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Originally Published: January 15, 2013 12:01 AM
Modified: January 15, 2013 6:51 AM
LUCA CIFERRI

Maserati flagship leaves Chrysler roots behind

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Luca Ciferri is Editor-in-Chief of Automotive News Europe.

There is not much Chrysler left in the new Quattroporte, Maserati CEO Harald Wester says.

Maserati is poised to begin its rebirth with a new Quattroporte large sedan that debuted on Tuesday at the Detroit auto show, but the new sedan -- the flagship for the Fiat-Chrysler organization -- has very little North American content left.

"From the Chrysler 300 we carried over the electrical system, a portion on the platform where seats are hinged and some elements of the air conditioning, that is all," Wester told me.

Wester, a German engineer who also is Fiat-Chrysler's chief technical officer and Alfa Romeo's CEO, gets mad when he hears that the new Quattroporte is based on Chrysler underpinnings.

Maserati is poised to begin its rebirth with a new Quattroporte large sedan.

It is simply untrue, he says.

And Wester is probably right. Originally, the company conceived the new Quattroporte to have a higher level of carry-overs from the 300, then changes were made to the rear suspension, front suspension and engine bay structure that removed many of those carry-overs.

One other thing the new Quattroporte and the 300 still have in common is an eight-speed automatic transmission. But it is from neither Chrysler nor Maserati. It's from German supplier ZF, which provides it to many automakers, including Jeep for the revised Grand Cherokee.

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