Why Ferrari Is Way Cooler Than Maserati

Six years ago, carthrottle.com‘s Matt Kimberly riled-up readers by asserting that Maseratis are more laid back and stylish, make better convertibles, and produce a more soulful soundtrack than Ferrari. As S.E. Hinton would say . . .

That was then, this is now. Before I trash talk the Trident, know this: from 1999 to 2005, Ferrari owned Maserati. Ferrari justified the takeover with the usual synergy BS. Maserati would be Ferrari’s luxury division!

1999 Maserati 3200 GT (courtesy collecting cars)

Only Ferrari continued cranking-out luxury Grand Tourers (550M, 575M Maranello, 612 Scaglietti and Superamerica). Ferrari positioned Maserati as a poor man’s Ferrari (excepting the Enzo-derived Maserati MC12).

Wouldn’t it be cool if today’s Ferrari-engined Maseratis were cooler than Ferrari’s Ferrari-engined Ferraris? As my father used to say, if my Grandmother had wheels I’d be a trolley car. With one exception, Maserati’s current lineup can’t compete for cool with Ferrari. Here’s why . . .

Ferraris Are More Beautiful Than Maseratis

That’s quite a statement from a guy who just called the Ferrari Purosangue SUV‘s design a dog’s breakfast. Good thing (for me) that the Maserati Levante SUV is as bland as the Purosangue is goofy.

Maserati Gracale

As for Maserati’s forthcoming Lavante mini-me Gracale, it looks like every other small-sized luxury SUV with a Maserati grill. Which all look like the Gracale with their grille. That leaves the Maserati Ghibli/Quattroporte – bulbous sedans – and the brand’s star attraction.

Maserati’s two- and four-door sedans were cursed at birth with an overlong wheelbase. The layout makes the rear pillars look stunted AF. Like Maserati’s presence in Austin and other style-making cities, the sedans’ undersized portholes are neither here nor there.

Maserati Cielo MC20

The MC20 turbo V6-powered two-seater is, without doubt, cool. The low-slung, clean-sheet design successfully straddles the line between LeMans racer and scissor door supercar. With the similarly styled Enzo gone, Ferrari doesn’t make anything similar. (But they did, and that’s cool.)

Before the MC20, the last cool Maserati was the aforementioned MC12, a 50-car run based on . . . the Ferrari Enzo. Still, point to Maserati for the new MC20! Make it two for the MC20 not being mistaken for a Ferrari. Much.

Ferrari 296 GTB

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Ferrari builds six main models: the Purosangue, 812, 296, SF90, F8 Tributo and Roma. (Not to mention the totally bonkers windowless SP series.)

Take Ferrari’s misbegotten SUV out of the equation and you have the world’s most beautiful automotive quintet. Feel free to argue the point amongst yourselves, but that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Ferraris Sound Better Than Maseratis

At 10:35 in the MC20 video above, Rory cavils about the car’s sonic signature.

It’s definitely nowhere near as extreme or as loud as some other supercars . . . but you do get some quite lovely whistles and chuffs from the turbos just over your shoulder . . . so it is forgivable.

No. No it’s not. The Maserati MC20’s clean-sheet turbo six is a marvel but it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. Surely they could have done something to pump-up the volume.

Maserati has been bumming engines from Ferrari for decades. The modified Ferrari V8 nestling inside the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo above sounds multo delicioso. At least from the outside.

A Ferrari at full chat is the sine qua non of supercar soundtracks. Yes, ye olde naturally aspirated Ferraris’ engines were aural sex personified. But the latter day turbo-cars are hardly the sonic equivalent of Mormon soaking.

I know: the SF90 Stradale (above) in EV mode doesn’t make any sound. But once it starts sacrificing dead dinosaurs on the altar of speed, take that MC hammer!

Ferraris are Race Cars!

If you’re into F1, The Truth About Ferrari needs a racing commentator (leave a comment below). But as much as I don’t know about F1, I know it exists. And so does every car guy, gal and non-binary auto enthusiast.

F1 is mostly boring IMHO, but it’s entirely cool. We’re talking about the world’s most exotic automobiles – more expensive than the most expensive Bugatti. And significantly faster.

Once upon a time, Maserati used to compete in Formula One. Did pretty well too: nine race victories, two Driver’s Championships. That ended in 1960.

In 2010, the MC12 won GT1 World Championship for Drivers. Maserati’s slated to enter the Formula E series. Which is cool and ever-so-PC. In fact, Formula E might someday replace F1. Meanwhile, it’s not as cool as F1.

Is Ferrari the Coolest Automotive Brand in the World?

Ferrari F8 Tributo

Maserati gets props for being Italian. The MC20 could be the start of a cool change. But the brand isn’t even on the radar of next gen car peeps.

Ferrari is the world’s most recognizable car brand. Period. They make bella machinas. They sound awesome (as in standing mute in the face of God). And they race in front of billions of car nuts.

What of brands like Lamborghini and Mclaren? Boutique builders like Pagani, Bugatti and Koenigsegg? They could be considered way cooler by dint of their design, performance and rarity. But Ferrari takes this one walking – make that blasting away.

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