That a small sedan will join Maserati’s lineup in the near future isn’t exactly news, but the fact that the so-called “baby Quattroporte” will be built in an ex-Bertone plant certainly is. The production venue was recently announced by both Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and Maurizio Sacconi, Italy’s Minister of Labor and Social Policies.
Fiat confirmed the Maserati production task represents a 500 million Euro (about $720 million USD) investment in its Grugliasco plant. That plant, originally created and operated by now-defunct Carrozzeria Bertone, was purchased in Fiat in 2009 as a means of expanding its production capacity (interestingly, Volkswagen did something similar with Karmann’s assets). The ex-Bertone factory will also produce the next-gen Quattroporte and reportedly an SUV, though original reports suggested the latter could be manufactured in North America. All three models are slated to bow at the Frankfurt auto show in September.
We’ve reported before that the little Quattroporte, codenamed M157, will use Chrysler underpinnings, with a front-engine/rear-wheel drive platform, and offer a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter version of the Pentastar V-6. The next-gen QP (codenamed M156) will likely be equipped with a Maserati-designed 4.7-liter V-8 and paired to Chrysler’s ZF eight-speed. The SUV will be based off the Grand Cherokee.
Maserati’s newest models will target both the BMW 5 and 7 series, and the Porsche Cayenne, and production is expected to begin in late 2012.