Maserati Quattroporte S – Review
Maserati Quattroporte S
by Liam Bird
Isn’t it funny how certain things just sound better when they’re said in a different language? Take food for instance: a tarte tatin sounds far sweeter than plain old apple flan; escargot – to the uninitiated at least – sounds infinitely more appetising than snails; and who wouldn’t rather have a gateau rather than just a cake? In French you see, things just sound tastier.
With cars though, perhaps it’s Italian that makes all the difference. For example: if I was to tell you I’d been driving a large metallic grey, four-door saloon you’d probably lose interest very quickly. However, if I said what I’d actually been driving was a Grigio Metallo Maserati Quattroporte S I’d bet the chances are you’d stick around a little longer. Suddenly said saloon just sounds more glamorous, doesn’t it?
Quattroporte literally translates as four doors, and it’s the name Maserati have been using on their luxury GT cars since 1963. Now in its sixth generation, Maserati’s all-new four-seater flagship, which is set to compete with the likes of BMW’s 7 series, Jaguar’s XJ LWB, Audi’s A8, and the Mercedes Benz S-Class, cuts a muscular and somewhat imposing dash.
“Nothing if not attractive”
Look closely and you’ll spot more than a few styling references from Maseratis of old: delicate triple vents in the front wings, an oval grille complete with prominent and centrally mounted trident badging and quad tailpipes to name but a few. Of course, there are all the 21st Century mod-cons as well. LED and Xenon headlamps, alloy rims shod (in our case) with 285/35 ZR20 tyres and massive vented disc brakes complete with blue calipers (they’re optional also) are all evident upon closer inspection.
The interior too mixes both tradition and technology. Hand-stitched Poltrona Frau fine grain leather covers the seats, door cards and dashboard, while a both deep podded dials and digital displays share space with blue-tooth connectivity, 8.4” touch-screen multimedia devices, and some very deep carpets. There is also some slightly questionable wood-grain trim. Don’t get me wrong, the overall ambience is nothing if not attractive, but this jury is still out, trying to decipher whether or not the sacrificial trees in question had their roots in a modern-day factory rather than an ancient forest.
“Gargantuan boot load”
There is no denying, though, that Quattroporte’s cabin is hugely capacious, and there’s more than enough room for four Italian fat-cats to stretch out and travel in comfort. Visibility is good in almost all directions – a rear-view camera thankfully aids reversing – and the driving position can be adjusted so as it’s nigh-on perfect whatever your shape and size. Once aboard, it’s easy to imagine yourself crossing continents in this car, its gargantuan boot loaded with bespoke luggage and yet still arriving unruffled and no doubt ahead of time too at the other end.
You might consider sticking to the autostrada though, as arguably that’s where the Quattroporte behaves best. In S spec (as tested) power comes from a 3.0 litre 404bhp V6 driving the rear wheels through an 8 speed ZF auto ‘box. It sounds beautiful – even if it does lack the more intoxicating timbre of the (gulp) £28,000 more range-topping V8 GTS – but it’s more than happy to cruise all day long; UK motorway cruising speeds equate to little more than 2000rpm.
It’s the absence of any paddle shifters that will disappoint keener drivers though, as will perhaps the Quattroporte’s steering. It kicks back sharply over ruts or expansion gaps and yet offers little feel in the straight ahead position.
Even if you select Sport mode in a bid to firm up both the helm and the adjustable Skyhook dampers, the sheer size of this car means that you’ll never be able to drive it with the enthusiasm that its badge, its engine note, and ultimately Maserati’s racing pedigree, suggest you should.
As its name suggests the Maserati Quattroporte S isn’t exactly the cheapest four door Italian car you can buy. However, it does offer a glimpse into an exclusive world, plus a charisma and a certain something that the majority of its rivals struggle to attain. Starting at £80,095, quite whether the reality of actually owning one sounds better than it actually is, is sadly something that only those with the sufficient means will ever get to find out.
Maserati Quattroporte S
Engine: 2979cc. twin-turbo petrol V6
Transmission: 8 speed Automatic
Power: 404 bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque: 405 lbft @ 1750 – 5000 rpm
0-62mph: 5.1 sec
Max Speed: 177 mph
Price: £80,095 (car driven £86,485)