Testing of the next-generation Maserati Quattroporte is stepping up ahead of sales starting in the first quarter of 2013. However, Maserati is still to decide whether to launch its new V8 petrol-powered sports saloon at the Paris show in September, or wait until Detroit in January 2013.
Being developed under the codename M156, the new Quattroporte will shift upmarket to make space in the range for Maserati’s forthcoming mid-size saloon — a competitor for the Jaguar XF and BMW 5-series and known internally as Project M157.
The Quattroporte’s new smaller saloon sibling, which is aimed at top-spec BMW 5-series models and will get V6 petrols and diesel engines, will also go on sale in 2013, Autocar has learned, after a debut at the Frankfurt motor show in the autumn of next year.
Maserati insists the new Quattroporte will be based on a “new” platform, but it’s likely to feature elements of the Chrysler 300C in its structure.
It is also expected to employ the latest ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, with a stop-start system, in place of the six-speed automatic that’s fitted to some current models. Updated versions of today’s V8 petrol engines will be carried over to the new car.
The new look is understood to be evolutionary but aims to give the Quattroporte a more expensive look to position range-topping versions in what Maserati calls the “super-luxury portion of the G-segment”.