Maserati is busy preparing a baby Quattroporte for launch in late 2013 – and this is our best look yet at the new Maserati Ghibli sports saloon.
The Italians confirmed at the recent Paris motor show that they'd revive the evocative Ghibli badge for the new four-door, which is designed to challenge the likes of the BMW M5 and Porsche Panamera.
Maserati Ghibli (2013): the lowdown
The Ghibli will be considerably smaller than the Quattroporte, which stretches to 5.1m long. We hear the new junior Maser saloon will be nearer 4.9m, shadowing a Merc E-class four-door.
Dubbed project M157, the new Ghibli will use much of the architecture from its big brother the Quattroporte. The new QP will be unveiled at the 2013 Detroit motor show in just a few months' time and we expect it to move up a notch to free up more fresh water for the Ghibli.
The rear-wheel drive platform has now been engineered to accept four-wheel drive for more powerful versions – with the aim of taming traction and extending the reach of this high-speed luxury missile in parts of the world where snow is an annual accompaniment to winter, rather than a light dusting like you'll usually find in parts of the UK.
Engines in the new Maser Ghibli
Downsizing is the name of the game here, unsurprisingly. So a new suite of V6 engines will make an appearance, breathed on by a pair of turbochargers to liberate the power necessary for a heavy saloon to make swift progress.
Inhouse partner Ferrari is helping to establish a new powertrain division within the Fiat group, which will produce these engines for Alfa Romeo and Maserati. That portends well for a charismatic family of tuneful Italians.
Competing in the heartland of the sports saloon market, there is naturally going to be a diesel, too. CAR understands the TD is likely to be boosted to the tune of some 300bhp for brisk progress and (more) reasonable fuel bills.
How's Maserati doing financially in 2012?
Modena has been plodding away quietly making a success of things, it seems. Profits in the first half of 2012 rose 28% to €23 million, off the back of 3322 cars.
But the new Ghibli and Quattroporte twins, not to mention the new Levante SUV coming in 2014, spearhead a new plan to send Maserati sales soaring – nearly by a factor of 10 to pass 50,000 sales by the middle of the decade.