Maserati has revealed pictures of the test mule that bears its new and totally in-house powertrain. Wrapped in a camouflage reminiscent of the ‘save the date’ teaser the firm sent out ahead of its May 2020 reveal, it seems to have driven up and down the street outside the factory before parking at a photogenic graffiti hotspot.
The move away from Ferrari-built engines is interesting, but two things are weird here. Firstly, these are not spy shots; they are Maserati’s own images. The press release claim that the car was ‘spotted’ sits uncomfortably. Secondly, the pics, taken at night presumably to stop actual spy pics making their way to the press before now, have been taken by a non-pro on a pretty low-rent camera; maybe even a smartphone. It’s all just very strange.
Anyway, what we know about the new Maserati powertrain is limited to the assurance that it has no Ferrari influence. Entirely developed and built by Maserati, it will form the basis of a ‘family of engines’ destined for the brand’s future cars.
Several cars more or less identical to this one will cover a significant number of miles on the road in due course, adding data to Maserati’s existing simulations. The results will be used to tune the engine and bodywork to optimise performance, aerodynamics and cooling.
On that basis we can assume that the rough shape of the beast is final, making it mid-engined, most likely rear-wheel drive and limited to two seats. It has a sort of Porsche Boxster/Noble M600 look about it from the front three-quarter, which is no bad thing.
We’re told that this new engine won’t be used on anything except Maseratis, which suggests to us that the block and plumbing can easily be switched to a front-mounted layout; more suitable for its commercially essential Levante SUV, for example. We expect to learn more about it gradually over the next six months or so.