Maserati will unveil a new version of its four-door sports saloon, the Quattroporte, at the Frankfurt Show in September. We bring you spy pictures and details of the new car.

Maserati will unveil a new version of its four-door sports saloon, the Quattroporte, at the Frankfurt Show in September. Its predecessor was discontinued in the early ‘90s because of a fall in popularity… the angular styling was very dated, build quality was dodgy and its decadent image had gone out of fashion.

But Fiat Auto is taking the new Quattoporte very seriously, and intends to entrench the Maserati marque in the American market with the head-turning, powerful and luxurious saloon it describes as a “car with two souls”.

As seen in camouflage on the streets around Modena, Italy, the Quattroporte has a handsome and distinctive shape. And we’ll know exactly what it looks like in a few weeks when the first official photos are released… CARtoday.com will keep you updated.

The car will probably be powered by Maserati’s throbbing 4,2-litre V8 powerplant, but the Fiat Group is considering a diesel-engined version too.

recently quoted a source at Maserati as saying that "every top-class saloon must now have a diesel option". He added that the firm has been studying feedback from customers suggesting that they are interested in everyday usability, hence "in the future for Maserati a diesel engine has to be considered."

“Engineers have overcome the historic problems of noise, vibration and limited outputs for specific diesel engine sizes, achieving both improved fuel economy and flexibility,” the source said. “But the problems of additional weight and achieving top performance at high revs without compromising low-speed smoothness still need to be solved”.

Maserati engines are not known to develop massive peak torque at relatively low revs. "It must go over 5 000 r/min," the source said.

Further development of fuel injection systems is also necessary. "We are looking for good quality and durability in extreme operating conditions", he added. "We are studying intakes and exhausts. A better strategy of powertrain and gearbox is the next challenge for high-performance diesel engines."

But Maserati does not have the resources to design, engineer and build its own large diesel engine from scratch, and the existing Fiat/Alfa JTD units are too small and not powerful enough for a big saloon. A diesel engine worthy of a Maserati would have to have at least eight cylinders. The source also said that given the very small numbers involved, economies of scale dictated that substantial work could not be done in-house, and an engine would have to be sourced from outside the Fiat group.

A collaboration between Maserati and the Volkswagen Group has long been rumoured, with Maserati confirming late last year that “talks have been underway for some time" with Audi over possible tie-ups and sharing of expertise. Maserati is thought to be interested in Audi's systems technology and electronics. Italian newspapers have also hinted at the possibility of VW taking a small shareholding in the Fiat Group's performance brands.

Expect the diesel Maserati to appear "in a maximum of five years".

Original article from Car