This is the new Maserati Quattroporte, the first and the flagship of a trio of new models that will kick-start the firm’s plans to boost its annual sales to around 50,000 units by 2015, a more than eight-fold increase on its 2011 performance of 6200 units.
The new sixth-generation Quattroporte has been revealed at the Detroit motor show this afternoon and will be followed by a smaller BMW 5-series-rivalling saloon called Ghibli later in the year. A new SUV called Levante will crown the new expanded Maserati line-up, which will include diesel engines for the first time, in early 2014, the year of Maserati’s centenary.
The latest model is longer but lighter than the current four-door saloon.
The next-gen Quattroporte is based on a new steel monocoque chassis. The new underpinnings have meant an increase in length to 5200mm, up from 5052mm compared to the outgoing model. Much of the increase is to the wheelbase, to increase legroom for rear passengers, something that’s crucial if Maserati is to make the impression it seeks on the Chinese market.
Much of the bodywork for the new Quattroporte is crafted from aluminium, meaning the kerb weight of 1990kg of the current car has been reduced by 50kg to 1940kg in spite of the increase in size.
The launch engine is a Ferrari-built V8, specifically a new version of the 453bhp 4.7-litre V8 used in the Granturismo sports car. The new unit is more powerful at 523bhp, but also more economical and with lower CO2 emissions. It will be mated to a ZF-supplied XF automatic gearbox.
An expanded range of efficient turbocharged and supercharged engines are also under consideration, including a smaller capacity V8 and V6 petrol and diesel engines, although the V6 units could ultimately be reserved for the smaller Ghibli saloon and the Levante SUV.
One first for the Quattroporte will be a four-wheel drive option around a year after launch of the standard rear-drive car.
The new model has been designed at a special Maserati-only department within the Fiat Group Centro Stile design centre, under the guidance of legendary Pininfarina designer Lorenzo Ramaciotti.
The look is evolved from the current car – the front grille, three side vents and distinctive triangular C-pillars all remain – but new features are added to give the car a more muscular stance, including a rising beltline running the length of the car.
The interior has undergone an overhaul from the current model, the result being a much more luxurious look and feel. High-quality woods and leathers are used throughout, and much of the major controls are operated by a large central touchscreen mounted on the centre console.
The new Quattroporte will be built at the old Bertone plant at Bertone, on the outskirts of Turin. The plant has been gutted and refurbished over several years; all but the walls are new. The new Ghibli will also be built at the plant and both models will be exported around the world, including North America.
Prices will start at around £80,000 for the base Quattroporte, rising to beyond £120,000 at the top-end for super-luxury versions.