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There is something about Italian cars that set them a class apart. Known for their flamboyance, power and racing history, the Italians have been in the game for several decades now.
Maserati is one such Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer that has been around for over a century. Involved in the production of racing cars with 4, 6, 8 and 16 cylinders, Maserati didn't just stop there.
In the 1963 Turin Motor Show, Maserati shocked the world by launching the fastest four-seater car in the world — the Quattroporte.
The concept was revolutionary, a race-bred V8 engine inside the body of a saloon. With this one slick move, Maserati also introduced a whole new category into the marketplace — the luxury sports saloon.
Luxury, sports and style cast in exclusive cars is Maserati's tagline. And as they say, without history, there would be no future.
That said could the Maserati Quattroporte GTS still be one of the fastest four-seater saloons in the world? Is the Quattroporte one for the history books, or is it still truly a unique car?
The exterior design is not grand-spectacular, but undoubtedly quite handsome. The styling will turn heads, be it parked outside your garage or while doing a quick run to the hills. The Quattroporte GTS styling is unique that it can't be ignored or mistaken for a sporty German limo.
The pointed and imposing front end with a chromed-trident badge on the grille gives the car great authority. Adding to the exterior detailing is a seductive 20-inch forged alloy GTS silver wheels; twin, dual-pipe exhaust system in chrome-plated stainless steel, painted brake callipers in red and a C-pillar logo.
Inside, the Quattroporte GTS is not limo-like. However, there are subtle and endearing things such as the classic egg-shaped clock in the central area of the dashboard, engine-start button, fine-grain extended leather interior upholstery for the seats, sport pedals in brushed stainless steel, rear window power sunshade, and chrome-ringed dials that max out at 8000rpm and 350kph.
The standout feature is the high-gloss carbon-finish trimming across the dashboard, the front centre console and sections of the door panel. Not to mention, the Trident logo embossed on the headrests, both front and rear. Look closer and the interior falls short as compared to its German rivals, the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 series.
What about performance?
The Quattroporte vaults from 0 to 100kph in 4.7 seconds. Driving the rear wheels is a Ferrari-developed twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 engine. The V8 via an eight-speed automatic makes 523bhp and 710Nm of torque.
The sheer acceleration from the engine will leave drivers in awe, but there is a price to pay for all this; the Quattroporte GTS starts at INR 2.2 crore ex-showroom (Delhi). That's a lot of money, though it gives you a LOT of Italian lineage and supercar kind of acceleration with a throaty exhaust note.
When it comes to driveability, the Quattroporte GTS is a true sports car, yet an everyday useable vehicle too. Outright, we were expecting a bit of floatiness, which is often experienced in a sedan of this size and weight. However, the onboard comfort is high thanks to the Skyhook suspension system.
The Skyhook suspension system is designed to absorb irregularities on road, and provides automatic and continuous control of the damping, without penalising performance and sporty handling.
This high-level onboard comfort is achieved by the use of acceleration sensors that register the movements of each wheel and the body of the car.
The Skyhook control unit processes this data and interprets the driving conditions and the road surface, instantly adapting the setting of the shock absorbers accordingly.
There are a total of five driving modes on offer: Auto Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport, and I.C.E. (Improved Control and Efficiency). The sports mode can be powered on via the Sport button.
The Normal mode is characterised by soft damping for greater comfort and is the preferred choice for routine driving.
For horsepower addicts, pressing the Sport button offers a firm setup that greatly reduces roll angles and load transfer, thereby enhancing the stability of the car.
The I.C.E. mode, on the other hand, offers an eco drive, where steering and throttle inputs are dampened for a smooth run. The I.C.E. mode helps in reducing fuel consumption, emission and noise by controlling the turbocharger's overboost function, and by keeping the exhaust sport flaps closed until 5000rpm. This mode also helps in slippery conditions by reducing the wheel spin.
Moving on to handling, the standard tires (front 245/40 R20, rear 285/40 R20) helps reduce steering slip angle and offers great agility and rapidity of response during intense turns.
The Quattroporte GTS also benefits from the 50:50 weight distribution, and a good suspension layout that limits the front and rear from pitching down while accelerating and braking.
Overall, the Quattroporte GTS is stable and well-balanced for a saloon weighing 1900kgs (kerb weight) and 5.26m (length).
Maserati Quattroporte GTS Specifications
|Engine Type||V8, twin-turbo|
|Power||523bhp @ 6,800rpm|
|Torque||650Nm @ 2,000 - 4000rpm|
|0 – 100km/h||4.7 seconds|
The Maserati Quattroporte doesn't have the Porsche-ness of a Panamera or a holistic design sense of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. However, if you are the type to swoon over a four-door sports car with race-bred engineering, and if you are especially not a fan of autobahn-tuned dynamic brilliance — the Maserati Quattroporte wins this sporting rivalry in a truly unique style.
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Generations of drivers have fallen in love with the Maserati brand and with good reason. The Quattroporte GTS is an exemplary representation of Italian style, performance, exclusivity and sound engineering. In short — The Perfect Italian Job.
Did You Know
Quattroporte: In Italian "Quattroporte" means "four doors". A "four-door" sports luxury car. Think of Germans or Indians naming a car as four doors? That's how uber-cool Italians are.
GTS: The "GTS" nomenclature is standard in the automotive world, but it doesn't always mean the same thing. For Maserati, GTS stands for Grand Tourer Sport (Italian: Gran Turismo Sport), and for Ferrari, GTS stands for Gran Turismo Spyder. Basically, the (GT) nomenclature stands for Grand Tourer (Italian: Gran Turismo), a performance and luxury automobile capable of high-speed and long-distance driving.
Maserati: Before producing cars "Maserati" was known for spark plugs and their Trident logo was inspired by the statue of Neptune in the company's birthplace — Bologna. The company was founded in 1914 (102 years) and has had five owners, the Maserati brothers, the Orsi family, Citroen, Alessandro de Tomaso, and Fiat.
And with that, that's all folks!
Click the photo gallery above to view all the images from our drive of the 523bhp Maserati Quattroporte.