Peter Anderson | Aug 10, 2012

Maserati's masters at Fiat will be looking to its new 'baby' sedan, expected to be badged as the Levante, to boost the iconic brand's sales.

The marque currently turns over around 7000 cars per year with its GranTurismo and Quattroporte, but wants to ramp up to 50,000 units annually over the next few years.

To hit that target, Maserati has two new models on the boil. The first is the Jeep-based Maserati Kubang we already know about, previewed most recently at the 2011 Frankfurt Show.

The second is the Levante. To be sold alongside the more exclusive Quattroporte, the Levante will roll in the company of the E-Class and 5 Series.

A low-powered entry-level model is not expected however, suggesting the Levante will be lined up against the higher-performance variants - staying true to Maserati's sporting roots.

A new report from UK website Autocar suggests the Levante will be driven by a Ferrari V8. Other reports also point to a supercharged V6 and even a second, down-sized, twin-turbo V8.

Maserati is also said to be considering a turbodiesel option, providing an opportunity in the executive company car market that currently eludes the brand.

All engine options are expected to be matched with a ZF eight-speed transmission.

As for the chassis, the Levante will share some parts with the Chrysler 300 but the platform itself will be unique to Maserati.

The Italian car will get its own unique suspension however, while using more aluminium in its construction. Reports suggest Ferrari's hybrid tech could also feature, along with the FF's all-wheel drive.

The Levante is believed to be another year away from its unveiling, arriving as the third new model in a big year for Maserati.

The new Quattroporte should debut at Detroit in January, the Kubang falling somewhere in the middle.

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