Italy is just one of the very few fortunate countries to be associated with supercars once you mention its name. However, most tend to only know about supercars from Maranello and Sant’Agata, and not Bologna. I’m talking of course about Maserati. Yes, the Maserati Gran Turismo has almost no presence among the other major supercar players, but even little knew they made a luxury four-door limousine. The Quattroporte.
Thanks to its cool styling, powered by a Ferrari F430 engine, glorious exhaust note, and lively handling, the previous generation Quattroporte is regarded as the sport car of limousines, with most owners enjoy driving it rather than being driven in. Now in its sixth generation, the latest Quattroporte is set to offer even more efficiency, power, and luxury into a sexy Italian body.
The new Maserati Quattroporte has finally arrived on our shores and was revealed at the Naza Italia showroom in Petaling Jaya. This large building consists of both Ferrari and Maserati showrooms combined, but today Maserati got the whole building to itself for this significant launch event.
Unsurprisingly, I have only seen the new Quattroporte in pictures and video before this launch event. And I must say that judging from these online pictures and videos, I was slightly disappointed as it no longer looks as unique as its predecessor. However, I told myself not to judge too soon before I see one with my own eyes as most cars do look much better in person such as the McLaren 12C.
Sitting alongside a few journalist friends, and under the direct blast of the freezing air-conditioner that made my cup of hot coffee cold in minutes. Two Quattroportes which were still under wraps sat in front of us, effectively hiding its new, larger body and eagerly awaiting for it to be revealed in front of our eyes.
Yes there are some long speeches as we’d come to expect of car launch events, talking everything about the company and the car itself. They even chose to announce the price before we could even lay our eyes on it, and the prices are RM898,800 (USD 278,637) and RM1,138,800 (USD353,040) for the Quattroporte S and Quattroporte GTS respectively. Both prices excludes road tax and insurance.
Speeches over. Everyone in the room have mentally prepared themselves to witness the Quattroporte in the metal, and then here comes an unexpected dance performance. The ballerina-like dance is nothing to write home about really, as it is more of a fancy (and lengthy) way of removing the covers off the cars. Either way, I have filmed the whole performance, as well as brief moments of the engine on idle which you can watch at the end of this story below.
And so the covers are off and the first thing that hits me is the size of the car. It’s huge! No doubt it is now a proper limousine compared to its predecessor, and will no longer look out of place parked next to S-Class and 7-Series. In fact, the new Quattroporte just might overshadow them in terms of size and presence.
Designed by ex-Pininfarina designer and currently Maserati Head Designer, Lorenzo Ramaciotti, the new Quattroporte may look completely different from its predecessor but it still remains unmistakably Maserati. The new Quattroporte is bigger in almost every way, and yet lighter and more fuel efficient compared to the previous generation model.
Let’s talk about the engine. The “cheapest” variant is called the Quattroporte S, which is powered by a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine producing 410hp and 550 Nm of torque. The range topping Quattroporte GTS on the other hand, is powered by a more appealing 3.8 liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 530hp and 650 Nm of torque. Both Quattroporte are rear-wheel driven and these two engines were co-developed with Ferrari and all engines are assembled by Ferrari at Marenello. All Quattroporte comes with an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox with paddle shifters.
The only way to differentiate between the two variants from the exterior is through the quad exhausts. The Quattroporte S gets quad oval exhaust pipes, while the GTS model is fitted with AMG-esque quad trapezoidal exhaust pipes. You can try, but it will be difficult to spot the GTS’ larger brakes compares to the S variant.
Open the door handle, have a seat on the driver’s cockpit and the first thing that hits you is that unmistakable scent of new leather that fills the car’s atmosphere which almost justifies that 1 million pricetag. However, I tried to get comfortable with my seat and after trying out all the electronic seat adjustments, the seat still felt surprisingly flat and unsupportive. I got into the front passenger seat just to be sure, and it felt identical. Not sure if the seat will fit better for Europeans or Americans with larger build, but just looking at the seat you know it looks flat as well.
Disappointing front seats aside, the rest of the front dashboard fortunately gave a very positive first impression. Buttons are at a minimal thanks to the intuitive touchscreen system which controls most of the functions in the car. I mentioned that it was intuitive because the touchscreen responds very quickly to my touch unlike the frustratingly slower system found in the latest Range Rover and Jaguar models.
The area surrounding the touch screen as well as the gear shifter are finished in aluminium, and the full carbon fiber trim equipped on this particular Quattroporte which covers the front dashboard trim, center console trim as well as surrounding all four interior door handles makes this already sumptuous interior even more pleasing to the eye.
The front seat may not be the best, but owners of limousines spends most of their time in the back anyway. And I am very happy to announce that the rear seats of the new Quattroporte are some of the best in the business. Calling the previous generation Quattroporte a limo is pushing it, as it is not as well packaged or spacious as cheaper, conventional rivals from Germany. This time however, Maserati got it right with its more spacious rear and extremely comfortable rear seats. Not sure how they could get the front seats feel so different.
Needless to say, both head and legroom are more than sufficient and the seats are plush and pretty supportive despite not having any electronic adjustments available. Both rear seats also comes with a foldable table which is neatly integrated onto the front seats. This particular model also came fitted with Bowers & Wilkins speakers as well as two rear screens with a remote control for watching movies and the likes.
Performance wise, the 410hp Quattroporte S will be competing against the Mercedes-Benz S500 (429hp), BMW 750i (401hp), and also the Porsche Panamera S (400hp). The more powerful Quattroporte GTS however, will be venturing into S63 AMG (518hp), 760i (537hp), as well as Panamera Turbo (500hp) territory.
Those female ballerina performers aside, there were eight models hired to compliment the two Quattroporte on display. As if that is not enough, Maserati even invited the 2013 Miss Universe Malaysia, Carey Ng as well as the 2nd runner-up, May Salitah to this launch event. Let’s just say the cars deserves more attention from the photographers.
No worries, you can view more stunning photos of the new Maserati Quattroporte as well as the aforementioned models in the gallery below. The new Quattroporte is undoubtedly a very attractive limousine with the performance to match. I believe that Maserati is only worried about the soon-to-be-launched new S-Class which is gaining huge praises all over the globe for being the perfect limousine. Only time will tell when I finally get up-close and personal with Mercedes’ flagship limo…