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Richly researched wagon

Carrozzeria Touring will make 25 Quattroporte wagons - called Maserati Bellagio Fastback Tourings - for about $350,000 each.

The five-door is one of two wagons presented by Italian styling studios. The previous effort was the Maserati Cinqueporte (five door) by StudioM of which a single unit costing $580,000 was built for a Middle East client.

Carrozzeria Touring will make 25 Quattroporte wagons — called Maserati Bellagio Fastback Tourings — for about $350,000 each. The Bellagio adds rear sheet metal and a folding rear seat to a standard Quattroporte. Power comes from a standard 295kW 4.2-litre V8 and though the extra metal adds about 50kg, Touring claims it will still

run to 100km/h in the same 5.6 seconds time as the standard sedan. Meanwhile, Maserati, riding high in its most profitable period for decades, is about to launch a third model. The company is playing the new model very close to its chest, even to the point of denying certain aspects. But within 12 months there will be a convertible version of the GranTurismo.

“A third model is possible but I have no news,” says Maserati product manager Paolo Quattrino. “It is important that Maserati retains its exclusivity so any new model will be looked at carefully.”

But an insider at the launch of the new Quattroporte in Austria says he has seen the convertible undergoing tests.

The convertible is likely to be a 2+2 seater — because of the extra room needed for the folding roof — which is a departure from the company's desire to suit the family buyer.

However, it sees potential on the same chassis — indeed, the four-door Quattroporte model sits on a near identical platform — and sees a niche for a convertible.

Unknown, however, is what type of material will be used for the roof.

It is expected to be fabric to keep the car's weight down and reduce manufacturing costs.