| 11:05 AM EST

Maserati Plans First EV

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Maserati unit is developing an electric vehicle that it hopes to unveil in 2019 and launch sales of by early next decade.
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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Maserati unit is developing an electric vehicle that it hopes to unveil in 2019 and launch sales by early next decade.

Acknowledging that the timing would make Maserati the last premium carmaker to offer an EV, engineering boss Roberto Fedeli says the Italian marque will deliver a “very different” model than those of competitors. This will include sporty performance characteristics and emotional connections that go beyond the first few seconds of acceleration and immediate peak torque provided by other EVs, he tells Car and Driver.

Fedeli says the electric Maserati won’t be positioned as a Tesla Model S fighter. C and D speculates that this could mean Maserati’s EV will be a grand touring coupe rather than a sedan.

Comparing Tesla’s execution and quality to that of “a German OEM in the 1970s,” Fedeli says engineering quality and driving dynamics will be a key differentiator for Maserati. But he says the company still is working on a defining performance characteristic similar to the signature sound produced by a Maserati engine.

Fedeli rejoined FCA earlier this year after two years as a senior executive with BMW AG’s “i” electric car division. He previously spent 26 years at FCA’s Ferrari unit.

Maserati also is developing a plug-in hybrid variant of its new Levante crossover vehicle. The plug-in is expected to bow by the end of 2017.

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