This is the all-new Maserati Quattroporte, set to make its debut at the 2013 NAIAS Detroit Motor Show in January. The Quattroporte is the first of three new models that Maserati predict will see their total production rise to 50,000 units a year by 2015.

That’s up from just over 6,000 units in 2011 and will be supported by the introduction of two new production plants (outside their current home in Modena) located on different continents.

This is the sixth-generation Quattroporte which continues the trend of looking a lot like the outgoing version, but despite the familiar styling cues – most notably the front grille, the three side vents and the triangular C pillar – there are new features including a strong belt line running through the entire side of the car, frameless doors and three side windows.

Blink and you’ll miss the changes, but this is an all-new Quattroporte – bigger, lighter, more fuel efficient and faster.

Inside, the design of the new Quattroporte leans towards simplicity, rather than the multi-button interface of its predecessor. Functional elements are blended with soft quality surfaces made of prestigious woods and refined leathers, with much of the technology being contained within a multi-functional touch screen.

Maserati engineers have worked to reduce weight, despite increasing the car’s length and providing considerably more rear legroom. The result is a more efficient, spacious and enjoyable car to drive with the best performance ever in the long history of Maserati’s four-door flagship saloon.

A new range of V8 engines have been developed by engineers from both Maserati and Ferrari, that will be produced alongside Ferrari’s other masterpieces at their plant in Maranello. The engines are said to be more powerful and exciting to drive – and also more fuel efficient than before.

More spacious, better quality materials and a less cluttered environment are just some of the benefits on offer with Maserati’s all-new Quattroporte.

For the time being, details are scarce ahead of the new Quattroporte’s Detroit unveiling, which will be followed later in the year by the smaller Ghibli saloon (5 Series/A6 sized). The third of the new models is likely to be Maserati’s first ever SUV, introduced in 2014 to rival the upper end of Porsche’s Cayenne range.

Maserati are taking a huge risk, moving away from their traditional heartland, building cars outside Italy and introducing new powertrains and transmissions including the company’s first ever diesel powered models.

50,000 units may be small by BMW or Mercedes standards, but it will radically transform the reach and accessibility of the Maserati brand and begin a whole new chapter as the company begins its second century.