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The spy photogs at CarPix have caught the upcoming small sedan from Maserati to slot under the Quattroporte, rumored to be dubbed Levante, out testing. The spy shots frankly don't tell us much more than that, since the mule is wrapped in an ill-fitting Quattroporte body giving away little more than a shorter wheelbase and smaller brakes.
The Levante, if that's what it's called, will be Maserati's entry into the luxury mid-sized sedan segment to compete with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series. Said to arrive late next year, it will have its luxury ducks in a row, supposedly offering a twin-turbo V6, a V8 and a 300-horsepower diesel with 500 pound-feet of torque.
Questions about engines and their provenance remain; the next Quattroporte is getting a Ferrari-sourced supercharged V6 and turbocharged V8, but it is wondered if the Levante's V6 might come from the other side of the Fiat stable, namely Chrysler. No matter where the motors come from, though, they'll be run through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.
With the new Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans out on the market, and the new Levante crossover and Alfieri coupe on their way, Maserati is making serious headway towards revitalizing its lineup. Now all it needs in order to reach its ambitious sales targets is to expand the network of dealers where they're to be sold. And according to Maserati chief Harald Wester in speaking to Automotive News at the Paris Motor Show, that's exactly what it has in store.
At the end of last year, Maserati had 79 dealerships across the United States. It has already boosted that number to 100 so far this year, but before 2014 is over, it plans to open another 20 to bring the total up to (carry the two, divide by the square-root of Pi)... 120 showrooms.
Globally speaking, Maserati reportedly closed 2012 with around 220-230 dealers around the world, and currently has about 355, but aims to close 2015 with a worldwide network of 450 dealers, representing a doubling of its network in two years' time. Having more than a quarter of those in the US alone is testament to how seriously Maserati takes the American market.
As we wait for the Detroit Auto Show to get our up-close and in-depth look at the redesigned 2014 Maserati Quattroporte, some details are just starting to emerge about the car's powertrain, but nothing is official just yet. Autocar has posted a first drive of the new Quattroporte, finally spilling the beans about what motivates this sporty and luxurious sedan.
We already knew that the 2014 Quattroporte will offer two engines - a V6 and V8 - but what we didn't know is that both engines will get a pair of turbochargers and direct injection. Previously, we speculated that the smaller V6 would be supercharged, but this 3.0-liter V6 will get turbos instead helping it produce an estimated 410 horsepower. As for the larger 3.8-liter V8, this engine is said to produce 530 horsepower (confirming our previous report) to go with 479 pound-feet of torque; performance specs for the V8 include a top speed of 191 miles per hour and a 0-60 mph time of well under five seconds.
All cars will have a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive will be optional allowing for all of the engine power sent to the rear wheel during normal driving and a full 50/50 split between front and rear axles when needed. As we suspected, the 2014 Quattroporte has grown in size to better compete with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.