Now, three years after the release of the original, the Modenese marque has finally filled the gap and introduced a new automatic gearbox, a six-speed unit from ZF to be sold alongside the Duoselect version. With the introduction of the German sourced gearbox, the Quattroporte’s leap ahead in terms of comfort and smoothness only improves the car’s strong points and gives it better traction in the land of prestigious flagship cars that cost well over six figures.
Styling and interior
Mechanically the only point of difference is the new automatic gearbox, but its inclusion has allowed Maserati to improve other aspects of the car such as weight distribution and performance. Unlike the Duoselect unit, which is lodged on the rear axle, the new ZF six-speeder is mounted directly to the engine block. In this position, weight distribution improves with a near ideal 49-51% split front to back versus the 47-53% of the Duoselect.
Beyond its totally automatic function, the gearbox also features a manual mode that allows you to shift gears via the lever or optional paddle shifters. Activating sports mode gives you access to the V8 engine’s entire rev-range and the adaptive six-speed gearbox will downshift early and happily rev to the redline. At the same time, the electronically adjusted Skyhook suspension system firms up and the throttle becomes a little more responsive.
The V8 is still the familiar 4.2L mill constructed by the Ferrari boys down the road in Maranello. Max power remains at 393hp at 7,000rpm, but a series of improvements has allowed the engine to obtain a more responsive nature lower in the rev range as is evidenced by the increase in peak torque from 450Nm to 460Nm at a lower 4,250rpm than the previous 4,500rpm level. These improvements have been brought about from a redesign of the induction manifold, intake camshaft and engine pistons.
On the road