Unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show, Ghibli is smaller, shorter, lighter, more dynamic, less expensive and more economical than the flagship Quattroporte.
It will provide a cornerstone in Maserati's plans to build 50,000 cars a year by 2015.
Its petrol range features two, Twin Turbo-charged, 3.0-litre V6 petrol engines.
The Ghibli has a more focused, sportier philosophy than the larger Quattroporte.
The Ghibli S, has 410hp, races to 100km/h in five seconds and has a top speed of 285km/h.
Ghibli is also the first Maserati in history to be available with a diesel engine: a turbo-diesel V6, capable of delivering fuel consumption below 6 l/100km on the combined cycle.
The Ghibli diesel will also become the first Maserati with Start-Stop technology.
It shares much of its core architecture, including its crash safety, chassis, suspension architecture, engines and LED headlight technology, with the larger Quattroporte. However, it is 50kg lighter, 173mm shorter in the wheel base and 291mm shorter overall.
Maserati says "the outline of the body reflects a coupe-like philosophy for the four-door saloon, while there are strong feline hints around the Ghibli's grille and headlights. The grille takes its inspiration from the current GranTurismo and it can draw a line back to the classic 1950s A6 GCS."