Maserati Quattroporte: Executive GT And Sport GT | Part Two

Maserati Quattroporte

Maserati Quattroporte

Perfectly balanced dynamic handling courtesy of optimal weight distribution

The Quattroporte is more than just a classic flagship car. It is a brilliant high performance saloon which handles nimbly and offers top-flight occupant safety in all conditions. The secret of the Quattroporte’s agility lies in its 47% front-53% rear weight distribution, unique in its segment. The Quattroporte’s weight distribution maximises traction and thrust during acceleration so that the car remains exceptionally stable and well balanced at all times. This comes courtesy of two highly specific technical solutions: the positioning of the engine further back in the chassis behind the front axle to shift the load back towards the cabin, and the adoption of the Transaxle layout which sees the gearbox rear-mounted in unit with the differential. The transaxle architecture is normally reserved for high performance sports cars and, in fact, this is the first time it has been applied to a luxury saloon.

Sophisticated suspension system ? comfortable and efficient

The Skyhook system works together with a highly developed suspension architecture offering front and rear double wishbones with arms and hubs in forged aluminium, to deliver blistering dynamic handling and sumptuous ride comfort. Anti-dive and anti-squat geometries prevent the nose diving under braking and the tail-end dipping under acceleration. The Skyhook system delivers automatic damping control too. Acceleration sensors monitor the movements of the wheels and the car’s body, instantly adapting the calibration of the dampers to suit. In fact, Skyhook is a staggering 10 times faster than conventional systems currently available. It actively controls the suspension’s responses and thus the reactions of the car itself. The driver can also choose between two modes: Normal (for maximum comfort) and Sport (for a more hands-on experience) to suit the style of driving required.

A fiery temperament with safety guaranteed

The Quattroporte’s extraordinary dynamic performance is the direct result of its stunning combination of driving and safety features which offer a perfect balance of sportiness and comfort. The Maserati Stability Programme, for instance, offers drivers vital back-up in the most difficult driving situations, by integrating the ABS, EBD and ASR functions. It acts on the brakes and engine to ensure that the driver stays in complete control of the car at all times. Just like the Skyhook, the MSP has two different modes, Normal and Sport.

The electronic power steering also offers feather-light handling during slower manoeuvres but becomes gradually more direct and precise as the car picks up speed.

The Quattroporte’s Brembo brakes are very powerful and efficient too, bringing it to a full stop from 100 km/h in just 36.9 metres. Maserati engineers also paid great attention to passive safety. The Quattroporte boasts a highly advanced occupant protection system, with six airbags (two-stage frontal, side and curtain) and seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. In addition to this, the Quattroporte’s windows are made of laminated glass which doesn’t shatter if broken, offering the ultimate in occupant protection.

continues... | Part Three
Published 19 April 2006 Melanie Carter

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