by Gunnar Heinrich ::: YouTube ::: Maserati Kubang Video
CORPORATE videos made for internal consumption, you know, the kind that are meant to rally the troops, instill team spirit, inspire, seize the day et al., generally speaking, suck. These ugly bastards of the moving medium generally succeed at nothing but inspire apathy from impassive viewers. But for Maserati, the Trident, that towering if imperfect icon of Italian motoring at its decadent best, this video showcasing the new Kubang is…
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Maserati ::: Maserati Kubang
PERHAPS I’m in an especially empathetic mood today. There was a time that the mere concept – yes, concept, let alone plan – to build a Maserati sport utility vehicle based upon the underpinnings of a Jeep Grand Cherokee would have, well, sent the rev gauge needle past the limit.
Today, it’s different and here’s why…
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Maserati ::: Maserati GranTurismo MC
MASERATI recently announced pricing details for the company’s righteous GranTurismo MC and GranTurismo Convertible Sport ($147,500 and $149,800, respectively). Maserati also released some tantalizing shots of the new tridents, however, this one in particular perked my interest for another reason.
What exactly is on the hood of the above GT MC? The driver seems to be well aware of it. Is it some kind of sensor – for speed? Airflow? Or something else. Does anyone know the actual name of the instrument in question? Brownie points for anyone who can come up with the answer.
*Update * A commentator suggests – with probable accuracy – that the alien object is a GoPro Camera
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Maserati ::: Maserati Kubang Concept
ON again, off again, on again.
No, we’re not talking Alfa Romeo pondering a US comeback. It seems like Maserati brass couldn’t dither long enough about selling an SUV. Well, the prevarication is behind them. According to the WSJ, in 2013 Maserati’s not only set to sell an SUV, possibly called “Kubang,” as part of a US-led growth strategy, but base said Kubang on the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform and build said SUV alongside Jeeps and Durangos at Chrysler’s Jefferson North plant in Detroit.
You know, it’s kind of like marketing “rich, authentic Italian pasta sauce” and reading on the back label that the stuff was bottled in Hackensack, New Jersey.
by Gunnar Heinrich ::: img Maserati S.p.A. ::: End of Life Cars
HAD a neighbor in D.C. who drove the very same Quattroporte you see above – right down to the olive exterior finish. The old Maser seemed endowed with the hulking dimensions of a P40 and you could hear that 300 horsepower V8 pushrod its way ’round Washington Circle from two blocks away.
Every time I saw it, I couldn’t help but marvel at this one saloon’s quarter century of service. Knowing how Maseratis of a certain Go-Go era were anything but long-lived or reliable, I wondered how much longer could the Italian last before succumbing to the fatal kiss of that last four-digit invoice from some backwater Alfa mechanic.
Thanks to government prodding, Maserati’s now in the business of wondering the same thing.
IN Brazil, a sign that you’ve “made it” is a helicopter that flies you safely above the fray- to and from your gated villa. In Washington, it’s a fleet of Secret Service driven Chrysler 300s that shadow your government tagged Lincoln or Cadillac.
In Los Angeles County, where the lofty image is every bit as vital as the achievement, social status starts and ends with the car. To this end, there exist far more Bentleys in Beverly Hills than drivers with the requisite wealth to own them outright.
That said, it’s a reasonable wager that Marky Mark was good for his black on black Azure.
Angelinos know their cars better than anyone.
That brilliant red 190SL that if housed in Connecticut would rust, smell of must, and might start on a warm day is in SoCal maintained as a more perfect everyday driver than it was when Max Hoffman imported it all those years ago.
And to paint an unreasonably broad picture, the same goes for pretty much any car – from vintage 80s Honda Accord to 2010 Audi R8.
Such is the dry climate that everything metallic just lasts. And lasts.
Which explains your sighting of that odd 70s Ford that you swore the Dude drove in The Big Lebowski. As much as LA pays lip service to anyone whose fame is older than 15 minutes, the city’s highways are surprising showcases for cars that time would’ve forgotten anywhere else.
In this vein, LA makes for much more exciting car watching than, say, Miami. There might be higher concentrations of Italian exotica in SoBe, but Floridians are all about financing, leasing, or renting the latest and greatest. Angelinos pay as much respect to a mint 1988 560SEC as they do a new CL65 AMG.
But here’s the Catch 22.
There are in fact so many Audis, Astons, Bimmers, Bentleys, Caddys, Lexii, Jaguars, Mercedes, Porsches, Ferraris, and Maseratis that for all the portent of these fine autos being poster vehicles for their drivers’ implied status and importance, their impact registers as white noise in the cattle herd of plodding traffic that forever clogs the 405.
