Maserati’s main facility in Modena, ItalyEnlarge Photo
Maserati has ambitions plans to boost its annual sales to as much as 50,000 units per year in the mid to longer term, up from less than 7,000 units sold last year. To do so, the automaker plans to launch several new models, two of which will compete in new segments for the brand.
The new models include the redesigned 2014 Quattroporte, which was recently revealed ahead of its 2013 Detroit Auto Show debut, as well as the Levante SUV, which was most recently previewed with the Kubang concept car and is set to enter production in early 2014 using Jeep Grand Cherokee underpinnings.
A third new model will revive the Ghibli nameplate, but instead of being a sports car like the original, the new Ghibli will be a mid-size sedan. It will share a platform with the new Quattroporte, but at around 16 feet in length it will be a good 12 to 15 inches shorter.
As a sign of Maserati’s determinedness to get the growth in its sales rolling, Automotive News Europe (subscription required) says we can expect to see the Ghibli by early 2013, which most likely means a debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March or the Shanghai show just one month later.
Production will take place at the former Bertone plant just outside of Turin, Italy, where the larger Quattroporte is also being built. Pricing is expected to fall somewhere around $75k, making the Ghibli a rival to mid-size sports sedans like the BMW M5, Jaguar XFR and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.
To keep up with its rivals, the Ghibli will benefit from a couple of Ferrari-sourced engines. These will be detuned versions of the new V-6 and V-8 engines planned for the latest Quattroporte. In the Quattroporte, the V-8 unit is tipped to deliver as much as 530 horsepower.
An eight-speed automatic from ZF will be the only transmission choice, though customers are expected to be offered the choice of rear or all-wheel drive configurations.
The first prototypes for the Ghibli have already been spotted testing near Maserati's headquarters in Italy, so hopefully we'll be able to bring you more details on the car soon.