I swear, even the words come out of the maw verbally slanted like italics. It’s a name that captures the imagination, but all it means is that it’s a four-door saloon.
Italian brand Maserati has a rich heritage in motorsports and of building race cars for the road. It has been doing this for more than 100 years and was the first sportscar-maker to introduce a racing engine into the practical shape of a sedan. To date, Maserati has remained true to the ethos of 1963, when the first Quattroporte debuted, and of creating super-veloce (“very fast”) road cars like the recently launched Levante and now the refreshed Quattroporte!
The 2017 model was revealed at the new and swanky Maserati showroom in Bryanston, Johannesburg showroom. The latest version enjoys a mild, but fairly extensive programme of re-sculpting. The biggest change is in the design of its nose to bring the model in line with Maserati’s cleaner and edgier new corporate look that first debuted with the Ghibli and was also adopted with the Levante SUV. The gaping mouth is retouched and leaves a fresh and more elegant determination. Taking a look at the car’s catalogue, you can changing it to suit your personal tastes by means of chrome, carbon fibre and other bits. The new limo also features matte black side skirts and an air extractor at the rear, while the slight restyling is extended to its exterior wing mirrors. The graceful shape of its massive body remains largely the same as the outgoing car, but new bits like styling 19-21″ alloys in a number of designs add a touch of fairy dust.
Its massive interior is refined not only via light ergonomic changes and additional hi-tech features like active cruise control and a high-resolution 8,4″, multi-touch function colour infotainment screen, but the Quattroporte also gets modern features such as a stop/go function, 360° cameras and more. In addition, it comes in a choice of two trim levels; the GranLusso – which leans more towards classier, delicate splendour –and GranSport, which injects “sports luxury” through carbon fibre trim.
Communication and connectivity solutions are also enhanced to meet modern criteria and although we didn’t get a chance to immerse ourselves in its capabilities, we spied a clump of premium Harman Kardon speakers. However, if it is song you want. wait until you try out the goosebump-inducing bi-modal exhaust system that’s activated via the sports button.
The car will be available in a number of engine variants, including the company’s effervescent new diesel. In GTS flavour, with the 3,8-litre twin-turbo V8 it shares with Ferrari’s equally neoteric 488 GTB producing 390kW and 649Nm, the bark it orchestrates in Sport mode reverberates with mighty intent. It threatens to awaken even Poseidon; the mythical Greek god of the sea whose weapon of choice is the trident, the three-pronged spear that has led every Maserati’s forward thrust since day one. The new Quattroporte is also fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission and credited with a 0-100km/h time of 4,7 seconds. It is capable of galloping on to just over 310km/h – making it the fastest in its niche.
Don’t be tempted to classify this vehicle alongside more tech-laden, mainstream options. A Maserati Quattroporte is a world away from the mainstream. It’s a suave and practical teleportation device that takes you straight into a free world that’s devoid of boredom, conformity and speed limits. It’s a driver’s limo.
Price: From R2 223 360