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Maserati - Italian Beauty and Performance

Few cars combine performance, luxury and style like the Maserati. Although marketed as a luxury car the Maserati is very much a sports car, sharing much in common with its sister the Ferrari. The company went through a period where it really struggled and its survival looked doubtful. Fortunately after many changes in ownership things have started to turn around and there appears to be a bright future for the brand. Of course things can change in an instant in this industry but for now the Maserati is one of the top status symbol automobiles on the market.

The Maserati company was founded by five brothers in the early part of the twentieth century mainly to go racing. Originally they built race cars but in order to pay for the racing they started selling sports cars to customers. This was a common practice back in days between the two world wars and quite a few famous sports car companies started out this way. During World War 2 Maserati had to stop building cars in order to produce parts for the Italian war effort but they quickly got back into business after the war and became one of the most successful racing teams of the era. During the early fifties they dominated formula one racing but by the late fifties that had more or less given it up in order to concentrate on road car production.

It was around this time that they also made the switch from building sports cars to building luxury cars, although their cars have always remained very high performance. The company has gone through many changes of ownership over the years but it is currently owned by Ferrari. That means that both the engine and the chassis of the current Maserati line up is actually based on Ferrari cars. Not surprisingly the Maserati is a very high performance luxury vehicle.

The current top of the line offering from Maserati is the GranTurismo which is really just a four seat Ferrari. The car comes with a 4.2 liter engine that produces 400 horsepower. With a six speed gear box this is very much a luxury sports car. The sales of Maseratis have skyrocketed in recent years in large part due to the fact that they have been reintroduced to the United States. For a variety of reasons the cars were unavailable to American buyers for many years. This changed in 2002 and the US has quickly become the top market for Maseratis. The primary reason is that most of the companies they compete with in Europe don't sell cars in America or only have a limited presence. It might also have something to do with the fact that it is mainly Americans who have the wealth to afford a Maserati. Whatever the reason the company's struggles appear to be behind them as sales have been brisk in recent years.