There is nothing more exciting than a premiere. Especially in your new car.The first sight of it. The first time you accelerate ,the first long ride. For this special feeling,you need a very special car:the new Maserati Quattroporte,in a new design with even greater driving dynamics.
If you’re in the market for a four-door, grand-touring coupe, there is no shortage of choices from the likes of Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera. Appealing though they may be, none of these cars can offer the buyer an Italian heritage, and none of them can claim to have an engine derived from supercar builder Ferrari.
The new Quattroporte grows to the length of a standard Mercedes-Benz S-class, and whereas it was once cramped in the rear, it is now as roomy inside as the Mercedes is. The boot is now vast, too. Buyers get a choice of two new Ferrari-designed and built twin-turbocharged, direct injection petrol engines, a 3.8-litre V8 with 523 bhp and a 3.0-litre V6 with 407 bhp, both of which drive through an eight-speed ZF gearbox. Our test car was a V8.
Maserati engineers say they dial in the car’s chassis, making sure it’s neutral and naturally balanced, before adding the nanny systems (stability and traction control) on top. They’re not there to correct for inadequacies other than the driver’s. This became evident when we did a lap at BIC circuit with everything on and then again with everything off. Even when you push it, the car doesn’t want to get out of line, thanks in part to the Q4 all-wheel-drive system. It’s nothing terribly sophisticated, only shuttling torque fore and aft, but it gets the job done. We suspect also that most of the AWD system’s job will get done in the showroom. Point is, it doesn’t get in the way, and it only adds about 130 pounds to the car.
The Quattroporte’s styling was created in-house. It carries the already-established family look with a classic, vertically slatted grille, luxuriously sculpted sides and a neatly tapered rear, although its greater rear bulk means it lacks some of the outgoing car’s delicacy and is reminiscent, some say, of the look of an Infiniti or a Lexus. Such is the price of a decent amount of rear cabin space.
Inside, the Quattroporte is a reflection of the car as a whole. It’s the unexpected choice and, more pointedly, the non-Germanic choice. The interior has all the latest technology, but it’s ensconced in a uniquely crafted cabin that echoes cars of the past.
There are a few metallic touches here, for example, and no faux carbonfibre or TFT read-outs; it’s mainly soft-touch materials, earthy tones and analogue gauges.
Behind that massive steering wheel are two very prominent paddleshifters, and to the centre is a screen to house the navigation system. Take these two elements away and the Quattroporte could have been from a past era. It is very traditional.
Of course, it makes sense that a luxury Italian automobile should possess plenty of style. But what is so surprising about the Maserati Quattroporte is the quality of the engineering, and how engaging the car is to drive.