Maserati is an Italian manufacturer of racing cars and sports cars. Established by the Maserati brothers in 1914, the company is today owned by Fiat. Maserati produce luxury cars and its main competitors are other renowned car marques such as Jaguar and Aston Marin. Examples of Maserati models produced during recent years are the Maserati Spyder II, the MC12, the GranTurismo and the Gran Sport.
Maserati early history
During the early years of the 20th century, Alfieri Maserati, Bindo Maserati and Ernesto Maserati were employed building 2-litre Grand Prix cars for Diatto. When Diatto suspended its race car production, the Maserati brothers founded the Maserati marque. All six brothers – Alfieri Maserati, Bindo Maserati, Carlo Maserati, Ettore Maserati, Ernesto Maserati and Mario Maserati – contributed to the Maserati company in one way or another. Alfieri Maserati died in 1932, but the Bindo, Ernesto and Ettore continued caring for the company and creating race winning cars.
Maserati created 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinder race cars and in 1926, Alfieri Maserati drove one of the first Maserati cars to victory in the Targa Florio. (It should be noted that the 16 cylinder car actually had two straight eights placed parallel to each other.)
The Maserati trident emblem is believed to have been created by Mario Maserati and is based on a civic symbol from the city of Bologna, the capital city of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. In one of the main squares in Bologna, you can still see the statue of Neptune that inspired the creation of the Maserati trident.
The Maserati of today
Since 2002, Maserati cars can once again be purchased in the United States and the country is today the most important market for Maserati. In 2005, over 2,000 Maseratis were sold in the United States. Another important step in the history of Maserati was taken during the early 2000’s when the company re-entered the racing sport with the Maserati Trofeo and the Maserati MC12 (formerly named MCC). They made their debut in a few select GT races in 2004. If you want to own you own Maserati MC12, you should be prepared to pay at least US$ 750,000.
In 1997, Fiat sold 50 percent of Maserati to Maserati's arch-competitor Ferrari, a company which was in fact also controlled by Fiat. Ferrari took full control in 1999 and turned Maserati into its luxury division. Ferrari built a new factory that replaced the 1940s-vintage facility and is generally credited for bringing Maserati back into business. In 2001, the Maserati factory became one of the most advanced automobile factories in the world.
One of the results of the new money injected into Maserati by Ferrari is the 2004 Quattroporte, a deluxe saloon equipped with a 4.21 V8 engine. The Quattroporte is naturally a four-door car, since quarto porte means four doors in Italian. The name Quattroporte has been used by Maserati since the early 1960s, but the new Quattroporte cars are very different from their predecessors.
Since 2005, Maserati is owned by Fiat after being separated from Ferrari. Fiat has announced that they are planning to sports and luxury division that will consist of Maserati and Alfa Romeo.