Maserati is 100 years old in 2014. So at this year's Geneva Motor Show the company presented itself with a self-proclaimed birthday present, the Alfieri concept car. Named after one of the original Maserati brothers, the 2+2 coupe concept is, so the company says, a vision of what a future coupe grand tourer from the brand could look like. In other words, what you’re looking at here could be the best guess as to what a replacement for the current Gran Turismo will look like.
Interestingly, Maserati designed this one themselves, in house - under the direction of the guy who’s also overseeing Alfa Romeo. That marks a departure, as most Maseratis - Gran Turismo included - have been designed by one of the Italian style houses, most notably Pininfarina.
The Alfieri is smaller than the existing Gran Turismo though, befitting of its 2+2 format. It gains a more aggressive - but still recognisably Maserati - face with deep-set, elongated lamps flowing into that concave grille, with a Trident stood proudly off front.
At the rear, the Alfieri feels more classical - the rounded rump calls to mind cars from, ironically, the Italian style houses such as Zagato - which means it’s left to the strange window kink and slightly odd, light blue highlight colour that’s applied on places like the portholes and in-between the wheel spokes to upset the appearance cartel. Those wheels are pretty special though: 21-inch affairs at the rear and 20-inch at the front, each forged from individual aluminium elements.
Inside, it’s an altogether more classical affair, with lashings of leather but a style that feels decidedly more old school Italian than we’ve seen from the brand recently. There’s a central touchscreen, but otherwise more of a "cockpit" racer approach with two small seats in the back. Judging by the recent Ghibli and Quattroporte, we’d expect any production car to feel just a little bit more modern inside than is being shown here.
Maserati doesn’t really do "out there" pie-in-the-sky concepts though, so the Alfieri is what’s known in the trade as a "runner". In other words it’s built on a proper chassis with a proper engine rather than from bits of Styrofoam. Which means that, as with any proper Maserati, there’s a 4.7-litre, Ferrari-derived V8 engine at its heart. Which is nice. Unfortunately it wasn’t started up though.
Whether this car ever sees the light of day in production form remains to be seen. But given Maserati’s desire to expand its range and sell more cars, we can perhaps learn a couple of things from this concept. One is that, for its future sports cars at least, the company appears to be thinking in a more classical style, inspired by its greats of the past such as the A6GCS, 3500 GT and 5000 GT. They were fabulous, but given that the current cars looks so good too, we’re not sure whether harking back to the past would be a good or a bad thing for the brand.
The other thing we note is that, given the Alfieri’s shorter length and 2+2 style format, Maserati might be thinking about developing a smaller, cheaper coupe model to sit below the Gran Turismo. The Alfieri’s based on a cut-down platform of that car, so the idea’s not exactly an unbelievable one. And the idea of a smaller, more affordable Maserati coupe is certainly one we expect many people would be all too happy to get behind. Here’s hoping.