Maserati's Kubang SUV unveiled

Maserati has shown its first SUV at the Frankfurt motor show, the Kubang, which is based on shared architecture with the Jeep Grand Cherokee

Well, we knew it was coming, but now Maserati has used the Frankfurt motor show to take the wraps off its new SUV, the Kubang.

The name may well seem familiar to those with long memories – Maserati had a Kubang SUV concept at the Detroit show back in 2003. But the new car will be based on the same mechanical package as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the two cars will reportedly be assembled together in Detroit.

Maserati’s first SUV, the Kubang has been signed off as part of Maserati CEO Sergio Marchionne’s drive to dramatic increase the brand’s total production to around the 50,000 mark. It will go on sale next year powered by both a version of Maserati’s 4.7-litre V8 – meaning that a Ferrari-derived engine has found its way into an SUV – and a 3-litre V6 diesel version in Europe. Drive will be supplied to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The Kubang’s Jeep underpinnings are likely to cause a fair degree of controversy among the Maserati faithful, but on the show stand it looked considerably smaller and more athletic than the Jeep Grand Cherokee that – in possible proof of the Frankfurt show organisers’ collective sense of humour – was positioned just across the aisle from it. Or, as the press release puts it, ‘potential synergies with sister brand Jeep – a brand that 70 years ago created a new segment of the market and is today a leader of this very segment – are the important catalyst for Maserati’s own interpretation of a sport luxury SUV.’

Maserati’s chassis development team is known to be spending considerably time in the US working on the new car to ensure it delivers a ‘brand appropriate’ driving experience. We look forward to finding out how successful they’ve been.

Click here for the rest of evo's Frankfurt 2011 news

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