Maserati's all new Quattroporte received a warm welcome by the media recently at a private preview held by Hong Seh Motors, distributors for the italian marque.
Photos: Joel Tam
I never really considered the previous Quattroporte a good-looking car. It had curves in the wrong places, the gaping nose was too large and it somehow resembled a hammer-head shark. You could say I never really liked it at all. It sounded great though. Then again, all modern Maseratis with V8s sound awesome.
The new one though, is a rather sexy car. In fact, it's probably the best looking large saloon out there. When the photos were first released on the internet, I was sold. Now that I've seen it in the flesh, I'm happy to add that it looks even better.
As mentioned in our earlier articles, two engines will be available. Both will be direct-injection units, a 3.8-litre V8 and a 3.0-litre V6 with turbocharging. Yes, Maserati is back at using turbos! The power-plants are designed by Maserati Powertrain and assembled by Ferrari at Maranello.
The 3.8-litre V8 engine, although smaller than the previous flagship's 4.7-litre, is built to deliver 18% more power and 39% more torque, while having a 20% reduction in emissions. 530 bhp is available if you're gunning it all the way to 6800 rpm, but a hefty 650 Nm of torque starts to warm you up from as low as 2000rpm. Oh, and this can be overboosted to 710 Nm from 2250 rpm, enabling the car to hit 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds!
Also a twin turbo unit, the V6 with 410 bhp is not too shabby either. 550Nm of torque can be had at the top end of 5000 rpm, with an accessible 500 Nm from as low as 1500 rpm. 0-100 km/h is dispatched in 5.1 seconds, and the V6 will hit 284 km/h, while the V8 will touch 307 km/h given the space.
Step into the front seat and you'll be greeted with top-notch build all around the interior. The materials are plush, and the design, if I may say, has taken a more 'german' spin. Which is a good thing, because the Quattroporte now looks set to really take the game to its teutonic rivals.
On the new QP, as it is sometimes affectionately called, the sound and performance of the exhaust system is controlled by pneumatic valves in the pipes, this of course makes sure that the classic and characteristic sound of the brand is maintained. In the default Normal mode, the bypass valves are closed up to 4,200 rpm to give a comfortable and discreet engine sound. In Sport mode, not only does the car adjust a variety of handling parameters, but the exhaust valves are opened, giving the shortest possible high-energy route for the exhaust gases. This gives the Quattroporte its maximum engine performance and the unique Maserati engine sound.
A cool feature of the new QP is the suspension. In default, the Skyhook mode prioritises comfort and a pliant ride, but when selected, the sports setting adds extra stiffness and reduces both lateral and longitudinal load transfers, minimising body roll to bring out the wilder side of the QP's character.
All that, together with a host of safety tech and gadgets like a rear-view camera, new LED bi-xenon headlamps and a classy new Maserati Touch Control display, the all-new Quattroporte is indeed going to give the other luxury marques a run for their money. If only it wasn't launched in such bleak days of the motor industry here in Singapore. Still, we're certain there be a good number pottering about our roads when the shipment arrives later in the year.