Maserati CEO: 2012 Quattroporte Will Get All-Wheel Drive, More MPG

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According to Maserati CEO Harald Wester,theItalianautomaker'smuch heraldedQuattroportesport sedan will geta 15-percent lighter all-wheel-drive platformand will boast more "green" technologies when the next-generation arrives in two years time.

In an interview with Automotive News, the executive also revealed that start-stop is on the sedan's agenda as well. Engineers are working on smaller V-6 and V-8 engines to reduce its carbon footprint and boost fuel consumption by 25 percent. ZF's current six-speed automatic will get replaced by a new eight-speed gearbox. Other Fiat-Chrysler flagships are scheduled to be underpinned by the same chassis.

Today, Maserati's sedan lineup consists of three QP versions: Quattroporte, Quattroporte S, and Quattroporte Sport GT S. A Ferrari-derived 4.2-liter V-8 (400 horsepower/339 pound-feet) powers the base model, while a bigger, Maranello-massaged 4.7-liter V-8 resides under the hoods of the latter S (425 horsepower/361 pound-feet) and Sport GT S (433 horsepower/361 pound-feet). Fuel economy for the bunch is listed at 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway (base) and 11 mpg city/18 mpg highway (S and Sport GT S).

With all-wheel drive, a lighter build, and a slicker transmission on board, the next-generation QP is already stacking up to be a cooler ride than it already is.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)

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