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Future models - Maserati - Quattroporte

First look: Maserati goes after the Germans

Made to order: The Quattroporte offers individual tailoring for each buyer.

Maserati style is set to challenge BMW and Benz in the luxury saloon class

23 Jun 2003

MASERATI is set to challenge the German domination of the luxury saloon segment with the stylish Quattroporte.

The four-door shaped by Pininfarina is the latest interpretation of the high performance luxury saloon, which was introduced in 1963. It is set for its world launch at the Frankfurt motor show on September 9.

It will be shown off to prospective buyers in Australia just weeks later, before being the star of Maserati's Sydney motor show stand.

Local launch is expected in March or April, 2004, with pricing to be set around $300,000, pitching it into the territory between the V8 and V12 versions of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-class.

But that is a mere starting point for the 300kW V8 rear-wheel drive Quattroporte, with Maserati offering individual tailoring for each buyer.

"Each client will actually be flown over to the factory to meet with our tailors," said Maserati Australasia general manager Herbert Appleroth.

"They will be shown through the factory and then individually go through all the components of the car.

"There are three million choices and combinations - whether they want a gold clock or a silver clock and so on." Buyers will first have to make the fundamental choice between three different Quattroporte set-ups - standard, sports and limousine. While specification will alter, the car's 5052mm length, 1895mm width, 1438mm height and 3064mm wheelbase will stay the same.

Mr Appleroth expects to offer just 25 Quattroportes for sale here in 2004, although he thinks he could sell double that number.

"This adds a new dimension to the brand here," he said. "This is the top of the range for Maserati and that has a nice filtering down effect on current and future models." The next generation of the successful Coupe and Spider from the Ferrari-owned company will be released in 2005. An all-wheel drive wagon based on the Kubang concept car could also appear around that time.

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