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Maserati confirms new sedans & SUV

Paris Motor Show - Maserati has confirmed the line-up of future models that will take it to a planned production level of 50 000 cars a year in 2015 by announcing their names.

The first will be an all-new Quattroporte, to be unveiled sometime next year, continuing a 50-year tradition of luxury sports sedans that began with the first Quattroporte in 1963.

Maserati SUV, inspired by the Kubang concept shown here, will ber badged as the Levante.

Then, in 2014, we can expect to see the first Maserati SUV - now definitely green-lighted for production on a Jeep platform - but the Kubang label of the original concept, the source of a thousand rude jokes, has been dropped.

Maserati's stylish beetle-crusher will instead be named Levante, derived from the 'Via Emilia Levante' in Bologna where, almost a century ago, the Maserati brothers first came up with the idea for the firm that still bears their name. Considering that the Levante will be launched in Maserati's centennial year, the name seems apt indeed.

And finally, the new premium compact sedan with which Maserati hopes to challenge the Teutonic autocracy will be known as the Ghibli. The name derives from a hot dry wind that blows across Libya from the southern highlands, and was originally applied to a two-door, two-seater Gran Turismo, designed in 1966 by a young genius named Giorgetto Giugiaro, that was so successful it stayed in production until 1973.

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