Politics

Trident to be tested

3 Mins read

THE MAIN Metro Manila artery that is EDSA is also known to many as “automotive row,” on account of the numerous mobility brands that have set up shop there. It’s a key battleground as much as it is a thriving marketplace.

It’s thus an important message Modena Motorsports, Inc., local purveyor of all things Maserati, made when it recently opened a showroom on the ground floor of Primex Tower which rises on the corner of Connecticut Avenue and, yes, EDSA.

“This (opening of the facility) will be the start of more things to come, more branches, expansion,” said Modena Motorsports President Sam Versoza to “Velocity.” And this foothold on EDSA will, if plans push through, neither be the most significant nor only one. “This is the first (branch) of two here in EDSA. If you can see on the other side, there will be a new building.”

That new building, he continued, is expected to be completed in two to three years. “It’s going to be a four-storey building with our own facility and services there. Everything will be there. Hopefully, we can start the groundbreaking soon, but now, we have this beautiful showroom that will serve as the new flagship (Maserati) dealership here in the Philippines.” The existing Maserati location on Gilmore Avenue in Quezon City will stay open.

As for Primex? “We’ll still decide on what to do with this area because this is a prime area, too. Maybe we’ll keep this and move service activities to (the bigger EDSA) building,” Mr. Versoza averred. The yet-to-rise Maserati location, he said, will be “a complete facility with servicing, showroom, and stockroom also for all the units of Maserati,” and Modena Motorsports is currently working on the building plans, including getting the needed permits required prior to the groundbreaking of the edifice.

Along with the opening of its Primex home, the company took the wraps off a new vehicle: the GranTurismo coupé. The sleek, elegantly styled car is positioned as combining the “high performance typical of a sports car with comfort suitable for driving long distance.” Maserati said it “represents an ideal balance between beauty and functionality, without ostentation.”

The traditional design cues of Maserati have also been kept — such as the long hood, and a “central body intersected by the four fenders.” Its roofline “drops dynamically to emphasize the curve of the pillar that features the iconic Trident logo.”

The GranTurismo is assembled in Italy — at the company’s Mirafiori factory in Turin, to be exact. Maserati emphasizes the vehicle’s “100% made in Italy” quality, and how it “epitomizes Italian luxury performance,” as do all Maseratis. Two variants will be made available, both powered by a 3.0-liter V6 Nettuno engine. The Modena has 490hp on tap, while the high-performance Trofeo’s mill is tweaked to deliver a maximum of 550hp.

In building the GranTurismo, Maserati said it made “extensive use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and magnesium, together with high-performance steel,” ultimately leading to “best-in-class” weight.

The company makes innovative systems available, such as the Maserati Intelligent Assistant (MIA) Multimedia system, in its infotainment offering. A comfort display collects the main functions in an integrated touchscreen interface, and adds a digital clock, head-up display (as an option), and a Sonus Faber Audio system. The GranTurismo offers two audio configurations: The standard Premium audio system features 14 speakers and 2D surround, with an output of 860W; and an optional High Premium audio system with 19 speakers, 2D and 3D surround sound with powerful amplification of up to 1,195W.

The audio experience extends to the actual “iconic signature sound” of the Nettuno engine.

The GranTurismo comes in a very exclusive PrimaSerie 75th Anniversary Launch Edition, a limited series featuring exclusive content and is dedicated to the company’s recent 75th anniversary. Modena Motors has been allocated one unit in a finite production of only 75 worldwide. “We expect this limited-edition GranTurismo to arrive Manila by the end of 2024,” said Modena Motorsports.

The distributor is mulling to establish a Maserati facility in Clark, Pampanga. “We have acquired a lot there, but it’s still under talks with the management if we can expand there. We’ve been studying the market, and I think the market here in Luzon is pretty huge. We could still expand here before Visayas and Mindanao,” Mr. Versoza told this writer.

The executive added that Maserati will always espouse to appeal to a “special or niche market; people who want to be different.” He asserted,“Our customers want to be seen as wanting the performance of a sportscar, and having luxury as well. We always promote that this is about exclusivity. You’ll have something that no one else will have. The production of Maserati is not mass production; it’s very limited. So you’ll be part of something very exclusive. And of course, the combination of performance, luxury, and comfort all in one vehicle is also something else.”