Maserati has confirmed plans to put the recently trademarked 'Levante' name to a new model - but not in the form of a new sedan, as previously suggested.
Rather, it is the Kubang SUV concept that will debut as the Levante, while the already confirmed midsized sedan will wear the name Ghibli, a badge loaded with Maserati history.
Named for the Via Emilia Levante region of Bologna where the Maserati operation began, the Levante SUV is expected to launch in 2014, celebrating the brand's centennial.
In concept form, the Levante/Kubang shares its platform with the Jeep Grand Cherokee, although - like the upcoming Chrysler 300-based Ghibli - Maserati will endow the SUV with its own unique engineering.
Maserati promises a range of ""high tech proprietary engines" built by Ferrari, and it would not be unreasonable to expect a V8 among them.
An eight-speed automatic transmission will also be developed exclusively for the Kubang, Maserati says.
MORE: All the details on the Kubang SUV concept.
The Ghibli sedan draws its name from two Mazzas of the past, including a two-seater coupe and convertibe pair from the 60s and early 70s, and a four-seater coupe offered in the early 90s.
Landing on a sedan model for the first time in 2014, it is likely the Ghibli will make a nod to its predecessors by taking on a four-door coupe shape.
The arrival of the Ghibli badge will give Maserati a much-needed rival for the likes of BMW's 5 Series sedan and 6 Series Gran Coupe, along with Mercedes-Benz' CLS four-door coupe.
Maserati's will look to its new sedan, which will enter beneath the next Quattroporte, 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.
Reports out of Europe suggest 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.
MORE: All the details on the Ghibli sedan.
A brand new Quattroporte is also on the way, and spy photos obtained in recent weeks suggest the big sedan will be the first of Maserati's new models to debut.
The new Quattroporte will sit on an entirely new platform, and extensive use of aluminium is expected to make the new model much lighter than its steel predecessor.
A hybrid powertrain borrowed from Ferrari is reportedly earmarked for the new 'Mazza', as is the Ferrari FF's all-wheel drive drivetrain.
MORE: All the details on the new Quattroporte.
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