No one makes a four-door sound as sexy as the Maserati Quattroporte, quite literally the Italian translation of ‘four-door’. Now in its sixth generation, the Lorenzo Ramaciotti designed iteration of the luxury saloon has been around since 2013. In a world where Maserati now focuses on building an SUV as much as they do sports cars, the Quattroporte is an assuring bit of certainty from the old days – something to rely on. Big, plush, and oozing Italian design flair, there’s Ferrari-derived power under the hood of this refreshed-for-2017 luxury sedan.
Italian on the outside, but still Chrysler on the inside – though dressed in a finely tailored Italian suit. Inside you’ll find either genuine carbon fiber, fine Zegna silks, or various wood trims depending on which options you select. But lurking beneath plush, luxuriant finishes and minor revisions for 2017 that include a rotary controller for an upgraded infotainment system now with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, you’ll find the infotainment is still just a version of Chrysler’s Uconnect interface, and the hard to reach indicator and windscreen wiper stalks are straight out of a Jeep Cherokee. There are many other elements that upon closer inspection are straight out of the FCA parts bin. The ergonomics have been slightly improved all round from before, but there’s still an air of the cabin being a pauper in the clothes of a prince, rather than outright royalty.
In this segment, there are few manufacturers that care about exciting driving dynamics – and why would they, these cars are more often than not intended for chauffeurs to drive. Maserati do care though, the heavy syrupy steering dripping with feedback is enough to tell you they do. At 207-inches long though, the Quattroporte is massive. The long wheelbase lends itself to stability, but the firm suspension setup is tuned for precise body control and support through corners and directional changes. The chassis is among the finest balanced around, and though it’s not exactly a high selling point, it leans on the limits of adhesion and oversteers at will.
But performance-orientated suspension often comes at the expense of ride comfort. Choose the smaller 19- or 20-inch alloys, and they pair with adaptive suspension to provide a ride that’s more than accommodating. It’s not quite Lexus LS levels of comfort, but it’s an acceptable trade-off for the enjoyable chassis.
The Quattroporte is available in two performance flavors, one with 6 cylinders and one with 8. In Quattroporte S guise, a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 lurks under the hood with a snarling 404 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque on tap. The S gets the option between rear wheel drive, and in S Q4 guise, all-wheel drive. The big dog Quattroporte GTS gets a sonorous twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8, its noise only matched by its 523hp and 524 lb-ft outputs. No all-wheel drive option exists for the GTS, just smoke-inducing rear-wheel drive. A ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic is the only transmission available on all models.
Three basic trim levels exist linked to each drivetrain – S, S Q4, and GTS. The Quattroporte S features adaptive automatic xenon headlamps, a sunroof, and parking sensors, dual-zone climate, and heated and power adjustable seats. The S Q4 adds a power trunk lid, heated rear seats and steering wheel. GranLusso (luxury) and GranSport (sport) packages are available as extras, the choice standard on the GTS, offering extras like ventilated seats and power adjustable pedals. Safety features included in the GranLusso package include forward collision warning with autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, a surround camera, and lane departure warning. The Quattroporte hasn’t been locally crash tested.
The Maserati Quattroporte is a characterful luxury sedan with a penchant for glorious engine notes and favorable driving dynamics. But the key word is ‘luxury’, and the veil of fine leather and wood can only mask the FCA parts bin raid to a certain extent, though those engines are enough to make you forget its shortcomings.