Maserati made public the first official images of the Ghibli four-door sedan and the model will be unveiled next week at the Shanghai auto show.

The rear-wheel-drive Ghibli, which is the first Maserati production vehicles which offers a diesel variant, will be of utmost importance for the automaker’s plan to boost annual sales to 50,000 vehicles by 2015 from 6,288 units sold in 2012. The Ghibli will be sportier than the larger Quattroporte, which will be introduced at the beginning of 2014.

The Ghibli will come with a VM Motori-sourced 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, also seen at the Lancia Thema and the Jeep Grand Cherokee, or the 410-hp 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine, with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The model will rival the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 series and the Audi A6. Maserati said that the vehicle will appeal to executive customers who look to make “an individual statement through a car that is distinctive, elegant and luxurious.”

The Ghibli will go on sale in Europe this summer at the starting price of 70,000 euro, and the next market will be the US, which is Maserati’s largest market. The automaker plans to manufacture 20,000 Ghibli vehicles annually at the Grugliasco plant, neat Turin, where the Quattroporte is also built.


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