Mike Stevens | Jul 28, 2011

Maserati's Jeep Grand Cherokee-based SUV is beginning to take shape. Reports out of Europe this week suggest Mazza's big family-mover will make its debut, in concept form, at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.

Earlier reports have suggested the new SUV may be little more than a facelifted Grand Cherokee, and, so it was rumoured, even likely to use the American car's V6 and V8 engines.

But now, according to industry paper Automotive News Europe, Fiat and Chrysler are building a Maserati that's as Italian as it can be. The Jeep's platform will feature, but with Maserati-specific suspension and its own Maserati powertrains.

Expect Maserati's 4.7 litre V8 engine, paired with a ZF eight-speed auto and producing around 335kW.

Styling and interior design will also be uniquely Italian, the report claims, with not an inch of Jeep to be seen. "The parts to be shared will be where the customer does not see it," the report adds, citing comments from Maserati insiders.

The SUV's design is reportedly being handled by Maserati's own Turin-based studio, moving the brand away from the penwork of prestige-favourite Pininfarina and the now Volkswagen-owned Italdesign Giugiaro.

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