In the automotive scale of beauty, the Maserati Quattroporte must come pretty high up the chart.
In the automotive scale of beauty, the Maserati Quattroporte must come pretty high up the chart. Aesthetics are always dependent on the eye of the beholder, but few would argue that the big Maserati saloon, designed by Pininfarina, is a gorgeous looking car. So it should be, you might well argue, for a car costing nearly £100,000, and you would certainly have a point. But price alone does not guarantee gorgeousness, although it certainly helps.
Here is a luxury saloon that is also an ultra-high performance sports car. It is the most powerful saloon Maserati has ever produced. If there is a better-sounding car on the road than this, we have yet to encounter it outside the ranks of other Italian exotica. This Quattroporte Sport GT S has a deep masculine rasp that is pure joy to listen to, so you find yourself seeking out road tunnels just to hear it echoed back at you. Better still, there is a Sport button on the dash to sharpen the car’s responses when you are in the mood for ultimate driving stimulation, and it also augments the metallic throatiness of the engine note.
This car is the latest in a long line and five generations of Maserati Quattroportes dating back to 1963. Built in Modena, near where Ferraris are also made, the Maserati Quattroporte has an exotic sounding name, but it actually has a rather mundane meaning – it is Italian for ‘four doors’.
The Quattroporte range starts in price from £81,225, and the GT S is £94,300.
What a lot of performance you get with this car. The engine is a 4.7 litre, 32-valve V8, with a power output of 434 bhp at 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 361 lb ft at 4,750 rpm. The gearbox is a six-speed automatic that works very harmoniously with the power unit. It has software for racing-style control of the gearchanges, and you can control the box manually via paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Unsurprisingly, with this level of performance, the car’s CO2 output is rather high at 365 g/km, so it is in lofty band M for the VED annual road tax.
The top speed is way above what you are ever likely to explore, even on a derestricted German autobahn, at 178 mph. Best not to blast away from the lights to pass 60 mph in around five seconds, either, if you want to hang on to your licence. The car can do it, though.