The patent images suggest the four-door 2013 Quattroporte, spotted off the snow and lapping Germany's Nurburgring, will retain the Italian marque's family face with a classic Maserati grille and restyled headlights.
The rear shows a new tail-light design that appears similar to the Audi A4 and, if the patent images prove correct, also dismisses the idea of a shooting brake-style rear end in favour of a more conventional sedan shape.
Powerplants remain unconfirmed but two engines have been suggested: an entry level supercharged six-cylinder generating around 313kW and a top-spec supercharged V8 lump squeezing out about 388kW. An eight-speed automatic transmission is also expected while drive will be available in both a front- and four-wheel-drive formats.
The new Maserati Quattroporte is set to be launched in 2013 following an expected debut at the Detroit motor show in January.
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