by Roger Biermann
Few names are as iconic as that of the Maserati Quattroporte, with a history dating back to 1963. But in its sixth generation, the full-size Italian luxury sedan hasn't quite impressed the way many had hoped, down on power and performance compared to its German contemporaries, and in many ways, always fighting for fourth place. After debuting back in 2012, the Quattroporte looked the part thanks to its long, sleek body and signature Maserati cues. But nearly a decade down the line, and the four-door has lost much of its magic. Fortunately for us, Maserati has the answer: instead of giving us an all-new seventh generation of the sedan, the Italian marque is giving us something much better.
Meet the Quattroporte Trofeo, the third model in the brand's lineup to wear the suffix, but crucially, the most powerful and fastest Maserati sedan to date. With a twin-turbocharged Ferrari-developed 3.8-liter V8 at its heart, the Trofeo claims top honors for style, aural delight, and drama. It may now be in its twilight, but the Trofeo is as fitting a swansong as we're ever likely to come across.
3.8-liter V8 Gas
The Quattroporte might be aging, it might be impractical, but the one accusation that could never be leveled it against it was that it wasn't stylish. Slapping on the Trofeo suffix takes the styling elements one dimension further, though, adding an injection of aggression to the svelte lines of the brand's largest model.
Spanning a massive 207.2 inches long, 76.7 inches wide, and standing 58.3 inches tall, the 21-inch aluminum Orione wheels housed within the arches go some way to in making the Quattroporte Trofeo seem smaller than it is. The front grille now features ten vertical double-slats finished in a Black Piano finish, while the front air dams are framed in carbon fiber.
The carbon treatment is carried out at the back, too, where the rear extractor is fashioned from the same material. The rear also sees arguably the biggest departure from the rest of the Quattroporte range, with newly-designed LED light clusters with a boomerang-like style inspired by the Alfieri concept and classic models like the 3200 GT.
Subtle red accents highlight the Trofeo's aggression further, with red surrounds on the signature triple side vents and the lightning bolt on the Trident badge found on the C-pillar. These stand out from the new exterior paint color launched specially for the Quattroporte Trofeo, a special green color chosen as one of the three colors of the Italian flag. Unfortunately, however, the green is not going to be available in the United States.
The interior hasn't been left untouched by Maserati's design team, with subtle but meaningful changes to differentiate the Trofeo from its less-special counterparts. Full-grain Pieno Fiore leather upholsters the seats, while the headrests proudly display the Trofeo badge and the name in a 3D design. Trim accents in the dash, doors, and center console continue the carbon fiber theme of the exterior. The driver interface is also new for the Trofeo derivative, with a bespoke design exclusively for the hi-po model.
Despite nearing a decade in age, Maserati has seen fit to introduce a new generation of infotainment here, too. The Maserati Intelligent Assistant (MIA) encompasses an array of new technologies, housed within a 10.1-inch display screen with increased resolution over the standard systems. The processor is said to be four times more powerful, the screen resolution ten times better, and the memory capacity twice that of the old interface. It's a completely customizable digital experience embedded with the latest Maserati functionality, including the Maserati Connect program to ensure a range of connected services, likely with fully embedded smartphone integration.
The design may have been polished for the Trofeo model, but the fresh looks are completely forgotten the moment the ignition button is pressed. Central to the Trofeo moniker is the use of a Ferrari-developed 3.8-liter V8 engine with two turbochargers. In shoehorning this powerplant under the Quattroporte's hood, the Trofeo has supplanted the GTS as the most powerful Quattroporte in the lineup. It develops 580 metric horsepower, translating to 572 hp American, while the torque figure sits pretty at 538 lb-ft. Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, enabling a 0-60 mph time of 4.2 seconds with launch control enabled, while the top speed is a claimed 203 mph. This makes the Quattroporte Trofeo the fastest Maserati sedan ever. Maserati's Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC) system enables the use of multiple drive modes, including a Corsa button that firms things up for the most aggressive experience possible.
With Maserati's contract with Ferrari for engine supply ending soon, the Trofeo marks the end of an era and is a fitting swansong for the Ferrari V8.
With the introduction of the Trofeo model, Maserati finally has a bona fide rival for the likes of the Mercedes-AMG S63 and BMW 7 Series, particularly the M760i xDrive and Alpina B7. Also high up on the list of rivals is the Audi S8, but while the former trio outguns the Trofeo with 600 hp or more, the Audi falls shy at 563 hp.
Pricing is yet to be announced, but with the Quattroporte GTS starting at $126,990, we expect the 2021 Quattroporte Trofeo to be closer to the $140,000 mark, if not higher.