• Nov 22nd 2010 at 9:32AM
  • 47
2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Click above for high-res image gallery

Remember the last time Chrysler and Maserati collaborated? It was the late '80s, the car was called the Chrysler TC by Maserati,and it didn't go nearly as well as the men in charge of the project had hoped. Now, 25 years later, Sergio Marchionne heads both companies and he wants to try another tryst. It will again be a Maserati body on a Chrysler platform, this time a Maserati SUV on the Jeep Grand Cherokee's underpinnings. The vehicle has actually been rumored for some time now, with earlier reports suggesting that the off-road Maser is likely to receive Ferrari power, but this is the first time we've heard such clear and concrete talk from a high-ranking official like Marchionne.

Marchionne has confirmed the vehicle's arrival to The Wall Street Journal, going so far as to say, "This is just a great architecture. Why wouldn't I put a Maserati on it?" To be fair, the same platform does duty under the Mercedes M-Class, which is built in Alabama, and that line runs in price all the way up to the $92,590 M63 AMG so there's no reason it won't suit a properly engineered Maserati.

Yet while the TC by Maserati was built in Milan with hand-finished bodies, this SUV will apparently be produced on the same line as the Jeep and Dodge Durango in Chrysler's Jefferson North plant in Detroit. No date has been mentioned for when it will appear, nor do we have any idea of what it will look like. But if it truly sticks to Maserati values – other than the part about being made in Italy – it will probably compete with the Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover and Mercedes G-Class. Hat tips to Prhime and Ryan!

Photos copyright ©2010 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      What next, a Maserti badged Ram?
      But then again, an SUV would bring profits that they can use to build more sports/luxury cars.
      As long as it's good and doesn't turn out butt-ugly, I don't have a problem with it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hail the return of Maserati TC!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Think they'll go for the portholes this time ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Maserati SUV...made in Michigan...I know it worked for Porsche and brands have to evolve to survive, blah blah blah, but it's still disgusting.The Maserati Brothers are having epileptic fits in their graves
      • 4 Years Ago
      The biggest problem that TC by Maserati had back in the late 80s was that it was clearly overshadowed by the LeBaron convertible, which had virtually the same underpinnings, was about 15-20 thou cheaper and far better looking to boot. Hopefully Chrysler and Maserati have learned from that little debacle... guess we'll see.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Grand Cherokee-based Maserati SUV to be built in MI" = Frankenstein
      • 4 Years Ago
      what will they call it - the Maserati TC by Chrysler?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think this is a good idea... it never works out quite a well when they try and dress up lower end models and rebadge them. I really hope they take nothing more than the frame from the GC...

      Good news for MI though!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yes, I can understand how it looks that way, but this is actually exactly the kind of thing that Fiat needs to do to make the Chrysler acquisition work.

        As the article says, this basic M-B engineered structure is very sound. Fiat will need to do some significant work, mind you, because the drivetrain and styling will need to be outstanding to win over the critics, but I don't think this is insurmountable.

        I'm not sure this venture is a "likely" success, but it's not impossible, either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Its not M-B Enginered. Its a Jeep Design that M-B used for the new M Class. The Merc just came out first due to Chrylser's Money problems (which in turn are about 90% Damlier's Fault to begin with)

        People seem to forget the M Class was one of the most unreliable Vehicles in the industry until they started using The last gen JGC Platform.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Another positive move and more proof that unlike Mercedes, Fiat knows how to merge 2 companies together. Marchionne isn't trying to "protect" his precious Maserati by not having it intermingle with plebeian brands like Jeep like Mercedes would have tried doing.

      Marchionne is proving to me to be one of the smartest CEOs in the auto biz, and this American-Italian marriage looks like it just might have a chance to succeed which would be good for both companies and both countries.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1 to this. Mergers can work when there's a clear need and a plan for both sides, something that was sorely lacking in the DCX travesty.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Please don't make it as hideous as the Cayenne........
      • 4 Years Ago
      a interesting idea, specially since both Porsche, Lexus, M-B and BMW all have SUV's ,
      the Grand Cherokee is a fine design indeed, and its basic chassis is well proven and
      well designed.
      Its interesting, historically going back into the 50's , european sports car designers sourced American V8 engines, including the 50's era Mopar Hemis, Cadillac v8
      engines for thier platforms. later the Ford small block was a popular choice .
      Remember the Sunbeam Tiger, well there was a very rare version with a ford 260 2bbl
      v8 small block.
      Even more recently, the early 70's, the Jensen Interceptor, first ones used a chrysler 383 v8, then later a 440 mopar wedge big block. they also used the mopar torqueflite
      A727 automatic.

      I think a US state of the art v8in a european badged car is a great idea, I'd love to see
      Maserati keep the 5.7L or the future 6.4L hemi and boost it with a maserati designed
      turbocharging or mechanical supercharging system, to take power into the 500-550
      range with a off the line torque curve like a caterpillar D8.
      that'd be one hell of a powertrain for the big Maserati 4 door sedan itself.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Like when I first heard Porsche were doing the Cayenne.... "NO NO NO NO NO"
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