Why Maserati should build a Ferrari FFFirst of all, the world needs more shooting brakes. One way of looking at this is that, in most cases, once you reach an age that allows you to afford a ridiculously powerful coupe, you have a family.
Sure, Maserati already has the four-door-coupe-like Ghibli, but... that’s not a proper coupe. Just like billionaires need their doors to open upwards, most car aficionados are suckers for the melange between sportiness and elegance provided by two-door coupes.
Anybody who dares mention the Porsche 911 or Bentley Continental GT clearly hasn’t spent too much time in the back seat of these otherwise superb creatures. At least not during adult life.
Sure, you can strap your children in the back of 2+2 coupes, but not before they’re over three or under, say, eighteen. Why would you want to pay a small fortune for a car that only accepts rear passengers within a fifteen-year age group?
Or what if you have more than one wife and you all want to go on holiday at the same time? The sheer luggage capacity requirements would be too much to bear for anything less spacious than a shooting brake.
Ferraristi shouldn’t fret, a Maserati version wouldn’t cannibalize the Prancing Horse’s shooting brake. With Ferrari currently working to reinvent the FF for its mid-cycle moment, the practical Prancing Horse will be pushed way beyond the model we have today.
While the most plausible rumor sees the FF receiving electric assistance for its V12, unofficial sources also talk about the model following the Bentley Continental GT’s multi-engine scheme. For instance, the FF could also receive the twin-turbo V8 in the 488.
Regardless, Maserati could offer a version of the car that’s biased towards the GT genes rather than the all-out performance focus of the Prancing Horse.
With all the high ground clearance lessons Maserati is learning by developing the Levante crossover, they could bring their shooting brake further apart from the FF by adding some 20 mm of ride height - it’s not like Ferrari hasn’t experimented with this when creating the FF.
Speaking of experiments, Maserati has tried to mix one of its 2+2s and the Quattroporte in the past. That’s how the Indy fastback Grand Tourer was born back in 1969.
As opposed to Porsche’s vision on building cars, Maserati has talked about how its vehicles don’t need to be perfect. This means any potential complaints about the lack of rear doors would have been addressed in advance.
Sadly, the Modena-based carmaker won’t gift us with such a shooting brake (and Santa Claus doesn't exist)Sure, massaging the FF in order to transform it into a Maserati would cost less than developing such a model from the ground up. But the limited audience for such a vehicle means the proposal still wouldn’t fall in line with the tight budget Fiat Chrysler is currently on.
Then there’s the big Maserati yearly production picture. Chief Executive Officer Harald Wester has recently said he aims to cap the automaker’s annual production to 75,000 units.
Since that places the Trident brand in between Ferrari’s 10,000 units and Porsche’s uncapped 200,000-plus cars (estimate for 2015), the figure does make sense. However, when it comes to introducing new models, that limitation spells trouble.
While the Quattroporte and the Ghibli more than doubled the company’s sales last year, the company’s accounting department will be overly busy starting from next year when the Levante arrives.
Oh, and let’s not forget that the Alfieri concept will spawn a successor for the GranTurismo, which has been delayed for 2017. While this will retain the 2+2 configuration, it will be slightly smaller than the model it replaces. Once again, this would only allow Maserati to slot that impossible FF reincarnation above the shrunk Grand Tourer.
Still, with these new models in the pipeline, we wouldn’t be surprised if Maserati goes past 75,000 cars per year even without dreamy models such as the one we’re discussing.