Maserati goes Kubang - again!

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IOL mot pic sep13 Maserati Kubang 1 . The 2011 Kubang concept was created by Lorenzo Ramaciotti at the Maserati Style Centre in Modena.

No Cyril, that's not a play on words and no, the Modena trident hasn't suddenly done a back-flip into the Adriatic.

The Kubang was a luxury SUV concept shown by Maserati at the 2003 Detroit motor show. At the time it was felt by most observers that Maserati was out of its depth and the Kubang died a quiet death.

But now, with the take-over of Jeep parent Chrysler a Fiat accompli, Maserati has access to 70 years' worth of all-wheel drive expertise, and some of the world's most sophisticated power transmission technology.

Suddenly the idea of a high-performance Maserati SUV, sharing technology with future Grand Cherokee models, makes a whole lot more sense - and the Kubang is reborn.

This new SUV concept, on show at Frankfurt as you read this, was created by Lorenzo Ramaciotti at the Maserati Style Centre in Modena, and the company insists that it is not a re-skinned Jeep.

Production versions will have Maserati engines and suspension and Brembo brakes; handling and performamce will be pure Modena.

IOL mot pic sep13 Maserati Kubang 2 Maserati insists that it is not a re-skinned Jeep. .

Does that mean the production Kubang (will that name survive, d'you think?) will have a detuned version of the company's fire-breathing 4.7-litre V8? Enticing though the thought is, that engine is right at the end of its development cycle and a little too 'rev-happy' for a two-ton vehicle.

Maserati says new-generation, high-tech engines for the SUV will be designed in Modena by Paolo Martinelli, newly appointed head of the Maserati powertrain department after nearly 30 years at Ferrari, where he also served as engine chief of the Formula One racing team. The motor will be produced in Maranello by Ferrari.

A new eight-speed automatic transmission and running gear such as suspension, brakes and steering will also be exclusively developed in Modena for the Maserati SUV .

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Anonymous, wrote

IOL Comments
10:35am on 14 September 2011
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People who criticize a cayenne (one of the best selling SUVs) and this amazing concept probably drive a kia. These cars fund the sports car development budgets and photos on your desktop. Schmuck!

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Anonymous, wrote

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11:32pm on 13 September 2011
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Looks like a Porsche Cayenne. Boring !

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