Frankfurt Motor Show: Maserati Kubang
You are a manufacturer well known for your fast and attractive coupes and convertibles, so what better to show off at an international motor show than a luxury 4x4?
Unlikely though it may sound, that is what Maserati has done with the strangely named Kubang at this year's Frankfurt motor show.
The Kubang (stop laughing at the back) is Maserati's first foray into the luxury-SUV sector, and is a result of the company's associations with Jeep via its parent company Fiat.
However, to reassure potential buyers, the "style, engine, suspensions, brakes, handling and performance will all be 100 percent Maserati". However this means the underpinnings still come from the cumbersome Jeep Grand Cherokee, it would appear.
The engine will be the part of the car that is the most 'Maserati', as it will be created in Modena by the company's head of powertrain Paolo Martinelli. An eight-speed speed automatic transmission and specific performance settings such as suspension, brakes, steering will also be created in Italy, to make the car as much a Maserati as possible.
The name comes from a concept SUV that was first displayed in 2003, with Maserati deciding to leave it unchanged for the production model.
The car retains the familiar open-mouthed face of more traditional Maseratis, a feature also found on a car at Frankfurt that will sit more happily with fans of the brand – the GranCabrio Fendi. This is a four-seater convertible with a 4.7-litre V8 engine that has been enhanced by Italian styling house Fendi.
It features wood trim on the inside, a series of Fendi plaques and badges, and a set of 20-inch alloy wheels.