By on November 22, 2019

Maserati has something cooking in the kitchen and we’re now getting “spy shots” of its new test mule, though the images were released by the manufacturer’s PR department. While we don’t mind automakers showing a little leg, framing corporate marketing materials as covert information is a trend we wouldn’t mind seeing scaled back. It’s not that we don’t want to see vehicles ahead of their official release — it’s just not a terribly effective ruse.

It did, however, whet our appetite. The camouflaged mule represents a major departure from the brand, looking like a cross between Alfa Romeo’s 4C and the Noble M400. In fact, we’re already presuming the model shares plenty of its DNA with Alfa, as that’s been Fiat Chrysler’s modus operandi for a while. Maserati claims the engine (at least) will be totally new and entirely unique to the brand. 

Keep whatever feelings you might have about the bodystyle in your back pocket. Maserati only said that the vehicle is a mule to help test the new engine, but the official debut has already been scheduled for May 2020, suggesting this could be the shell they’ll be running with (if they use one). It certainly looks like a heavily modified 4C — which is something the brand has considered developing in the past.

Our guess is that it’s just a placeholder vehicle with some basis in reality. Maserati still needs to “fine-tune and develop the prototypes with final bodywork and mechanics,” but it seems unlikely they’d tease the exterior so heavily if it wasn’t indicative of something more.

While the company has expressed an interest in adding EVs to its lineup by 2022, it’s also been pretty clear that it wants to remain committed to ICEs. Maserati also noted the powertrain will serve as the “forefather of a new family of engines” developed in-house. Engine means fuel go boom, so it’d probably have to be a hybrid or gasoline motor, unless we’re giving the term the nonsensical four-door-coupe treatment.

We’ll know more in six months.

[Images: Maserati]

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