Maserati's Quattroporte outshines its competitors with its sporty character - how else can it impress the $400k club?
Photos: Azfar Hashim
In the ideal world, every top executive will be driven around in nothing else but only the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Full stop. And this is simply because it’s quite the complete car, and depending on your priority, there are different variants to suit your needs.
That would be ideal for Mercedes-Benz. But unfortunately, consumers in that particular market are a unique lot; a one-size-fits-all theory doesn’t work here. Which is why there is the BMW 7 Series, Audi A8, Jaguar XJ, Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide and, depending on how far you’d like to enjoy the finer things in life, Rolls-Royce’s Ghost. There are different models for different preferences.
They’re all great cars, really; the sort you want to have, to make a grand entrance everywhere you go.
However that said, there is one particular thing they all lack: Character. You Porsche drivers might be gasping for air after reading this, and owners of the Rapide might passionately disagree with this statement of mine. Whether you agree to this or not, look deep down inside of yourself and you might just nod — or just half nod — to this.
The thing is this: All those mentioned above are luxury cars, hence to win customers’ hearts, they’re all packed from head to toe with gizmos and touches every common man wish they could afford to have in their houses. And because of this, you could easily associate the word ‘pretentious’ to either.
The Maserati Quattroporte, surprisingly for its status as a symbolic car for the upper echelon of society, doesn’t seem to be pretentious; and that’s the unique appeal here. You get a 3.0-litre V6 turbocharged powerplant, which is perhaps the most ‘advanced’ technical bit of the car; paired to it is a not-fancy-by-today’s-standard 8-speed automatic transmission. With that, you get a power output of 350 bhp, 500 Nm, and a zero to hero timing of 5.5 seconds. Yeap, it’s the same combination seen in the smaller Ghibli we’ve reviewed previously, but it doesn’t seem out of place in this Quattroporte despite the 50 kg difference between both siblings.
It feels lively, this car, with nary any struggle for power — step on the accelerator and the car moves off quite elegantly, if I may add. Such a joyous thing to push past legal speed limits, putting a wide smile on the driver’s face knowing that you could stay put on the fastest lane and outrun any pesky tail-gaters. At the same time, you would surely notice just how quiet things are in the cabin, to the point Maserati’s signature exhaust note are nearly non-existent; if you really want to hear it in all its glory, then you must drive with the windows down and sunroof opened along the KPE, in third.
And its fun side comes along with a sharpened steering response and very well balanced suspension; so if you think a car this size needs four-wheel drive to give you grip and assurance, I must report that Maserati has officially crushed that theory. Pretty hard to fault the Quattroporte’s handling and confidence… Interior wise, the Quattorporte proudly exposes its intricate quality. The cockpit is spot-on and comes with a highly supportive seat, the steering wheel is perfectly sized and every control buttons are clear and idiot-proof; unlike its German competitors, this Italian doesn’t need a year and a half of driving for you to get familiarized with. The multimedia centre, while undeniably not as fancy as the Audi A8’s - which is the benchmark in its class - still does its job well enough.
So lets not beat around the bush then - what are the Quattroporte’s USPs in this highly competitive segment where all the cars have a price tag of more than $400k?
Firstly, a beautiful exterior that’s hard to fault viewed from any angles. Secondly its sporty side is, well, purely sporty and satisfying. The latter puts it in a class of its own…