by Piero Bianco

A bright idea, put rapidly into practice and in just over two months it was ready for the Detroit Show. The Maserati Kubang concept was created by Giorgetto Giugiaro after being asked to think Maserati and how to apply luxury SUV characteristics to a brand with a long-standing reputation for sporty elegance.

Giugiaro himself told Piero Bianco about the thinking and the objectives behind his product. His intention, he said, was to create a performance supercar, a GT in the best Maserati tradition, that could also accommodate the needs of the modern motorist with an energetic outdoor life-style.

“This is a new idea, designed from scratch as the realisation of a splendid dream”, explains the Turin based designer. “I’ve often thought there’s something not quite right about the SUV concept. The more I looked at them, the more I felt that they’re not really cars, more like house-trained off-roaders. And they have their virtues, but also some fatal flaws, lacking as they do the ability to supply driving pleasure and safety in all situations that we expect of the modern car”.

The Maserati Kubang GT Wagon is generously but not excessively dimensioned at 4.98 m long, 1.94 m wide, but only 1.65 m high to preserve the original low centre of gravity and a driving position that offers superlative visibility. On the mechanicals front the torque control on all four drive wheels makes for optimum weight distribution (48/52%) between the front and rear axles. And with the aid of its six-speed gearbox, this Kubang version achieves 0-100 km/h acceleration in just 5.5 seconds, as well as a top speed of over 250 km/h.

The ultra-versatile interior offers a choice of configurations: classic 5-seater, or 4 single seats plus the option of an extra pair in the third row.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 138

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