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Future models - Maserati - Quattroporte

Detroit show: Maserati Quattroporte gets entry V6

Flagship trident: The new Maserati Quattroporte is both bigger and lighter than before, and courtesy of a twin-turbo V8, even faster.

Bigger dimensions but smaller engines for latest Maserati Quattroporte

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Maserati logo13 Dec 2012

MASERATI has revealed full details of the lighter, larger and more luxurious new-generation Quattroporte – the first in a wave of new models the company hopes will contribute to an eight-fold increase in global sales by 2015.

As reported, the sexy Italian-built super sedan will make its formal debut at the Detroit motor show on January 14 next year, and is confirmed to arrive in Australia in the third quarter of 2013.

Confirming rumours, Maserati says entry versions of the Quattroporte will be available with a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 engine that will effectively replace the 4.7-litre unit, while a potent twin-turbo small-capacity 3.8-litre V8 will become the new range flagship.

The direct-injected V6 produces a claimed 301kW of power at 5500rpm and 550Nm of torque between 1500 and 5000rpm.

Maserati claims a zero-100km/h sprint time of 4.9 seconds for the (left-hand-drive only) all-wheel-drive versions, or 5.1 seconds for the rear-drive models that will come here.

The twin-scroll force-inducted V8, which shares most of its key components with the V6, punches out 390kW of power at a high 6800rpm and a thumping 650Nm from 2250 to 3500rpm (expanded to 710Nm when overboost is engaged).

This is up 59kW and 150Nm up on the previous 4.7 engine from the previous Quattroporte GTS and, coupled with a weight loss of about 100kg over the old model (to 1900kg), cuts the 0-100km/h sprint time to 4.7 seconds.

As a result, the new V8 version is Maserati’s fastest accelerating four-door model. At the same time, it improves fuel efficiency and emissions by a claimed 20 per cent, to a combined-cycle 11.8 litres per 100km.

Both engines were designed by Maserati Powertrain and assembled by Ferrari at Maranello. To retain the signature Maser exhaust bark, the company will fit both engines with an active exhaust system with pneumatic valves in the pipes in each bank.

Each is matched exclusively to the same ZF eight-speed automatic transmission found in a range of BMW’s and the new Jaguar F-Type. The transmission has five shift modes, from relaxed and efficient ICE (Increased Control Efficiency) to performance-oriented Manual Sport.

Naturally, the new unit has faster shifts than the six-speeder in the previous model, is more fuel efficient and reduces noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.

Power is sent to either the rear wheels, or in selected markets, will be available with all-wheel-drive configuration. The rear-biased AWD system is said to be all-new, highly compact and lightweight.

The new bodyshell features a mix of high-tensile steel and weight-saving aluminium – plus ultra-light magnesium in the dashboard cross-strut – and sits on the longest wheelbase in its class – 3171mm, or 160mm longer than a Holden Caprice – freeing up limousine-levels of rear-seat space.

Rear legroom is claimed to have been increased by a substantial 105mm, and luggage capacity is up 80 litres. This extra boot-space is a result of the company re-positioning the fuel tank further forward, but despite this the car retains a claimed 50:50 weight distribution.

For a price, Maserati will replace the three-seat rear bench with a pair of pseudo-armchairs, featuring ventilation and electrical movement, rear sun blinds, a rear USB socket and a pair of rear 10.2-inch rear LCD screens.

The front suspension uses all-aluminium double wishbones (with steel springs), adaptive ‘Skyhook’ dampers and an anti-roll bar. The rear suspension consists of a five-bar multi-link set-up with four aluminium arms.

Shunning in-vogue (and more fuel efficient) electric steering, Maserati has stuck with a servo-powered hydraulic system that does without artificial assistance, but has coupled this with a lighter new all-aluminium steering box. The company promises a level of agility that is “rare for the class”.

Twenty-inch rims are standard far on both variants, but softer and quiet 19s or larger 21s can be optioned.

Both the V6 and V8 models get fixed-calliper Brembo brakes (available in five colours). The V8 uses 380mm ventilated front discs, while the six uses 360mm ventilated front units. Both have 350mm ventilated and cross-drilled discs at the rear.

The evolutionary exterior design keeps things recognisable, but is arguably more angular and purposeful than before, keeping the long nose and short overhands but adding extra body creases and side character lines.

According to Maserati, it has also yielded a 12 per cent improvement in drag (the aerodynamic coefficient of drag rating is 0.31) and a substantial 24 per cent reduction in lift, helping to further cut fuel consumption and improve high-speed stability.

Inside, Maserati has gone for a cleaner dashboard layout with contrasting layers of different coloured leather separated by wood and metal finishes, while a larger central touch-screen has enabled Maserati to do away with much of the old Quattroporte’s switchgear.

The frameless doors feature acoustic glass said to keep out intrusive wind noise.

The instrument cluster has a large seven-inch colour multi-function display between the dials, which syncs with an optional 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system armed with 1280 watts.

As reported, the Quattroporte will be joined next year by the small, BMW M5-rivalling Ghibli sedan, while 2014 will see the addition of the Levante luxury SUV.

The replacements for the GranTurismo and GranCabrio will arrive in 2015, sharing the same architecture as the new Quattroporte.

Maserati hopes the product-led offensive will yield 50,000 global sales in 2015 – with 1500 to come from Australia and New Zealand combined.

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