The new Maserati Quattroporte has a bigger body and a smaller but more powerful V8 turbo
Bigger, faster, better? Maserati Quattroporte V8

WHEN it comes to performance, the Maserati brand has always benefited from its association with Ferrari. But when it comes to Italian quality, the brand with the trident badge usually suffers due to the perception of a lack of it. The latest Quattroporte full-sized saloon hopes to change that with an all-new car that is bigger, faster, more luxurious but, whether you like it or not, more conventional.

The link to Ferrari is still there with a new V8 engine but the new Maserati Quattroporte now claims to have the right size, positioning and quality to rival the German competition. And oh, some parts from Chrysler through the Fiat connection.

The Maserati Quattroporte V8 gets a new body, chassis, engine, gearbox and infotainment system. The 5,262 mm car is 165 mm longer than its predecessor, giving it 105 mm extra rear legroom as well as more visual appeal as a bona fide limousine.

At the same time, the 1,900 kg car manages to be 100 kg lighter through, for example, the use of aluminium for some panels.

And while the previous Quattroporte had naturally aspirated V8s in either 4.2 or 4.7-litre form to drive the rear wheels, the new 3.8-litre V8 has twin turbos for improved power and emissions. Its 530 hp and 650 Nm are delivered with barely any turbo lag because maximum torque is available from a low 2,000 rpm. Needless to say, progress is effortless in the Singapore context.

An eight-speed ZF transmission replaces the previous six-speeder and to manually change gears, the electronic gear lever can be nudged forwards or backwards while in D. Or use the usual pair of long column-mounted paddle shifters behind the new steering with its thicker rim.

More modern electronics come in the form of a seven-inch TFT display in the instrument cluster with all sorts of vehicle info. The new infotainment system is accessed using a huge 8.4-inch touchscreen on the centre console. It has Garmin navigation regularly updated by the factory, and something no Maserati owner would have imagined - a rear view camera.

Also new is the way the Skyhook active damping suspension system now operates. In the old car, engaging the Sport setting meant modifying both the damper and gearbox settings at the same time. Now, both these parameters can be separately tweaked with individual buttons on the lower console. There is also a new ICE or Increased Control & Efficiency button that limits engine output and smoothens gear shifts for lower fuel consumption.

It even has a new sound. The scream of the old V8 is gone, replaced by a lower and more grown-up tone. The exhaust no longer rumbles loudly. Even when Sport mode is selected and the valves in the exhaust pipes open, it is softer and more civilised. Because the Quattroporte is now quieter under hard acceleration, its speed is less apparent and it is easy to bust the limit.

The ride is also more pliant. It becomes much firmer when Sport is chosen but there is still more cushioning than before. And for once, the brakes bite with a reassuringly acceptable level of servo assistance.

This more genteel and less raw delivery of the Quattroporte's performance is matched by its newfound luxury.

Open the new pillarless doors and the rear bench is inviting for its spaciousness. The transmission tunnel in the centre is still large but because there is more rear legroom now, the middle seat can be occupied in relative comfort.

Fold down the rear centre armrest and there are cupholders as well as 12 volt charger and USB port.

Very little plastic is used in the cabin, whose ambience is enhanced by small details like the stitched leather on the dashboard and fibre optic illumination in the door panels. Considering what the Quattroporte used to be, all these changes are nothing short of revolutionary. This full-sized Maserati can honestly say it delivers performance with refinement.

 

CAR INFORMATION

Maserati Quattroporte GTS 3.8 (A)

Price

:$689,800

Engine Type

:

V8

Engine Cap

:

3,798 cc

Horsepower

:

530 bhp / 6,800 rpm

Torque

:

710 Nm / 3,500 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A)

Acceleration

:

4.7 sec (0-100 km/h)

Top Speed

:

307 km/h