pnx43.jpgEnlarge PhotoTurn the ignition key and you’ll immediately notice one of the first motivations for buying the Maserati Quattroporte. The 4.2L V8 emits an unmistakable rumble that tells you this is an engine that means serious business. With the sound of the engine still tingling down your spine, it's pretty obvious that the Quattroporte is a four-door Ferrari in everything but the name.
Combined with the rev-happy motor, the new automatic demonstrates a marked leap over the Duoselect gearbox in terms of comfort, offering fluid and seamless gear changes without the abrupt shifts that plagued the automated manual equipped versions. There’s no dip in performance either, with Sport mode offering acceleration figures just a few tenths of a second off the pace of the Duoselect equipped Quattroporte Sport GT. The best we managed for the 0-100km/h sprint was 5.79 seconds, less than two tenths of a second slower than the Sport GT.
The new set-up is definitely hard to criticize. The only area where we had some slight issues was the electronic management of the auto-box’s manual mode. In this setting, there’s a slight delay in initial gear pickup when the gas pedal is slammed to the floor. Rough terrain can also unsettle the big Maser, which you’ll start to feel reverberating through the steering wheel even with the softer Normal setting dialed up for the adaptive suspension.
In any case, these are minor issues and the rest of the flagship’s repertoire is some of the best in this class. The Quattroporte’s performance aspects are much better than we’d hoped. For starters, the tested top speed grazes the official claim of 270km/h, attesting itself with a run of 269.1km/h, and when pushed hard the Quattroporte remains responsive and well-balanced despite its generous proportions.
Should I buy one?
In summary, the beautiful car from Modena is on a much better footing for the second half of its life-cycle then when first launched, yet still maintains its charming and unmistakable design, effortless drivability, and levels of performance you’d expect from a car wearing the Trident badge. Up against V8 powered rivals from the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the Maserati Quattroporte isn’t the obvious choice but its Italian style and character means you won’t be just another faceless faceless German saloon owner. As for the price, the old adage ‘if you need to ask how much it costs then you probably can’t afford it’ applies. Those of you with a good relationship with your bank manager already know that it'll set you back €133,312 (US$112,250).