Fans of tasteless and vulgar cars have never had it so good. Hot on the heels of the Eterniti Haemorrhoid comes the Maserati Kubang. What's the betting that the same person who demanded the creation of the Eterniti also demanded a Maserati SUV?
I'll start with a positive and say that the Kubang looks slightly better than the 2003 concept car, but that's a little like saying that being hit around the head with a baseball bat is a little less painful than being hit with a sledgehammer.
The Kubang is clearly a car for those who like their Maseratis to resemble a bloated Nissan Qashqai with a face like a pig on Angry Birds. Perhaps the name came from the sound of a small toy bird hitting the paintwork. KU-BANG!
But you know what, I have a feeling that Maserati themselves are a little disgruntled that they were forced into making this SUV. I'm convinced they'd be much happier presenting the world with the likes of the Quattroporte, Ghibli or Bora. Yes, their press releases speaks about the DNA of Maserati and is at pains to point out that the Kubang is dripping with 'sportiness and luxury'. But if you read through the press release again, you realise that it just contains a load of marketing speak, hyperbole and waffle.
Today potential synergies with sister brand Jeep – a brand that 70 years ago created a new segment of the market and is today a leader of this very segment – are the important catalyst for Maserati’s own interpretation of a sport luxury SUV. And it seems only appropriate to give the model that we are unveiling today the very name of the concept that opened the way: Maserati Kubang.
The essence and all major system components of the Maserati sport luxury SUV will unmistakably be Maserati: style, engine, suspensions, brakes, handling and performance will all be 100% Maserati in picture-perfect continuity with the brand’s core values of sportiness, style, elegance, luxury, performance and craftsmanship.
Until today Maserati has been producing sedans, coupes and two- or four-seater convertibles. Whether we named them Quattroporte, GranTurismo or GranCabrio – or, before them, Ghibli, Mistral, Bora or Indy - their common denominator rested in two words: sportiness and luxury. Times have changed: sportiness and luxury today don’t have just one definition. They can also take the form of a very dynamic looking and high performing sport luxury SUV.
Good grief! And not even the slightest mention of spec or prices. But read between the lines and you'll discover that this is simply a Jeep Grand Cherokee in a different frock. Noticed I resisted the temptation to use the word 'pretty'.
I'm sure there are some great cars at Frankfurt, but this and the Eterniti aren't two of them. Guess we should be thankful that we won't see that many of them in the UK. Be grateful for small mercies.