|New Maserati Factory
Yes here we are at the famous Maserati factory located in Modena Italy. Thanks to our friends at Maserati the opportunity to get a first hand view of the new high tech factory for Maserati was possible. The last time I visited Maserati was during the period when DeTomaso infulence had ended and Montezemolo was taking over. Wow what a change! The new factory and supporting office facility is truly more than dramatic. The old facility was dated to say the least, and did not reflect modern automotive production concepts. As you can see from the photo below, the new Maserati rivals ability of any major automotive facility in Europe, Asia or the USA.
Maserati has been reborn. The 50,000sqft factory floor at the historic location of Viale Ciro Mentti in Modena, is vision of modern operations that could have never been envisioned by the brothers Maserati. There is the original red brick frontage that is unchanged from its original design, having been incorporated in the impressive new company headquarters.
|Maserati's Coupe in it's element
This policy of investment for the future was a must so that the modern Maserati product line would meet the expectations of excellence for quality laid down by Luca Montezemolo. The whole concept of Maserati as a historic icon and automotive brand , has been raised back to the status level not seen for over 30 years.
|Maserati has always perfered the V8 engine
Maserati is blend of luxury and performance whose flavor allows it to stand alone next to Ferrari. Without either brand standing in the shadow of the other. The new Maserati is more interested in a customer relationship that lasts beyond the rush of emotions from a new car. The new Maserati is stated in print as having a unlimited milage warranty!! Proving the confidence that Maserati has in it's own products. The new factory also contains a showroom where clients can enjoy the rare treat of personally taking delivery of a new Maserati.
|Luca Montezemolo introducing Kubang's design team......ITALDESIGN
Also the Italian automotive industry was created on a foundation of intellectual diversity that many people still do not understand or apperciate. As we all know the new line of Maserati's were designed by our friends at ITALDESIGN. As such the new Maserati's are another in a long line of legendary automotive designs prized by collectors around the world before they are produced!! But it is what is under the skin, the Maserati's performance. That surprises anyone who drives the Coupe or Spider. The high performance "Trofeo" coupe is a beast. This car is Maserati's race version of the Coupe, with luxury included as only Maserati can create. So we will be following a Trofeo as it is created on the assembly line in Modena.
In the above photo, we see a assembly technician in the process of taking the engine unit and starting the process that will create the final transaxel power unit. Above him we see the raw coachwork strating it's move toward the assembly area.The basic production floor is a modified loop system. Basic coachwork is started on the suspended cradles and then as moved forward and mated up with the power and suspension components.
These suspension cradles allow for total access to the coachwork in any position the assembly workers require. Here in the above photo we see the early stage of a body getting fitted with the foundational parts that will link up with the internal systems. The body panels are protected with special pads. In the background you can see on the far left a car in the final stage before roll off for systems checks and then road testing.
Here the coachwork is rolled on it's side so that the required work for the next stage is attended to. At this point you see the many lines, and system connectors that must be postioned for the next stage. We are also looking up in to the engine well and the transaxel tunnel.
In this photo we can see the even greater emphasis, of the modular concept of the coachwork design. ITAL's concept benefits the overall production simplicity for Maserati. Again this allows the workers to focus on their personal hands on aspect that ensures the quality of the modern Maserati's.
No where does the visable proof of the "hands" of quality become praticed discipline than when installing the interior electrical harness, and the many new high tech systems that are all standard on the modern Maserati's. We see below just a tiny slice of that job.
|Suede interior on a full race ready car !
Now while the rest of the interior is being staged for installation, we move over to see the final preprations for the mating to the coach which is floating over head. In the photo we are at the station where this takes place. Here there is the final check and then the lift platform provides the event. In the photo below we see the yellow lift that holds the power group for placement. Also you can see that the car just above and to our right in this photo has finished the transfer and the next coach in line to the left of the worker will be recieving the engine power group we are looking at here.
Now we talk a look at the various aspects of this process. First we will move around to get a nice clear shot of the engine unit in it's finished form before it is lifted into position. Take a real close look at the serious quality visible to anyone with automotive knowledge.
|The heart of the Beast
|Final fit to the coachwork
Next we move around under the chassis to watch the mating process as it takes place.
|Big full race spec. Brembo's
Also because this is a race car you will notice the massive Brembo brakes that are standard on the Trofeo. Go back and look at the interior and you will see a full safety harness with a suede blue interior! Go back and look at that full engine shot, again no expense spared.
Now from the rear we can see the entire transaxel and muffler suspension group as it is in a final fitting. Next this Trofeo will go though sevaral small steps befoer it is rolled off into the final inspection area.
Her come the inspectors with the check list for quality control and then off to the road testing. Road testing covers around 100Kn or 56 miles before it is ready for delivery to it's customer. Below is the full track version that was introduced at the Bologna Motor Show in Dec. 2002.
We will be doing indepth articles and testing of the 2003 Coupe and Spider Maserati's in the near future. Also look for our expanded coverage of the exciting Maserati "Kubang" sport wagon soon. Also anyone who is seriously thinking of a new Maserati, remember that you can even make your travel plans at http://www.maserati.com/. Thanks again to our friends at Maserati for making this tour of the factory possible.
We are hoping to a special feature on the engine production facility for Maserati in the near future.
All Photo's provided by Maserati and all reproductions Maserati 2003