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LA DOLCE VITA (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
When it comes to feel-good cars, there's not much that can touch Maserati's beautifully elegant Quattroporte. Jonathan Crouch looks at the current version.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 66
The Quattroporte was always a special Maserati model; in effect a sportscar dressed up as a big saloon where its rivals were big saloons dressed up as sportscars. The current version - an improved version of the sixth-generation model is the best thing Maserati has yet brought us in the top luxury saloon segment, but it needs to be good to keep up with the competition.
Backgroundword count: 125
Maserati as a brand is going places. The company's Levante SUV is racking up some decent sales numbers and the car we look at here, the Quattroporte luxury sports saloon, has been a steady seller for the brand in its first half decade on sale. The Quattroporte first appeared on Maserati's books way back in 1963 and was always a bit of a quirky niche player here in the UK until the introduction of the achingly gorgeous fifth-generation model in 2004. Here was a car that had the power to seduce buyers from their BMW M models and Mercedes AMG specials into something altogether more sensuous. That progress was continued by the MK6 model and looks set to progress further here with this current version.
Driving Experienceword count: 224
As ever, this is a saloon that drives like a sports coupe. If you want silent cosseting, you should have visited a Lexus dealer. There's a firm ride, an urgent engine note and a machine that's fantastic fun to hustle through a set of bends. With diesel power now spurned by Maserati, most UK buyers order their cars with the most affordable 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, a 359PS unit that fitted to the base 'GT' variant can take you to 62mph in 5.5s en route to 166mph. If you simply must have your Quattroporte with more power - a point of view we can understand - the mid-range engine is a 430hp version of that same 3.0 V6, which is fitted to the 'Modena' model and makes 62mph in 5.0s en route to 179mph. The 3.0-litre engine is also developed to work with all-wheel drive but sadly not for right-hand drive markets. Apparently the steering column would foul the driveshaft plane. Want more under your right boot? Try the 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 that's fitted to the top 'Trofeo' version and is good for 530PS. This is closely related to a Ferrari design, although the Ferrari engine is said to feature a cross-plane crank for more power but slightly less torque. Power for all Quattroporte models is directed through a ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox.
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Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates
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