The first official images of the new 2014 Maserati Ghibli have surfaced ahead of its formal reveal later this month at the Shanghai Auto show. While many details regarding this elegantly styled sport sedan are still under wraps, the automaker has confirmed a few key specifics about a vehicle that's destined to play a pivotal role in helping Maserati meet its stated goal of selling 50,000 units worldwide by winning over potential buyers of rivals like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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Exterior styling of the new Ghibli borrows most heavily from its larger Quattroporte sibling but also boasts subtle cues from the GranTurismo Coupe as well as several unique touches that help to establish its own identity. A similar theme is evident inside the Ghibli's leather-lined cabin, which features a familiar multifunction steering wheel and instrument cluster design set off with unique center stack and console treatments.

Based on a scaled-down version of the same platform architecture that underpins the larger Quattroporte, the Ghibli initially will be available with a pair of new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engines, one gas and the other a diesel - the first diesel ever to be fitted to any Maserati production model. While the gas engine will be a twin-turbo unit likely to make 404 horsepower in its most potent form, there's still no output information available on the T-charged oil-burner. Though critical to the Ghibli's potential success in Europe, it's not clear whether this new turbodiesel will be offered here in America.

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Sole transmission for the new Ghibli will be the same ZF 8-speed automatic used in the Quattroporte. Here, too, it features paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel. In addition to standard rear-drive, Ghibli buyers can opt for Maserati's new "Q4" all-wheel-drive system. At some point in the future, the Ghibli also is slated to offer the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 530 horsepower in the Quattroporte.

The 2014 Maserati Ghibli will go on sale later this year in a number of global markets, including the U.S. Pricing will be announced closer to its arrival in showrooms here.


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