Two years ago, the U.S. Treasury helped to broker an arranged marriage between the Daimler-jilted Chrysler and an unlikely Italian suitor in the form of the Fiat Group of companies. Even before consummation it was clear that we would see all manner of cross-brand rebadging amongst the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, Abarth, Lancia, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari branches of the new extended family, and so it has come to pass. It's been known for some time that Fiat's highly-successful commercial range will be sold in the United States under the Dodge brand and now comes the news that Maserati will announce an SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show that is based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
The spilling of the beans on the new Jeep-Maserati offspring comes from a truly unlikely source. Leading automotive industry publication Automotive News Europe has produced an on-line handbook for the Frankfurt Motor Show which opens this week, and inside, there's a picture and details of the new Maserati SUV concept.
The Automotive news rundown indicates that the Maserati"concept" is expected to go on sale in 2013, and will be built on a Chrysler production line alongside the Grand Cherokee in Detroit.
The new Maserati is no doubt hoped to emulate the success of Porsche's upmarket Cayenne SUV and is likely to be powered by Maserati's 450 bhp 4.7 litre V8 running through a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. For the emission-conscious European public, the Maserati SUV might also be available as a 3.0 litre diesel V6.