The last Maserati that graced the Inspired car park was the (then) all-new Ghibli: the first diesel car from the brand. At the time, there were big statements and even bigger promises coming from Maserati, suggesting a Porsche-esque expansion of models. Since then, we’ve seen some evidence of that expansion, with the announcement of the Levanti 4×4 and we hear that there’s more to follow. For now though, we’re quite happy to take the keys of this sixth-generation Quattroporte – a car that heralds a new era for Maserati as it rings the changes heading into 2017, with substantial leaps in sales targets. Perhaps the least sexy fact about the Quattroporte is its name. It translates from Italian as ‘four door’, which perhaps, was necessary to clear up for Maserati fans when the first Quattroporte limo was introduced back in 1963. The Quattroporte has an impressive amount of gadgetery and finery as standard, including full leather upholstery that extends to the dash and beyond, an 8.4in touchscreen interface, xenon lights, a rear-view camera and adaptive dampers (in the form of Maserati’s ‘Skyhook’ system).
It’s quite possibly one of the most comfortable cars you’ll ever travel in, with a wheelbase that stretches even beyond the Jaguar XJ’s. In fact, the Maserati Quattroporte S would stand as direct competition to the XJ, (certainly with their respective price tags) and whilst the Jag is a great car, there’s something a bit special about Maserati, and this car is no exception.
The petrol engine delivers an incredible no-eye-watering performance and absolutely rivals the Mercedes AMG S-Class. There’s a diesel option for 2016, which offers a financial benefit for the more sensible amongst us, but it doesn’t have quite the same magic as the V8 petrol, or its performance. To me, at least, it’s a no-brainer. Whilst the drive is good, as you’d expect with such a high-class motor, the limit of the car’s grip can catch you off guard, appearing suddenly and without warning.
On the rough surfaces that we enjoy on many of the roads connecting Inspired Travel Towers to the outside world, the chassis tended to snake around on the road, feeling slightly unsettled. That said, with the amount of grunt that the car delivers, especially when it’s firmly planted into sport mode, any car would struggle not to snake around a little.
Sport mode makes a lot of difference to the Quattroporte. The suspension stiffens, the throttle sharpens, the gearshift speeds up and the exhaust valves open up. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes just 4.7 seconds and there’s huge amounts of torque from under 2,000 rpm all the way up to 7,500 rpm. The alleged top speed is 190 mph, and a deep growl from the exhaust means people will definitely hear you coming long before they see you. It really is something rather special.