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Brand New Chrysler 300

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Mike Stevens | Sep 9, 2010

Back in July, Maserati announced plans for a new entry-level sporting sedan, set to take on the likes of the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

While parent company Fiat has confirmed at least that much (and little else), reports out of Italy this week claim that the new model will share its underpinnings with the very-nearly-here next-generation Chrysler 300C, meaning a longitudinal engine and rear-drive layout are likely.

The new 300C was recently spied testing in the US, heavily-camouflaged but clearly wearing its production-ready body.

Specific details of the new model, positioned beneath the Quattroporte, are limited - although a recent release from Fiat described the model as "a new product package with specific contents in order to exploit Maserati DNA".

In other Maserati news, the current-generation Quattroporte will be replaced near the end of 2011, with a successor planned to compete with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Fiat described the next Quattroporte (Italian for 'four-door') as a "completely new style, offering outstanding driving emotions and high-level quality".

In June, Maserati boss Harald Wester confirmed that the next Quattroporte would feature all-wheel-drive and stop-start technology, along with fuel consumption improvements of up to 25 percent over the current model.

A V6 model is also expected to join the Quattroporte range, and a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission will be offered with all engines.

The Italian carmaker said that it will aim to shave around $10,000 from the price of the new Quattroporte, with the intent to increase its market share from the current three percent to around eight percent.

A styling and technical update to the GranTurismo is expected sometime next year.

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