By Ronan Glon
Friday, Dec 28th, 2012 @ 3:54 am
 
A leaked product plan sheet confirms that Fiat will inject over €1 billion (roughly $1.3 billion) into its Maserati division in order to expand and rejuvenate its lineup. The massive investment is an attempt to boost the firm's annual sales to 50,000 units by 2016.

The first part of the brand's transformation from a niche company to a more mainstream automaker is the all-new 2014 Quattroporte. Unveiled recently, it will be shown to the public at the Detroit Motor Show next month and arrive in U.S. dealers before the middle of the year.

The lineup will expand towards the bottom when Maserati launches an E-Class-sized sedan called Ghibli at the Geneva Motor Show next March. The car will cost about €55,000 and it will be the first-ever Maserati to be offered with a turbodiesel engine.

Although the Italian company has yet to confirm this, sources indicate that the Ghibli will ride on the same platform as the Chrysler 300.

The Ghibli will be followed by a Grand Cherokee-based luxury SUV called Levante that will borrow many of its design cues from the Kubang concept that was presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show last year. The Levante will be offered with a large number of engines including the aforementioned turbodiesel and a Ferrari-sourced V8.

With the less expensive models out of the way, Maserati will shift its attention to sports cars. The existing Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio models will be given a complete overhaul inside and out and they will be joined by a new model called Gran Sport which will take on the Porsche 911.

Fiat is notorious for not sticking to its product plan sheets so only time will tell what direction the Maserati lineup will take over the next three years.