Mike Stevens | Sep 14, 2011

Maserati's long-rumoured entry into the luxury SUV segment has arrived, its muscular Kubang. And while we don't quite get the name, the high-riding Mazza ought to give Cayenne buyers something to consider.

In fact, the Kubang shown at Frankfurt is the second Maserati SUV to wear the name, following the Kubang GT concept that appeared at (and quietly disappeared after) the 2003 Detroit Auto Show.

A spot of googling reveals that the origin of the Kubang name is the Indonesian phrase "angin kumbang," or "bumblebee wind." Maserati said in 2003 that it prefers the more elegant translation "a wind over Java".

How the word came to change from kumbang to Kubang should be, we think, rather obvious.

As for the car itself, the new Kubang is built on a platform derived from the Chrysler and Daimler-developed architecture that underpins the new Grand Cherokee and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.

maserati kubang detroit 2003 01

Technical details have not been revealed, but Maserati promises that all of the "style and major elements" are 100 percent Maserati.

Even the powertrain line-up will be made up of "high-tech proprietary engines," developed in-house by former Ferrari engineer Paolo Martinelli but produced by Ferrari at its Maranello headquarters.

An eight-speed automatic transmission will also be developed exclusively for the Kubang, Maserati says.

Watch for more details on Maserati's Cayenne-rivalling SUV to appear in the coming months.

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