It would seem that Fiat head Sergio Marchionne is nothing if not ambitious. Following the seven-hour-long marathon presentation of Chrysler's latest business plan back in November of 2009, the giant Italian automaking alliance has just released its own five-year business plan, which includes Fiat, Maserati and Ferrari in addition to announcing the long-awaited return of the Alfa Romeo brand to the United States as a full-range automaker.
We'll start with Ferrari... for obvious reasons. Kicking off a series of six new models will be a replacement for the four-seat 612 Scaglietti, which is destined to add a hybrid powertrain to its impressive V12 engine. Next up is a convertible version of the new 458 Italia sometime next year, and later another 458-based model that will be much more track focused, like the 430 Scuderia.
Staying with the Prancing Horse lineup, we should see a new range-topping Ferrari to take the mantle from the discontinued Enzo hypercar, very likely to see an engine utilizing forced induction along with a lightweight platform. The 599 GTB will get a replacement as well, and the recently released California will see itself updated and granted an M designation.
Like what you're hearing so far? There's plenty more where that came from, make the jump for the rest of the goods.
Moving on to Maserati, Fiat promises a new four-door Quattroporte that will boast "a completely new style, offering outstanding driving emotions and high-level quality." Not surprising, given the recent additions of the Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide to the luxury/performance sedan ranks. The automaker will "maintain and sustain" its GranTurismo and GranCabrio lines, whatever that means.
Perhaps the most interesting news from Maserati is the planned addition of a smaller four-door that will theoretically go up against such respected nameplates as the BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E-Class AMG and Audi RS6. In order to reach the desired 10-percent market share in this hotly contested segment, Maserati promises to improve its dealer network and streamline its production and cost-savings methods.
And now to the meat and potatoes of the automaker's lineup.
The Fiat brand will benefit from a comprehensive update that will include every one of its models being heavily revised or replaced by 2015. Of special interest to those of us living in the U.S. are an entry-level B-segment car to be based on a Fiat platform and deemed worthy for North American consumption in 2012. Along with that, a Fiat-based five-seat compact MPV is due out in 2012, a Fiat-based C-segment sedan in 2012 and a Dodge Journey-based Fiat for the European market in 2011.
As expected, Fiat will merge the Chrysler and Lancia nameplates with the automakers' next generation of vehicles. We already were counting on a significantly refreshed 300C for 2011, and Fiat confirmed it today. We'll also get a revised minivan in 2011. One year later, Chrysler should be getting its next set of compact vehicles, which will include a Fiat-based D-segment sedan in addition to the Chrysler-based C-segment hatchback and sedan.
Jeep won't be left out of the product renaissance either, with the Wrangler, Patriot and Compass getting significant upgrades in 2011. Hopefully, that will include a new powertrain for the hopelessly underpowered Wrangler. Of course, we all know that a completely redesigned Grand Cherokee is just around the corner, but Fiat also says that the Liberty (known as the Cherokee in Europe) will also be replaced in 2013, when it will be joined by a new Chrysler-based C-segment SUV that will abolish the Patriot and Compass twins once and for all.
Finally, Fiat will separate its industrial operations from its automotive operations. The automaker's newly-formed commercial outfit, Fiat Professional, will adopt a one-ton pickup truck for the European market that we're sure will draw very heavily from the Ram division's know-how. Fiat will also share its fuel-saving MultiAir and dual-clutch automatic gearbox technology with Chrysler in America.
Admittedly, that's a whole heck of a lot of information to digest. Feel free to browse through our image gallery below for slides from Fiat that may help make everything a bit less muddy. Maybe.
[Source: Fiat | Images: Borsa Itialiana]