THERE aren’t many firms with a name as evocative as Maserati. Founded in 1914 in Bologna, Italy, and taking its Trident logo from the city’s famous statue of Neptune, Maserati moved its headquarters to Modena in 1940.
With an initial focus on racing, the company produced its first road car in 1946. Since then, Maserati has earned a reputation for building fast, beautiful cars with iconic engines and evocative exhaust notes that have caught people’s eyes and ears on both road and track.
But even one of the best-loved names in the business has to move with the times. For the first 99 years of its existence, for example, Maserati exclusively used petrol engines in its range of sports cars; it wasn’t until 2013 that the first diesel appeared in the Ghibli saloon.
And now, with the global automotive industry experiencing seismic change, Maserati is having to follow suit. The Italian company has no intention of being left behind in the race to go electric. To find out more, we headed to Modena to witness the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one.
For the last 12 years, the Maserati GranTurismo has been built in Modena. We described this classic, timeless beauty as “the best car Maserati has built for at least 25 years” when we reviewed it in 2008. What’s more, the GranTurismo has one of the most sonorous engines ever fitted to a road car. Sadly, though, that engine is coming to the end of its life — a victim both of time and the requirements for makers to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. To mark its passing, one of the last GranTurismos to roll off the production line in Modena was finished in a special “Zeda” paint scheme, with the tri-tone effect designed to connect “the past, the present and the future” of Maserati.
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January 09, 2020