Maserati will lead the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles into an electrified future.
The Italo-American company has taken a wait-and-see approach to the introduction of hybrid and electric vehicles but, speaking to investors in a conference call this week, FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed the firm now as a plan.
Maserati is set to begin the roll-out of electrified powertrains beginning in 2019 with the Alfieri coupe.
“When it [Maserati] completes the development of its next two models, it will effectively switch all of its portfolio to electrification”, Marchionne said.
He explained the decision to finally head down the electrification path after most of its rivals saying: “we have been reluctant to embrace that avenue until we saw clearer the path forward”.
But he said it was now an “integral” part of the company’s future development.
Despite the later start, Marchionne is confident that his company will launch competitive technology. It is understood that Maserati’s current underpinnings, used on the Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante, is compatible with hybridisation and Marchionne indicated that would happen during the next model update.
“As these products come up for renewal post-2019, it will start launching vehicles which are all-electric and which embody, I think, what will be considered state of the art technology,” he said.
The hybrid and electric powertrains developed by Maserati will be rolled out across the FCA portfolio of brands that includes Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge.
While Ferrari is no longer officially part of the FCA group it is still under Marchionne’s leadership and earlier this year he spoke of the famous performance brand’s inevitable move into hybrid models.
“Hybridisation is crucial to Ferrari,” Marchionne said in April. “There is no denying that regulations put us under pressure, but we could reach those targets in other ways.
“The challenge is to benefit from hybridisation not just in terms of emissions reduction, but also performance. We have already developed a hybrid supercar, LaFerrari, and on future Ferrari models we will leverage new technologies as well as electrification.”
Volvo has already committed to phasing out internal combustion-only powertrains by 2019 while Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW have already launched or announced plans to launch electric sub-brands.
Maserati’s German rival Porsche has committed to an electric future with its Mission E family of products and has indicated its sports car will become electrified in the future. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have also recently committed to racing in the all-electric Formula E series as part of their respective electric push.