LUCA CIFERRI

Maserati flagship leaves Chrysler roots behind

Maserati is poised to begin its rebirth with a new Quattroporte large sedan debuting Tuesday here at the Detroit auto show, but the new sedan -- the flagship for the Fiat-Chrysler organization -- has very little North American content left.
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Luca Ciferri is Automotive News Europe's Editor-in-Chief.
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DETROIT -- There is not much Chrysler left in the new Quattroporte, Maserati's CEO says.

Maserati is poised to begin its rebirth with a new Quattroporte large sedan that debuted Tuesday here at the Detroit auto show, but the new sedan -- the flagship for the Fiat-Chrysler organization -- has very little North American content left.

"From the Chrysler 300 we carried over the electrical system, a portion on the platform where seats are hinged and some elements of the air conditioning, that is all", Maserati CEO Harald Wester told Automotive News.

Wester, a German engineer who also is Fiat-Chrysler's chief technical officer and Alfa Romeo's CEO, gets mad when he hears that the new Quattroporte is based on Chrysler underpinnings.

It is simply untrue, he says.

And Wester is probably right. Originally, the company conceived the new Quattroporte to have a higher level of carry-overs from the 300, then changes were made to the rear suspension, front suspension and engine bay structure that removed many of those carry-overs.

One other thing the new Quattroporte and the 300 still have in common is an eight-speed automatic transmission. But it is from neither Chrysler nor Maserati. It's from German supplier ZF, which provides it to many automakers, including Jeep for the revised Grand Cherokee.

You can reach Luca Ciferri at lciferri@crain.com.

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