The Maserati Quattroporte's basic platform is now well past its use-by date. A replacement isn't expected to make its debut until 2014 - by which point the current car's architecture will be ten years old.
Work has already begun on the Quattroporte's successor though, and a prototype of the new car has been spied testing in Europe.
Clad head-to-toe in hard camouflage panels, this test car offers the first glimpse of the all-new Quattroporte in its own body - rather than the mules spied earlier this year, wearing the outgoing model's panels.
Spotting any of the new model's fine details will be a hard task however, with even the headlights and taillights of the current model doing their part to confuse onlookers.
An Audi A7-inspired coupe roofline could also feature on the new Quattroporte, although it is possible that the long roofline of this test car's camouflage is another bit of trickery.
An entirely new platform will be found under this prototype, and thanks to heavy use of aluminium in its construction, it's also expected to be lighter than the current car's steel frame.
The FF utilises a unique system that drives the front wheel via a dedicated transmission mounted to the front of the car's V8 engine, while the back wheels are driven by a rear-mounted seven speed transaxle.
The FF's front wheels are only driven in first through fourth gears, which makes its drivetrain even more unconventional.
While the exterior of this prototype gives no clues about the styling of the next generation Quattroporte, a small glimpse of the interior reveals a sizable screen mounted high in the dashboard along with an aircraft throttle-like gear selector.
A concept version of the production 2014 Quattroporte may surface late this year or early in 2013.