The upcoming Jeep Grand Cherokee is set to take on a prestigious second life, with Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirming that the SUV will form the basis of a new high-riding Maserati.
Speaking with the Wall Street Journal this week, Marchionne said that a Maserati-badged SUV will go into production in 2013, built atop the platform used by the Grand Cherokee.
Never one to mince words, Marchionne told the Journal, "This is just a great architecture. Why wouldn't I put a Maserati on it?"
The new SUV marks the second collaboration between the Chrysler and Maserati brands, and while the 1989 'Chrysler TC by Maserati' was not well received, Chrysler's new Pentastar V6 engine and the Daimler-co-developed Grand Cherokee platform will likely signal a change in the duo's fortunes.
Designed while still under the wing of Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, the new Grand Cherokee's platform currently does duty under the ML-Class. And if it's good enough for Mercedes, it ought to do the job for Maserati.
With a 2013 launched pegged by Marchionne, images and details of the unnamed Maserati SUV will undoubtedly surface in the coming year.
The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is set to launch in Australia in February next year. Pricing and details are expected to be confirmed closer to its arrival.