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Maserati shows Alfieri concept at the Geneva motor show

Tue, 04 Mar 2014

It's named the Alfieri concept, which Maserati will be the first to tell you is not the "Guyfieri." Otherwise, it'd come with a golden roof, a Ferrari V8 slathered in beer batter, and a deep-fried interior reeking of Cheetos and desperation. Make that balsamic vinegar, according to Maserati, the dark condiment evidently imbued with "a centenary tradition of craftsmanship and passion." Much like Maserati's celebration of its 100-year history at this Geneva auto show, as represented by the silver ingot shown above.

Indeed the Alfieri concept, a gorgeous wide-grilled sports car more in line with the Porsche 911 than its own GranTurismo, is a celebration of Alfieri Maserati, one of the five brothers who founded the eponymous company. (Eventually we'll see Bindo, Carlo, Ernesto and Ettore concepts, though perhaps not the latter -- international trademark laws and all that.)

Drawing from Maserati history, this concept is a 2+2. According to the company, it most directly draws its influence from the 1954 Maserati A6GCS/53 Berlinetta -- stubby and short with a leering grille, designed by Pininfarina for the World Sportscar Championship. The A6 was the last Maserati done by Pininfarina until this century. But Lorenzo Ramaciotti, who retired from Pininfarina in 2005, designed the Alfieri: testament that Italians are well-versed in their own traditions.

The Alfieri is based on the GranTurismo platform: that means a 4.7-liter V8 with 460 hp, mated to a six-speed automatic. Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes come from the GranTurismo MC Stradale, and the calipers are painted blue, which matches the interior.

In other color-coordinated Maserati news, Quattroporte Ermenegildo Zegna Limited Edition debuted in a proud upholding of the designer-car tradition. Varvatos was only the beginning. This Quattroporte features "platinum silk" paint, which sounds better than beige, with shades of aluminum mixed into the paint to give it "a sensation of infinite depth." (You'll have to see it for yourself.) Inside, it's smooth silk over the headliner, like rubbing your grubby hands against your grandmother's scarf. Brown and gray mark the rest of the leather-lined interior. The Quattroporte Zegna also comes with an exclusive "Owner's Collection Kit" (what isn't exclusive these days?) that includes "a generous assortment of 19 refined articles" including leather bits, a silk scarf, possibly a show pony, Jennifer Lawrence, and who knows what else.

Maserati has been gearing up for a grand expansion, if its Super Bowl ad is to judge. And just as well, too -- its GranTurismo has revolved around the sun for seven years, and the world is due to move on. "Maserati doesn't change," said Ramaciotti. "Maserati is always Maserati."

By Blake Z. Rong