17 September 2004

Maserati’s reorganisation under Ferrari ownership is in its final stages, as this spy shot shows. This chopped-down Quattroporte test car hides the floorpan, drivetrain and suspension of the long-awaited replacement for the long running (and much-modified) Coupé (right).

The new steel chassis will form the basis of the both the Coupé and the Spyder. Unusually, it seems that it will come in three different wheelbases. The longest serves the QP and judging by these pictures there will be a medium length for the Coupé. The short wheelbase may be used in the Spyder replacement.

This is to properly differentiate Maserati’s three-model line-up, with the spacious 2+2 coupe offering supercar performance with practicality, and the QP giving full executive comfort. The Spyder (with a folding hard-top) uses the shortest wheelbase because it is a two seater.

All three cars will use the same basic mix of components including a V8 engine, transaxle transmission and Skyhook-equipped double wishbone suspension. It means that the cars can be built on the same line.

Although this picture reveals that the cars will have a protruding oval grille, the styling is under wraps. The original Italdesign proposals were scrapped at a late stage and the project was handed over to Pininfarina. The Coupé and Spyder should be unveiled at the beginning of 2006.

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