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What do Maseratis and minivans have in common?

Several major components, once the Levante plug-in hybrid is on sale.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET

It's no surprise that Chrysler's Pacifica Hybrid will share its parts with other members of the Fiat Chrysler (FCA) family -- after all, it's not like FCA has, you know, very many electrified vehicles running about. But it's strange to think about future Maseratis SUVs sharing parts with the ultimate soccer-mom machine.

Maserati CEO Harald Wester, in an interview with Motor Trend, says that a forthcoming Maserati Levante plug-in hybrid will utilize parts from the also-forthcoming Pacifica Hybrid. "A standalone [hybrid] program would be suicidal so we have to look at FCA," Wester said.

For its US launch later this year, the Levante will come with one engine -- a twin-turbocharged V-6 -- with two different outputs. The hybrid variant would likely arrive more than a year after that. Chrysler's plug-in minivan won't be hitting dealerships until late this year.

Not that a Levante hybrid would be a huge seller or anything -- Wester said he'd expect a take rate less than 10 percent, which isn't too far away from the industry average. But it's not about numbers, it's about conformity -- namely, attempting to raise fleet fuel-economy numbers to an acceptable range ahead of new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations in 2025.