The press car was dispatched from Maserati’s UK HQ in Slough to my home. A vision in Nero Carbonio, its sonorous V8 resonated around the small lane where I live as Alan from Maserati delivered it.
The charming gentleman from Maserati requested if I would transport him to the nearest railway station. He had travelled several hours to deliver this car to me, how could I refuse?
He had already regaled me with stories of being driven by Michael Schumacher on a couple of occasions. I suddenly felt a slight sense of apprehension. I was to drive this £100k chariot in the company of Alan who had been chauffeured by the best.
My anxiety was soon dispelled as this cars talents are incredibly accessible. It is user-friendly, despite its supercar specification and I felt at home driving it after only a few minutes of acquaintance.
The first thing that you notice with this car is the delicacy of the design language. Pininfarina has conceived many of the world’s most beautiful cars. This car has lithe lines despite its leviathan dimensions.
It does not look exceptionally large from the outside, however, the overall length of 5097 mm does bring tangible benefits in terms of interior space. It will accommodate large adults with ease.
The Quattroporte made its debut in 2003 at the Frankfurt Motor Show, yet it still looks fresh and contemporary today.
Delicate flourishes of style add value to the overall appearance. Their delicate execution is wonderful. Look at the three small vents featured on the front wing, the Maserati badge on the rear roof pillar or the Maserati trident on the grille. They do not detract but compliment the whole design.
I have a large frame which sadly will not squeeze into some supercars without the extensive use of surgery. My children share my large physique. My 13 year old son is in excess of 6 feet tall, yet had no problem sitting behind me in the commodious cabin.
The seats are trimmed in nero leather with Alcantara inserts. They are incredibly comfortable and supportive. The Maserati trident is exquisitely embossed on the head restraints.
I drove the Quattroporte for several hours and alighted the cockpit, fresh and absent of aches or pains.
The headlining of the press car was trimmed in Alcantara which offers an air of luxury to the interior. Whilst sadly it is an optional extra, I would have to tick this option box if I was ordering this car.
The Titantex trim is titanium coloured with a carbon-fibre like appearance. It lightens the interior and has a unique look.
The specification is generous with an inventory which will please any technophile. Satellite navigation, seats with numerous electrical adjustment, voice control and a BOSE surround system all make everyday motoring a pleasure.
There are two features which I fell in love with. Firstly an elliptical clock located on the dashboard is the symbiosis of function and Italian styling flair. Secondly, the Alcantara trimmed steering wheel provides a tactility unlike any other steering wheel I have ever felt. Why would you ever want anything other than an Alcantara trimmed steering wheel? Anything else will now feel inferior.
I can wax-lyrical about the wonderful cabin or the beautiful styling, but these are mere distractions to the raison d’être of this magnificent Maserati. It is made to be driven.
Turn the ignition key and listen to the 4.7 litre V8 engine burst into life. It would be a corpse that failed to smile at this sound. It reminds the driver they are alive and that life is for the living.
Select “Drive” and pull away. The electronic handbrake will disengage automatically. The engine note signals its intention with every revolution of the engine. Lightly press the throttle and progress can be made in a sedate and refined way making it a serious proposition for the everyday commute to the office.
Find an open section of country road and stab the throttle and you will be aghast at the alacrity as the speedometer needle arcs clockwise round the dial. This car imparts pleasure to the driver with the melodious mechanical music emanating from beneath the bonnet.
The 20 inch rims shod with Pirelli P Zero’s surpass the grip afforded by a moutaineer’s crampons. The positive turn-in as you enter bends is a delicacy to be savoured.
The car may have a large footprint, but it has the incredible dexterity of a seamstress, threading itself through a series of bends in an amazingly controlled manner.
The ride is firm, yet this affords the vehicle magnificent manoeuvrability which appears to rewrite the laws of physics.
The car has amazing acceleration, especially when the “Sport” button has been depressed. However, the aspect of performance which stupifies me is the car’s incredible ability to shed speed when required.
Stare through the spokes of the 20 inch Dark Chrome alloy wheels fitted to my test car and you will see blood red coloured Brembo brake calipers.
The Quattroporte Sport GTS is the top model in the Quattroporte range and is fitted with a higher performance Brembo system when compared with lesser models in the range. The front discs measure 360 mm and the rears 330mm. All discs are ventilated with four-piston callipers and four channel electronic ABS with EBD, integrated into the Maserati Stability Program.
The brakes allow the driver to modulate retardation due to their progressive feel. They impart confidence as they work magnificently.
The suspension set up prevents dive or squat and rewards the driver who wishes to heel and toe down country lanes.
I sold my first sports car shortly after my children were born due to the practical considerations of fitting them in the rear of the cabin. The Quattroporte would have provided the perfect resolution to this problem. It’s spacious cabin would accommodate five adults with ease.
The car is a luxurious haven fitted with numerous gadgets to aid everyday passage on busy roads.
The sinewy and svelte styling of the Quattroporte evokes salacious thoughts in my mind. It signals its intent in provocative lingerie, not in a showy or outré way but with an attractive allure which is impossible to ignore.
The prominent facet of this Maserati gem is the driving pleasure it provides the owner. It has rapier-like performance harnessed in a usable form.
Would I like to own this car? A resounding yes. It was a huge hit with the Davies’ household.
Observant readers may notice I have not criticised any aspect of this car. However, I would make one small change to the press car supplied. I would have to select the carbon fibre trim option. It may cost an additional £1740, but having seen it fitted in a Gran Turismo recently I would find it impossible to resist.
Mona Lisa was said to have an “enigmatic smile”, however, whilst driving the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GTS my smile was more befitting a feline resident of Cheshire. Purr!
Images kindly provided by © Euan Davies 2012.