Maserati’s Relationship With Ferrari Continues To Die

Maserati is a respected automaker with origins in Italy. The manufacturer has a strong racing background and a strong consumer luxury performance vehicle background. But, for roughly 20 years, the company has been using someone else’s engines, Ferrari’s. That is why Maserati is often referred to as the poor man’s Ferrari. A buyer of the Italian trident-wearing cars receive a Ferrari derived engine in a vehicle that sells at a lower price point. But that is changing.

Ferrari will no longer supply engines

A Maserati engine is spotlighted against a dark background. The Maserati trident logo is centered on the cover.
The 2021 Maserati Trofeo engines are sourced from Ferrari | Maserati

In May 2019, Ferrari CEO Loius Camilleri said, “Eventually, we will no longer supply engines to Maserati, which from our perspective is actually a good thing…” The expected end of the engine relationship between the two automakers was placed somewhere around 2022. So, some might think that the announcement might have pulled the carpet out from under Maserati. The truth, however, is that Maserati has been developing its own engine since 2015. 

The Nettuno engine is the first all-new Maserati engine. Designed in Modena, Italy, it is being produced at the Viale Ciro Menotti plant, where the automaker has made cars for over 80 years. It is a twin-turbo V6 powerplant that pumps out 621 horsepower. The roll-out of the new engine will begin with the new 2022 MC20 model. In that hypercar, the mid-engine Nettuno powerplant propels the 3,300 pound car to 60 mph in under 2.9 seconds. You can find more information on the MC20 here

Trofeo editions for all Maserati models

Three Maserati models reflect the three colors of the Italian flag, green, white, and red.
2021 Maserati Trofeo Collection – The Ghibli, the Quattroporte, and the Levante | Maserati

In the meantime, the current crop of models in the Maserati lineup are making full use of their Ferrari sourced V8 engines. Might as well, since it could be a kind of last hoorah for them. The entire 2021 lineup was revealed today in an online press event. All of them will have a Trofeo trim package available for this model year. Each of those will house a Ferrari 3.8-liter, twin-turbo powerplant. This means the Ghibli, Quattroporte, and even the Levante SUV will be tweaked out for aggressiveness under the hood. 

The interesting thing about the new engine for Maserati is that it comes at an odd time in the history of the automotive industry. Right now, there are countries and regions around the globe that are passing regulations to encourage consumers to transition to electric vehicles, or EVs. When asked about electrification in today’s meeting, Karl Deboer, Brand Manager for Maserati North America, indicated that the all-new MC20 was created with electrification in mind. So, the car will be able to transition to electric propulsion without concern. 

New Maserati engine in MC20 a test-bed for other models

The trident logo on the grille of the 2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo.
2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo grille | Maserati

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It seems then that the 2022 Maserati MC20’s new engine will serve as a test-bed for the other models in the lineup as all of them eventually transition away from Ferrari’s relationship. It is known only in the highest brass if the 2022 termination date is a hard date or if it will float. But, the 2022 model year begins in the September-ish timeframe. If that is the last year of Ferrari engines, there is little doubt that Maserati will make some note of it. For now, the company is a hush on most 2022 models and focusing on the Trofeo editions for 2021. 

Not to be lost in all the transitioning is that right now, the 2021 cars are arriving at dealerships. That means there is still time to experience the Ferrari derived engines and the Maserati luxury. Some fine Italian machines with Neptune’s trident centered in their grilles are waiting for new owners. And, the special Trofeo editions are beckoning as well.