by: Mike Ginsca
If you’re in the market for an exotic four door sedan, there are a few choices to choose from. There’s the outrageously expensive Aston Martin Rapide, the hideously ugly Porsche Panamera, and then there’s this, the Maserati Quattroporte.
Performance – There is quite a bit of Ferrari influence in this “four door” sports car, namely the Ferrari derived engine. It is a 4.2L V8 that produces an even 400hp and 340 lb-ft of torque which can propel the big sedan to 100km/h in 5 seconds. While the power and acceleration figures are respectable, it doesn’t translate the same way when you’re behind the wheel. First gear acceleration is quick but after that first gear it feels slow and as though it’s running out of steam. The engineers could have given this car more power but then it would have been faster than a comparable Ferrari model which is a big “no-no” in Italy. For this particular model year, Maserati introduced the Quattroporte with a new ZF 6-speed automatic transmission in addition to the standard DuoSelect transmission. Unfortunately I have not driven the DuoSelect transmission but the new ZF automatic does a good job of providing quick and smooth shifts whether on city streets or on a race track. Compared with other semi-manual transmissions from other competitors, this new ZF transmission is better suited to the more relaxed pace and luxury lifestyle of North Americans.
Speaking of luxury, Maserati’s Skyhook suspension provides all of the luxury that one would ask from an exotic luxury sedan. There is a button on the dash to stiffen the suspension but even so, bumps are absorbed for a soft and comfortable ride without sacrificing handling. For sportier drivers, the Maserati has a rearward biased weight distribution (49/51) which gives it great traction out of corners and nimble yet responsive handling into corners. Despite its approximately 4400 lb weight, it can move through corners like as though it weighed much less.
Comfort – As mentioned earlier, the Skyhook suspension does a great job of isolating the occupants of the car from the bumps and cracks of city streets. Coupled with the plush leather seats, the interior of the Quattroporte is one of the nicest places to be in. The design of the Maserati is a bit on the conservative side in my opinion. Italians are known for great styles and designs but the center console is a bit much with all of the carbon fiber. Happily however, Maseratis can be customized from the factory to suit the owner’s needs and styles.
By far the biggest downfall of this Maserati is the navigation and infotainment system. The screen is very slow to respond to commands and the whole interface looks like it was designed back in the 1990’s and not updated for the 21st century. This almost feels like an insult considering that this Maserati cost in the range of $140,000 when it was new.
Odds and Ends – There is no denying that the body of the Quattroporte will turn heads wherever it goes. The car looks like no other sedan on the streets whether it’s from an exotic auto manufacturer or one that is mass produced. Whether it is a beautiful design or not is another story. Next to the Aston Martin Rapide it doesn’t stand a chance in a beauty contest however it’s beauty is more subtle. It looks elegant yet different enough to stand out from it’s main competitors and the German executive sedans.
Although this may not be the fastest exotic sedan, it still has an abundance of Italian heritage that can be seen in the exterior styling, can be felt in the hand stitched leather, and can be heard through the exhaust out the back.
Thank you to Autoform Performance Inc. for providing the car.
Editor at large and gearhead. Can drive anything on 4 or 2 wheels... sometimes 3 wheels too.