In Conversation with… Charly Dagher

The Regional GM of Maserati Qatar and Oman Markets and GM Alfa Romeo, Abarth & Fiat Qatar at Alfardan Sports Motors talks electric vehicles, racing updates and a dream drive.

How do you envision the future of the sports and luxury motoring market in Qatar given the growing presence of electric and hybrid vehicles in the country?
The local market is certainly evolving toward electric and hybrid vehicles. Meanwhile, Maserati is well-prepared for this shift and is adapting accordingly. That is why Maserati has launched the all-electric Folgore trims globally to embrace the future of electrification. We expect to bring these zero-emission models to Qatar in 2024. This aligns with our commitment to innovation and sustainability while catering to the needs and preferences of the Qatari market.

Maserati has long been known for its racing heritage. Are there any recent updates on racing cars from the brand?
Maserati continues to uphold its racing heritage with the launch of exciting models like the Maserati GT2, MCXtrema and other racing cars. These vehicles showcase our dedication to performance and competition. They are a testament to Maserati’s commitment to high-performance racing excellence. The GT2 is a new single-seater racer car that has been developed to comply with GT2 regulations and is largely based on the MC20. Like its road-going sibling, the GT2 uses Maserati’s 3.0-litre, twin-turbo Nettuno V6 engine, delivering 621hp and 730Nm of torque.
Similarly, the MCXtrema is based on the street-legal MC20 supercar. Limited to 62 units, this is the most powerful track car that the Modena-based brand has ever made.

Currently, Maserati is very active in Formula E. How do you think this relates to its road cars?
It was a historic moment in 2022 when Maserati entered the Formula E Championship. It was not only a first for the Trident brand, but also for Formula E itself, with the first Italian manufacturer entering the championship. Formula E provides a platform for us to test and develop cutting-edge electric technologies, which directly contribute to the development of our road cars, ensuring that they offer the best in terms of performance and efficiency. By entering the electric world championship, Maserati will definitely accelerate its progress toward electrification because it targets having a fully electrified version of its entire range by 2025.

Are there any new Maserati models or upcoming developments on the horizon for our readers to be aware of?
We have an exciting announcement to share with our enthusiasts and loyal fans. The eagerly anticipated all-new Maserati GranTurismo will be launched in Qatar in December. It brings back the GranTurismo’s nameplate, that has been on hiatus since 2019. The good news is that it will be powered by the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 Nettuno engine that debuted in the MC20. The all-new Maserati GranTurismo encapsulates the very essence of Italian luxury and style. It isn’t just a vehicle; it’s a statement of sophistication, reflecting the legacy of a brand that has always prioritised aesthetics as much as performance. As it graces the roads of Qatar this December, the GranTurismo is set to remind the world that Maserati isn’t just about speed and power, but also about an unparalleled blend of opulence and artistry. The heart might be in the roar of the engine, but the soul? It’s in the sublime elegance that this car exudes.

If you could choose any Maserati model and location for your dream drive, what would be your ultimate combination?
Personally, I would choose the Maserati MC20 for a thrilling spin on the Lusail International Circuit. For a more scenic adventure, I would opt for the Maserati Grecale Trofeo on the roads of Medina Central at The Pearl-Qatar. I prefer the latter location because it perfectly blends urban sophistication with stunning coastal views. ✤