Eight years in the market is a long time, even for a specialty brand such as Maserati and a car like its Quattroporte sports saloon, however gorgeous it may be.
This will soon change, though, as the Italians are in the final development stages of the next generation Quattroporte, which for the first time ever, has been spied without the clunky plastic moldings of previous prototypes.
Not to pat ourselves on the back, but as you can see for yourself in these fresh spy shots, Carscoop's artist Josh Byrnes did an excellent job at rendering Maserati's flagship saloon in our "Future Car" segment earlier this year.
While the new model is set to grow in size compared to the current Quattroporte, which is 5,097mm (200.7 inches) long, 1,895mm (74.6 inches) wide and 1,438mm (56.6 inches) tall, its overall shape and styling won't be a dramatic departure over its predecessor.
It will, however, borrow plenty of design cues from Maserati's most recent products, the GranTurismo and GrandCabrio, especially up front and at the back.
There have been conflicting reports about the new model's powertrain lineup, with some sources claiming that the Quattroporte will be fitted with upgraded versions of the current model's naturally aspirated V8, and others saying that we should expect to find two new turbocharged gasoline engines, a V6 and a V8 under the hood.
It is also rumored that Maserati has chosen the 2013 Detroit Auto Show in mid-January for the world premiere of its flagship model.