap these cars wear that this event would involve the world debut of the next Maserati supercar flagship. How much we see of it in the intervening 6 months is anyone’s guess, but we expect the company to be excited enough ahead of its premiere to supply plenty of teasers and previews.