DETROIT -- Maserati may be the only Italian automaker at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, but the company made up for the void with an all-new sedan heavy on machismo and power.
The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte made its North American debut on Monday. Meaning literally "four-doors," this sixth-generation sedan battles the likes of Porsche's Panamera, BMW's M6 Gran Coupe, Audi's S7 and S8 and the Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG.
The big change for 2014 is the addition of a smaller, V-6 engine option, to which buyers will also be able to add all-wheel drive for the first time. But power-hungry drivers need not fret: a throaty V-8 remains key to this car's identity.
That engine is a direct-injected 3.8-liter V-8 making 523 horsepower and 524 pound-feet of torque. Though relatively small in terms of displacement, V-8's twin turbos mean it can move the Quattroporte from 0-62 mph in 4.7 seconds. That's 0.3 second faster than the naturally aspirated V-8 in the outgoing Quattroporte. The V-8's top speed is 191 mph.
Power is routed to the rear wheels through an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. Maserati says the final two speeds are effectively overdrive gears for added efficiency. The transmissions will have normal and sport modes as well as fully automatic or full-manual shifting.
Buyers looking for something more efficient or better in the snow can consider the new V-6 Quattroporte. Like its V-8 brother, this 3-liter has a pair of turbochargers and direct-injection. It makes 404 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.
Maserati says rear-wheel drive V-6 models will do 0-62 mph in 5.1 seconds. An all-wheel drive system is optional and drops acceleration time to 4.9 seconds.
Elsewhere in the new Quattroporte are standard features like an adaptive suspension system, 20-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, an 8.4-inch touchscreen info-tainment system, and four- or five-passenger seating configurations.
Despite adding more than four inches of rear legroom and growing in almost every other dimension, the new Quattroporte sheds nearly 220 pounds from the older generation.
The Quattroporte V-8 will likely start around $130,000.
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