Maserati once again showed off the Kubang, an Italian sports-luxury crossover that is based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. It first premiered as a concept at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and looks mostly unchanged today.
The Kubang’s crisp lines and flashy good looks are far removed from those of its Chrysler Group parents, and so too is the proposed powertrain. Maserati says it will use an all-new, high-tech engine built by Ferrari in Italy, coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new engine is being developed at Maserati headquarters in Maranello, Italy, by head of powertrain development Paolo Martinelli. The company also confirms that the Kubang's suspension, brakes, steering, and electronics will all be tuned in-house by Maserati.
The Kubang will be assembled in Detroit, Michigan, alongside the Grand Cherokee and Durango, and exported all around the world. Maserati's global sales hit 2465 in 2011, a gain of 21 percent compared to a year prior. North America remains the brand's most important market, with sales growing here 10 percent year-over-year in 2011; Maserati's second biggest sales market is China, which saw sales in 2011 double versus 2010.
Unfortunately, Maserati still won't comment on when the Kubang will go on sale, how much it will cost, or how much power the Italian-built engine (which we strongly believe will be a V-8) will produce. The company's only admission so far is that the Kubang will be "in picture-perfect continuity with the brand's core values." Stay tuned.
For more on the Maserati Kubang check out our First Look here. For more on the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, including videos, the latest photos, and more information, click here to visit our Detroit Show homepage.