Where else could spying not one, but three Ferrari Californias be considered everyday but in the city that has its own dedicated Ferrari/Maserati Collision Center? There’s a reason that every auto mag has a presence here. And a reason why every major auto maker has a design studio here.
Such is SoCal’s love affair with the automobile.
Hooray for Hollywood. And LA’s auto aficionados.
By Gunnar Heinrich | IMG Coys
GIALLO. In Italian, giallo means yellow.
In Inglese, it refers to a dark but sultry genre of mystery novels. You know, the kind that mix murder and sex.
Coys (né Coys of Kensington) is the greater London based auctioneer exemplar that has – by listing this giallo over black, 1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.9 SS Spyder – tickled us with our own thrilling Italian daydream.
It’s right to call the Spyder’s lustrous paint giallo.
The pigment, like the car’s beautiful body, is so dynamic, us English speakers might call it “sun”. It’s as if Maserati’s paint shop mixed Sicilian blood orange juice with limoncello; giving an otherwise flat hue a veritable fire!
Naturally, everything in the 70s had either an orange or brown cast; the Ghibli hardtop looked particularly striking, if period, in cocoa brown.
Coys, in classically understated Britishese, describes the effect the Ghiblis had on the public imagination.
“Introduced to an enthusiastic public at the Turin Show of 1966, the Ghibli broke with the recent Maserati tradition for conservative designs, instead displaying dramatic, purposeful lines, drawn by none other than Giorgietto Giugiaro whilst still at Ghia’s design studio. Under the bonnet was Maserati’s magnificent all alloy 4.7 litre four camshaft V8 engine, derived from the company’s sports racing car power plants and mated to a five speed gearbox. Claimed top speed was a not inconsiderable 174mph!”
What a hair-raising thought.
One hundred and seventy four miles per hour in a topless exotic… forty years old…painted in blinding orange-yellow… long bonnet surging toward an unknown horizon…così fantastico e profondo!
By Gunnar Heinrich | IMG Daimler, AG
RING out the old! Ring in the new!
As New Year’s approaches those of us on the East Coast, let’s reflect for a moment on the past ten and consider the next ten.
Geopolitically, it’s been a tumultous decade and indeed the same proved true for the auto industry.
For the luxury marques, apart from 2008-2009, it’s been mostly a boon – with the Germans going from strength to strength financially (despite loss in build quality for Mercedes and styling for BMW); the restoration of forgotten marques Bugatti and Maybach; the rebirth of the deluxe hatch in MINI; new heights in Italian performance with Ferrari and Lamborghini; and the rebirth of Maserati and Rolls-Royce.
Cadillac has restored some of its soul. And the 00′s will also likely be considered Aston Martin’s golden decade thanks to Dr. Bez’s leadership.
Looking forward: by 2020, automobiles will likely become roboticized – at least for highway travel in certain metro areas.
(In)famous Westcoast style car chases, for instance, will become more of a thing of the past as law enforcement will seek legislation empowering them to deactivate runaway vehicles remotely.
And, sadly, some of the great marques will fall to the wayside while upstart Korean companies like Hyundai grow stronger; forging entry into the luxury market just like Toyota, Honda, and Nissan managed 20 years ago.
Exciting times ahead, friends!
Autumn in NY by Maserati
By Gunnar Heinrich | IMG Maserati of North America
ACCEPTING that the drive behind parting with $120K on the lovely new Maserati GranTurismo Convertible boils down to more than buying into sheer performance figures, let’s nonetheless do a quick ‘n dirty comparo of what Maserati North America’s billing as supporting statistics.
- A hand-built 4.7 liter V8 , 433hp engine | They might’ve said: “righteous & sonorous Ferrari-sourced 4.7 liter V8″. Avanti!
- Top speed 176 mph | Will see off ze Germans. But not an Aston V8 Vantage Roadster.
- 0-60 in 5.3 seconds | BMW’s M6 (con) obliterates this figure with typical M Power Sturm und Drang!
- The longest wheelbase in its segment | Hooray, the useful topless GT lives!
- The same trunk volume with the soft top either up or down | This might be a good thing. Or not.
- A racing-style aluminum undertray producing an aerodynamic coefficient of 0.35 Cd | An old Volvo 850 wagon = 0.34 Cd.
- Monocoque body stiffness with benchmark Torsional dynamic rigidity of 27.2 Hertz | Sounds good. But what’s “27.2 Hertz?”
- The roof is opened automatically in only 24 seconds | An SL does the same job in less than fifteen.
Too bad style can’t be qualified. Judging by tantalizing imagery alone, the GT decappottabile trumps every rival save for Aston Martin’s fairest.