Maserati goes diesel, Honda takes flight and Ford turns to tomato skins for new car materials.

Magnificent miserly Maserati

A Maserati with a diesel engine seems a contradiction – does an owner who can afford $198,000 care about having a fuel miser? Maserati says that’s not the point about its first diesel, the Quattroporte V6. Buy this car for the effortless way it drives with 600 Newtonmetres of torque, its exceptional cruising range and its list price of $198,800, a new benchmark for the make.

Plus those gorgeous looks, a much larger interior, at last a decent boot, great handling and prestige that’s difficult to trump. And if you drive long distances, diesel is more readily available. This new generation of Quattroporte (it means “four doors”, or sedan), including the previously-released petrol V8 version, is by far the best.

For now it’s the cheapest Maserati to the tune of $40,000, until the mid-size Ghibli lands later this year with a starting price of $134,000. Then start saving for the Levante SUV in 2015 and Alfieri compact coupe in 2016.

Honda takes to the skies

Honda has logged the first flight of its innovative new executive jet due for customer delivery next year. The HondaJet will be single-pilot certified and is claimed to be the fastest, most spacious and most fuel-efficient jet in its class.

Heinz soups up Fords

Ford is expanding its range to 47 varieties. In the US, Ford and Heinz are developing the use of tomato skins—a sauce and soup byproduct— to make moulded, recyclable brackets and interior components. Bio materials already used in Ford cars include coconut, soy, cotton and rice.