Leave it to the Italians. Shakespeare’s ill-fated Romeo famously declared, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, if that’s true then what’s in a name? In the automotive world, cars are all about connotations. Certain names – brands – are associated with wealth, luxury, power, respect, and even fame. Few brands embody the legacy of luxury, elegance, and excellence, than Maserati. The Italian brand also calls to mind speed, thrills, sex, and eternal style, as it has for generations.
The name Maserati hails from the Maserati family, specifically a family of five brothers: Carlo, Bindo, Mario, Ettore, and Ernesto, all of whom, in 1914, established the Maserati line of racing cars in their hometown of Bologna, Italy. Centrally-located in Bologna stands the Fountain of Neptune. You remember Neptune? Roman god of the sea and earthquakes. Mario Maserati borrowed inspiration from this symbol for the Maserati logo, the trident instantly recognizable and celebrated by the automotive industry and loyal Maserati lovers.
But what of the Maserati models? What do their names mean? Here, we look at three of Maserati’s most popular models to see whether re-branding them would steal some of their Neptune-derived thunder.
The 2017 Maserati Ghibli
Don’t let the silent “h” throw you off. The Ghibli is pronounced “gib-lee,” and translates as “African desert wind.” The Ghibli breezes down the road backed by a herd of anywhere from 345-404 horses, delivered by its 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine. The mightiest rating is available in the S performance variant, which features available all-wheel drive. All other Ghiblis are exclusively rear-wheel drive, though both setups are operated by eight-speed automatic transmissions. The Ghibli blows from zero to sixty mph in 4.7 seconds, and is able to reach top speeds of 175 miles per hour. Starting at $71,600, the Ghibli is available in a trio of trim levels, including the Base, S, and S Q4.
The 2017 Maserati Levante
Aptly named, the Levante represents “rising,” as in the rising of the sun in the east. Earning a perfect five out of five score from Car and Driver, the Levante features all-wheel drive, with horsepower starting at 345 and rising up to 424, operated by an eight-speed automatic transmission. Priced to start at $72,000, the 2017 Levante is available in a Base and S model.
The 2017 Maserati Quattroporte
Anyone who has taken a high school romance language could likely figure out that the word “quattroporte” simply means four doors. And this four-door sedan represents its name well, equipped with those four doors and a 3.0-liter V6 engine, able to generate anywhere from 405-523 horsepower, operated in rear-wheel drive by a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 Maserati Quattroporte features a range of trim levels, with an initial MSRP listed at $103,400
Let’s just call a spade a spade. No matter what you want to call these models, it’s clear that Maserati gets the last word. Building off a legacy of cutting-edge innovation and classic design elements, call it what you want, but that trident says it all when it comes to unparalleled automotive genius. A rose is a rose, just as a Maserati is unmistakably a Maserati.