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Fast Curves | Maserati's Quattroporte

Howard Walker

Bella macchina. That’s Italian for “beautiful machine.” No other phrase will do when you cast your eyes on the latest Maserati Quattroporte, the sixth generation of this classic.
   With deeper curves than Gina Lollobrigida and a wider vocal range than Andrea Bocelli, this new Quattroporte is quite possibly the world’s most delicious and desirable four-door luxury sedan.

Maserati Quattroporte - four-door super sedan
The Maserati Quattroporte brings new meaning to sedan.


   It had a tough act to follow. The last Quattroporte could make grown men weep uncontrollably at its beauty. See one on the street—a rare occurrence—and you’d risk whiplash from spinning your head to catch a better glimpse. It had a mouth only Angelina Jolie’s could trump.
   But alas, it had failings, too, like rear-seat legroom best suited to the Danny DeVitos of the world. It also featured technology firmly rooted in 1973 and enjoyed a level of reliability that reflected its FIAT parentage—as in Fix It Again Tony.
   This new version, which lands on American shores this month priced at around $130,000, ends most of those foibles. It’s a whopping 6.5 inches longer with a wheelbase stretched 4.5 inches, most of which has gone into volumizing the rear cabin.
  While its sexy predecessor’s 400-horsepower output may seem plenty powerful for a sports sedan, a vehicle that carries the famed Maserati trident is worthy of more. Enter a sensational 523 horses.

Maserati Quattroporte interior and dash

   The source of this elevated potency is a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 crafted by those artisans at Ferrari. It’s a jewel of an engine, blessed with vast turbo thrust—523 I-beam-bending pound-feet of torque—and the ability to scream to its 7,200 rpm redline while emitting a soundtrack surely featured on Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits. Coupling it with the latest ZF eight-speed rapid-fire automatic enhances the driving experience to a level of satisfaction equivalent to devouring a pint of pistachio gelato in one go.
   For the figure-hungry, acceleration from standstill to 60 mph takes a mere 4.2 seconds. Zero to 100 mph is covered in an equally rapido 10.5 seconds. The Maser won’t quit hurling itself towards the horizon until the speedo needle is kissing the 190 mph marker.
   Despite the car’s extra length, it’s considerably lighter than before—to the tune of almost 200 pounds. Much of that is because of the use of aluminum for most of its body parts, though the main chassis structure is fine Italian steel.
Maserati Quattroporte - Ferrari V8 engine   On the road, these numbers add up to a bella macchina that drives as delectably as it looks. It’s a whopper of a car that somehow shrinks in size the harder you drive. Thankfully, the Maserati engineers resisted the temptation to follow the flock and switch to electric power steering and stuck with the more precise-feeling hydraulic set-up. It shows in the laser-like way the car handles curves.
   And boy, is it quick. There’s an initial old-school hesitation before the turbos spool up, but then the thrust comes on like an F-16 on takeoff. Powering past slower traffic or lunging out of a tight corner is breathtaking.
   The only slight disappointment is the cabin. It’s gorgeous to look at, and I loved the simplicity of the dashboard layout with its two big dials and 8.4-inch touchscreen with simple Garmin-sourced navigation. But whereas the last generation Quattroporte was buttery soft, with slightly baggy leather and gorgeous detailing, this new version feels Teutonic—a little too cold and clinical for a Maserati. A small complaint for a car that defines the term bella macchina.

Maserati - Quattroporte - four-door super sedan - interior

POWER FILE

Price: From $130,000

Engine: 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 Power: 523 hp torque: 523 pound-feet transmission: 8-speed auto

0-60: 4.6 seconds

Top Speed: 190 mph

Length/Width: 207.2/76.7 inches

Weight: 4,300 pounds

Why We Love It: New V-8 comes courtesy of Ferrari and increases max power from previous 400 hp to an impressive 523 hp. That’s amore.

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