5 Things you didn’t know about Maserati

There are certain brands that are so synonymous with luxury that when they get name checked in popular songs, you don’t have to know much about the brand to be impressed. Maserati is one of those brands. Maserati evokes a sense of awe and desire because it isn’t just a car, as one of the oldest brands still available on the market today, it’s a piece of international history.

To give you a little bit of context for the next time Britney Spears says Maserati, here are five things you maybe didn’t know about Maserati.

Family affair

Maserati was born out of a shared family passion for mechanical perfection. The three Maserati brothers who founded the company in 1914, Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto were brilliant engineers with an insatiable appetite for motor sports. Alfieri was a highly decorated driver who led Maserati to many racing wins in the 1920’s before passing away due to complications from a racing accident. After Alfieri died in 1932, a fourth brother Bindo joined the company and together, the Maserati brothers contributed to the sports luxury automobile manufacturer for the rest of their lives.

From right: Alfieri, Ernesto, Bindo and leftmost is Ettore. Image source: www.Italiantribune.com

It started with a spark

In the early 1900’s the Maserati name was already synonymous with innovation thanks to the improvements Carlo and Alfieri Maserati made to the electrical equipment of early motor vehicles. During the first World War, the Italian government enlisted the brilliant Maserati brothers to develop more efficient spark plugs for aircraft engines to improve performance and enhance reliability. Once the war was over, Alfieri opened up shop in an old bottle factory in Bologna to continue to improve car engine spark plugs. In 1926, the first authentic Maserati vehicle, the Tipo 26, glided through those shop doors and onto the winner’s podium of its debut race at the Targa Florio, with Alfieri Maserati behind the wheel.

The Maserati brothers standing with the Tipo 26. Image source: www.luxurylaunches.com 

The trident symbol

As the other Maserati boys worked to create these mechanical works-of-art, the painter of the family, Mario Maserati, focussed his efforts on creating an iconic logo for the brand. Drawing inspiration from their home city of Bologna, Mario designed the trident logo for Maserati after admiring the Statue of Neptune in the Piazza Maggiore. Invoking the strength and vigour of Neptune, the god of the sea, the trident remains a constant in the entire Maserati lineup.

Image source: www.maserati.com

From rivals to partners

At the onset of the Second World War, Maserati moved operations from Bologna for Modena. This fateful move would lay the groundwork for a fearsome rivalry with another Modena based Italian super-automaker, Ferrari.  This rivalry turned Modena into the center of European motor racing during the 1950s. The Via Emilia, an old Roman road running through the middle of the city, became a boundary between the territories of the two manufacturers. To the north of the Via, was strictly Maserati’s turf and anyone on the south was a Ferrari diehard. This local competition helped establish an emotional intensity among the builders in Modena, adding fuel to the clashes on the track and in the showroom. In a strange twist of fate, when Maserati was acquired by Fiat Group in 1993, Maserati became the luxury division of their former rival, Ferrari, and experienced a renaissance of commercial and industrial success.

Image source: www.youtube.com

Future thinking

Maserati was founded under the principals that ordinary was not enough and ambition was only limited by your imagination. To commemorate Maserati’s centennial year, a concept car was unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show that paid tribute to these values and the brother who was behind the wheel of the first Maserati. The Alfieri, Maserati’s first supercar in more than a decade is a 300km/h-plus road rocket that forms a new and lofty halo for the Italian luxury brand. Brand boss Tim Kuniskis says Maserati has Tesla in it’s sights. With the Ferrari NV supplied transmission and an ultra-light weight aluminum frame, the Alfieri can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in less than two seconds outmatching Tesla’s Model S P100D. The fully electric Alfieri will hit the market in 2022 in both coupe and cabrio guise.

Image source: www.maserati.com

Maserati knows capturing the essence of Italy is no ordinary feat. True Italian design language expresses the spirit of its distinct sing-song language, the scenic beauty of the landscape to the timeless sculptures adorning its cities. That’s why Maserati is everything but ordinary. The spirit of Italia lives in the performance and in the meticulous details of every Maserati.