Maserati's first electric car won't be a Tesla rival

You could see an EV coupe before 2020.

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David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images
David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Italian supercar makers haven't exactly embraced electric vehicles with gusto (the LaFerrari hybrid is about as close as you get), but that should change in the next few years. Ferrari's sibling brand Maserati tells Car and Driver that it's working on an electric vehicle that would be shown before 2020. And unlike other luxury car brands, Maserati doesn't plan on eating Tesla's lunch. It has to produce something "very different" to stand out, the company's Roberto Fedeli says. Think of something more like the GranTurismo coupe (see above) than yet another upscale sedan.

Part of the challenge, Fedeli claims, is making a green machine that's exciting to drive. Breakneck acceleration is the only really thrilling aspect of EVs right now, he says -- the sheer weight of those lithium-ion batteries dampens the enjoyment on twisty roads. A Maserati would have to be lighter on its feet. Also, the automaker will have to find a way to give its car character without a roaring gas engine under the hood. In that sense, Maserati's 2020 goal is realistic. It may not have much choice but to wait for battery technology to catch up to its ambitions.

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