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  Maserati
Maserati
vroom with a view
by Mark J. Miller
April 16, 2010

When Joe Walsh stepped to the microphone back in 1978 and sang, “My Maserati goes 185/I lost my license/Now I don’t drive” as the third verse of “Life’s Been Good,” he was singing a tune that lampooned the excessive celebrity life of rock ’n’ rollers of the day: mansions, parties that never ended, fans that attacked your limo.
 
But he also lifted Maserati into a special place in American culture. The Italian carmaker brand became synonymous with making it into that world. If you had laid down the big dough for a Maserati, you were automatically the coolest kid on the block, a member of the high-living, money-blowing jet set. What more could a brand want?

These days, though, it’s not so cool to be blowing dinero on a new set of hot wheels and a hotel room to trash. With a tough economy ruling the world and everybody keeping their penny rolls tucked snugly away, there aren’t likely as many Maseratis rolling out of dealerships as there were back in the 1980s and 1990s.

What’s rolling off the assembly line of maserati.com, though, is the idea of pure luxury: From the stately images of the vehicles themselves to the carefully worded descriptions of the cars (“Unmatched style and performance,” “luxury and elegance combined,” “open-air motoring”), the site oozes such high-end luxury, you keep waiting for some old stuffy butler-type to roll up next to you, roll down the window, and say, “Excuse me, do you have some Grey Poupon?”



 
 
Maserati Such a thing, of course, is not bound to happen. What will happen on the site, though, is a sudden unexplained need to flip through the images and drink in the beauty of all the cars in its many lines. With each car, visitors can look at the interior, the exterior, and such personalization items as internal types of wood, different electronic options, and the Executive Pack, which features “rear seats that warm, ventilate and massage occupants” and “wooden pull-down tables.”

All of this is carefully laid-out on the site for prospective customers and the peering masses to enjoy.

A little more difficult to find is Maserati’s answer to questions about the environmental impact of exhaust fumes and used parts. The company has apparently embarked on a five-year plan to cut fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. It isn’t clear, however, when this five-year period started. The company was founded way back in 1914 in the beautiful city of Bologna, Italy, where the five Maserati brothers – Alfieri, Bindo, Carlo, Ettore, and Ernesto – resided. They started with racecars and soon one of the first they made, driven by Alfieri, won one of Italy’s most prestigious open-road races of the time, the Targa Florio. The brothers then began churning out gorgeous auto after gorgeous auto, a rhythm that hasn’t changed for the company no matter who has owned it over the years.

The site also has a section dedicated to two of its concept cars. These are vehicles that used to be secretly test driven without the competition knowing about them. But Maserati isn’t worried about anything else on the road giving the brand or its concept cars a problem. You can feel that way when your cars supposedly go 185.

Another curious area focuses on end-of-life vehicles, which is a nice way of saying dead cars. Maserati is now in the sustainability game, and focused on creating cars that have parts that can be recycled and disposed of easily and in an environmentally friendly fashion. The section has an “Approved Treatment Facility” list to help consumers through the grieving process over their recently departed cars – while also encouraging them to return the cars to certified Maserati dealers.

Perhaps that’s what Joe Walsh did with his.

 

Mark J. Miller writes a daily sports column for Yahoo! Sports and is a contributing writer to Crain's BtoB's Media Business magazine. His work has appeared in National Geographic Adventure, ESPN, The Washington Post, Salon.com, I.D., and Glamour, among others.

*Due to the constantly changing environment of websites, some reviews may no longer reflect the current website for this brand.
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