The Maserati Ghibli has been unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai auto show, revealing details on what will be the brand's most affordable and first ever diesel-powered model.

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Sitting below its larger Quattroporte sibling, the Maserati Ghibli – Maserati’s first-ever mid-size four-door luxury sports car – will offer a range of three turbocharged six-cylinder engines as the Italian manufacturer targets luxury Germans like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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All powerplants will be tied to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission with Maserati ensuring all models, including the diesel, will be instantly recognisable as one of its cars with engine notes enhanced by a new Active Sound system.

The system incorporates two sound actuators fitted near the exhaust pipes to accentuate the engine’s tones and modulate them according to how the car is being driven. This can be increased even further with a Sport button on the centre tunnel allowing the exhaust note to become even more resonant.

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While all variants come standard with double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension, and a mechanical limited slip differential, right-hand-drive models will miss out on Maserati’s ‘Q4’ part-time all-wheel-drive system offered as an option in left-hand-drive markets.

Sitting on a wheelbase that’s around 200mm shorter than the Quattroporte, the Maserati Ghibli is 290mm shorter than its bigger brother and comes with 18-inch wheels with 19-, 20- and 21-inch wheels available as options. The high performing Ghibli S variant also gains 360mm ventilated and cross-drilled front brake discs with six-piston Brembo calipers up front and 350mm ventilated rear discs with four-piston units at the rear.

The Maserati Ghibli will be joined later in 2014 by the marque’s first SUV, the Jeep Grand Cherokee-based Maserati Levante.

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