UPDATE: Live gallery from Frankfurt added

Remember the Maserati Kubang concept of 2003? It has surfaced again at the Frankfurt show that starts today, and marks the Trident’s entry into the sport luxury SUV segment.

Maserati argues that today’s SUVs don’t offer the kind of “uplifting driving pleasure and luxury atmosphere” found in high-end sports and luxury cars, and they want to address this with the Kubang.

Although it’s new territory for the brand, the Fiat owned brand promises that the Kubang preserves the “integrity of Maserati’s DNA”. Why only now? Maserati says that potential synergies with sister brand Jeep (part of the Chrysler Group that’s under Fiat control) is in the plan.

However, the Kubang’s style, engine, suspensions, brakes, handling and performance will all be 100% Maserati. It will come with new Maserati proprietary engines designed in Modena by Paolo Martinelli, but built by Ferrari in Maranello. Martinelli is the Head of Maserati Powertrain Department, and spend nearly 30 years at Ferrari, where he also served as engine chief of the Formula 1 team.

We’re guessing that it’s a V8 with great sound, since that’s very much part of Maserati’s DNA. The transmission will be an eight-speed automatic. Gallery after the jump.