MARANELLO, Italy - The new Maserati flagship, the Quattroporte, is larger, lighter, more luxurious and more practical than the globally acclaimed car it replaces and but one of three new models from this automaker. With a 307km/h top speed, it’s also as fast as most two-door supercars.And it should be in South Africa by mid-2013, though nobody is talking prices yet.The sixth-generation Quattroporte (four door) delivers, the automaker says, a leap forward that "not only sets the high-technology tone for Maserati’s upcoming new-model onslaught but also remains faithful to Maserati’s long history in luxury sports saloons".TRUE TO MASERATI ROOTSThe powerful engine and the large cabin at the core of the cars' design, dominated by a long nose and a concave Trident grille, provide a clear link to both the outgoing Quattroporte and the GranTurismo.Even with all of its new technology, the new Quattroporte claims to remain true to Maserati’s roots. Its V8, twinturbo engine makes it not only the fastest four-door Maserati yet but also the most powerful and the most fuel-efficient. The direct-injection engine family will inclujde a 3.8 V8 and a three-litre V6, each new, twin turbo charged, designed by Maserati Powertrain and assembled by Ferrari at Maranello.Image galleryThe 3.8 V8 provides Maserati’s new performance benchmark, reaching 100km/h in 4.7sec and a top speed of 307km/h. It is 20km/h faster than the Quattroporte Sport GT S and delivers a maximum of 200Nm extra torque as well. The V6 twin-turbo doesn’t lack in performance, either - it will reach 285km/h.With an eight-speed auto transmission and rear or all-wheel drive configurations (V6 only, AWD not available in RHD markets), it's also the most secure all-weather performance car in Maserati’s history.To offset its scintillating performance, the V8 Maserati Quattroporte has reduced both its fuel consumption and exhaust emissions by 20% in comparison with the outgoing Quattroporte."The all-new architecture," Maserati says, "retains the Quattroporte’s traditionally exquisite handling thanks to its 50:50 weight distribution, a double-wishbone front suspension and a five-link rear suspension. It can now deliver the added security and all-weather assurance of all-wheel drive as well."HAND-CRAFTED DETAILINGThe automaker also says the cars deliver new standards of quality in every area - design, development, fabrication and process controls. "The cars are assembled in a new factory that combines Maserati’s traditions of craftsmanship with cutting-edge technologies that are able to guarantee outstanding quality by controlling even the tiniest details."Traditional hand-crafted detailing continues in the Quattroporte’s cabin, now more spacious and with four or five-seat layouts."Cabin luxury leaps forward technically too," says Maserati, "with features such as a touchscreen, adjustable pedals (LHD only), reversing camera and an (optional) 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system as well as WLAN-based WiFi and compatibility with most modern cellphones."Back in 1953, with the original Quattroporte, we invented the concept of the luxury sports sedan," Maserati says. "The new Quattroporte remains the benchmark for high-quality engineering, supercar performance and comfort."More information on Maserati products.