You've got about $130,000 to buy a luxury sedan. We know, it's a terrible situation to put yourself in, but bear with us. You could get the same Audi A8, BMW 760i or Mercedes S-Class as everyone else at the country club. The Jaguar XJ doesn't do it for you and the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is outside your range, so where do you look? The Maserati Quattroporte would be our choice over any of the above, holding down territory as the only four-door exotic on the market. But with newcomers like the Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera – both from sportscar-makers as reputed as Maserati – the Italians will be keen to hold down their territory. So with an all-new Quattroporte expected around 2012, Ferrari's kid brother is preparing a mid-cycle facelift for its four-door masterpiece.

We've brought you spy shots of camouflaged test mules accumulating development miles, but photos of the revised Maser have now surfaced in cyberspace. From the images – reportedly obtained right from the factory headquarters in Modena – we can see that the physical changes will be kept minimal, but side by side with the outgoing version we're expecting to see new headlights, bumper and grille up front, all subtly reshaped, along with similar revisions to the caboose. What we don't know at this point is whether this facelifted Quattroporte will stick with the same rev-happy engine or swap it out for either the GranTurismo S/Alfa 8C version or the direct-injected variant developed for the upcoming Ferrari California, or if the Trident marque will keep that card up its sleeve for the all-new version to follow. One way or another, the Italians aren't likely to give up to the Germans or the English without putting up a good fight.

[Source: Autospots.nl via World Car Fans]