Century-old Italian bluebloods, auto maker Maserati and fashion house Zegna, jointly made a limited edition sedan. Despite its silky interior, analysts say it doesn't cost much more to produce them. Fred Katayama reports.
Mix the Italian craftsmanship of Maserati with the timeless style from the house of Zegna, and you get the Quattroporte Zegna Limited Edition. The luxury Italian sports car maker is producing just 100 of these sedans. Rabid fans will have to fork up $175,000 for this shiny metal with the posh interiors. REPORTER ON CAMERA: FRED KATAYAMA, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SAYING: You see Zegna's touches all over it. On the exterior, a silky finish with paint made of aluminum pigments. It all extends to the interior with leather and silk - silk like the types used in Zegna suits. The car even comes with this bolt of fabric, among other accessories, so drivers can have a suit made so that everything matches. CEO Ermenegildo Zegna recalls the reaction he got when he first pitched the silk idea to Maserati. SOUNDBITE: ERMENGILDO ZEGNA, CEO, ERMENGILDO ZEGNA (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They looked at me and said, 'Are you joking?' I said, 'No, I'm not joking." I said, 'Let's give it a try." It shocked Maserati CEO Harold Wester. SOUNDBITE: HAROLD WESTER, CEO, MASERATI (ENGLISH) SAYING: "How the hell can this be done? Then we stepped back and said: look, one of the creators within the company said impossible, does not exist. So let's work together, and it took us six months, and here we are." The century-old Italian bluebloods paired up because they wanted something to enhance their brands and excite their customers. It's not a new concept. Four wheelers and fashion designers have intersected before. Chrysler had Detroit native John Varvatos design a limited edition version of the Chrysler 300 sedan. Dana Buchman put her fingerprints all over the Cadillac SRX Sport. Maserati charges a 50 percent premium for the Limited Edition, But it says it won't make much on the car, pointing out that the Zegna silks cost more than leather. But Edmunds.com automotive editor Mark Takahashi says limited editions typically don't cost automakers much more to produce. SOUNDBITE: MARK TAKAHASI, AUTOMOTIVE EDITOR, EDMUNDS.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They're going to lay all these fabrics on the same laser cutter table they lay the leathers down on, and they're going to cut the same patterns. It's really just switching out the bespoke fabric. There might be some considerations for wood trim and that type of thing, but in the end, it probably doesn't constitute that kind of boost in price." That price and exclusivity give customers bragging rights. And if these Maserati motorheads wind up having Zegna sew them a herringbone suit using that matching fabric, they extend Zegna's brand as well ... from the catwalk ... to the roadway. Unlike past one-off designer pairings with other automakers, Maserati and Zegna swear they're in it for the long haul. Maserati will now offer Zegna accessories kit with every Maserati model. And the pair plan to unveil their next joint project in October at the Paris Motor Show.