When looking at vehicles over the $100k range, you should expect quality. On this front the Quattroporte delivers in spades. The car presents an elegant rival to the competing models in the same vehicle class such as the Jaguar XJR, BMW 7451 and the Audi A8. The stunning design embraces sexy curves and no little strut factor.
The car looks big, being big on brute factor, in large part due to the four-cam V-8 being positioned behind the front axle. Extended doors and the 120.6 inch wheelbase are immediately noticeable. The reason for the location of the engine stems from the desire to ensure a 47/53 front-to-rear weight distribution similar to the Scaglietti 612 built by parent company, Ferrari.
Entrance to the Maserati interior is through fixed door handles that may confound first time drivers. Two buttons are hidden behind these immovable door handles. Manual operation of the doors is achieved by pressing firmly on the black button, useful in the case of electrical malfunction. A grey button allows automatic release of the door. Internally the cabin is chic and tasteful with plenty of high end gizmos. Add to this a number of complementary though contrasting materials such as mahogany, rosewood and titanium and you have a soothing if not cathartic experience.
Expect comfort from the power seats that exude that sporty look and feel. In back, there plenty of room for two, however the real action takes place upfront in the cockpit. For the driver, an adjustable steering wheel that allows customisations for both height and reach sets the stage for the adventure that will soon pour forth. When the key is turned expect a small delay of whirring before the V-8 realises it is being called upon to ignite. By default, the transmission is in automatic-shift mode. Slot the machinery into drive and your street cruise is underway. Select the manual option by flicking a switch. Paddles on the steering wheel, (left for change down, right for change up) are at your disposable.
You can’t go too wrong with the 4.2 litre V-8 engine, there is power and torque in abundance. It will take around 5 seconds to hit 100 km/h, which is not too sluggish. Top speed is approximately 270 km, and this combines well with excellent flexibility. Don’t expect economy of fuel from this heavy beast though, the Masserati consumes over 30 litres of fuel per 100 km!