Maserati

Quattroporte

9

10

Model

Quattroporte GTS

Price

$319,800

The Numbers

3.8-litre, 390kW, 650Nm (up to 710Nm overboost), V8, eight-speed automatic, 0-100km in 4.7secs,11.8L/100km, 274g/km CO2

The Topgear Verdict

It's the bold and the beautiful, except it's loud, too. A predictable lesson in Italian luxury and power

2013 Maseratti Quattroporte GTS

A new Quattroporte! [finger stabs intercom on desk] Someone go tell the Acquisitions Department to buy a new Quattroporte and have it delivered to my desk by 5pm!

A wise move, sir. But don’t expect to get one today. Maserati has a huge backlog of orders for these bad boys.

Buh… but I want it now!

Sigh, such is life. It’s not easy being a millionaire these days, what with the weight of gold pants and having to wait like a commoner for your new Quattroporte. But it’ll be worth it, when it comes.

Explain how!

It’s big, and powerful, and menacing, and filled with buttery leather and hand-shaped wood inlays and the heady scent of superiority. It’s wonderful in there. And it is loooong. In fact, it’s the longest wheelbase in its class. It’s 20cm longer than a regular BMW 7 Series, and having plonked myself in the back seat – all six-foot-two, 100-plus kilos of me – I can report that it’s generous back there, even with the entertainment package taking up some room (big 10-inch screens mounted on the back of the front seats, and docks for laptops and even gaming consoles.) Maserati sells boatloads of these in China, where the owners never experience the feel of a driver’s seat under their Zegna’d buttocks; so the backseats are a comfy place to live. But you’d be missing out if you didn’t tell Jeeves to take the weekend off, and pilot the thing yourself.

Hmm, Jeeves has been asking to bury his mother for some time now…

Well send him packing and prepare to indulge in some very luxurious theatrics. Or theatrical luxury. Whatever. The point it, the 3.8L twin-turbo V8 in the GTS – and we’ve only driven the GTS at this point, the twin-turbo V6 hasn’t hit the docks yet – is a howling masterstroke: designed by Paolo Martinelli, the guy who designed engines for Ferrari’s F1 team in the Schumacher days (the guy has six F1 constructor’s titles under his belt) and then built for Maserati at Ferrari’s brand-new Maranello engine plant. There’s 390kW on tap, but it’s the torque that will make your right foot become engorged with blood: 650Nm, and up to 710 on overboost, which is there if you plant your foot – or is always there on tap if you put the car in Sport mode. Sport mode sharpens the throttle and the steering, loudifies the exhaust, and gives lovely crackle and pop on downshifts. But to harden the dampers, you need to press a second button – because at the end of the day, this is still a luxury car, and plenty of people will want the sound and drama of the QP in Sport mode, but still have the suspension soaking up the bumps, not braced for lightning corners. But take it out of Sport, and the QP quietens down and becomes a refined old gent, and thanks to sound insulation, it’s practically silent inside the cabin when you want it to be.

Sounds like perfection…

It’s close. But there are niggles. Put it in manual mode and on even mild corners, you’ll find the paddle shifters, locked to the column, out of reach of your grasping fingers. Either the paddles should move with the wheel, or they should be twice as long as they are; or maybe we have tiny T-Rex hands. Either way, it takes some of the fun out of paddle shifters when you can only use them on straight roads. But the auto transmission is smooth and quick
and you have nothing to complain about when you plant your foot – nothing except speed cameras, anyway. And the price – at $319,800 for the GTS, it’s more than twenty grand more than the old Quattroporte.

Only three twenty K! I’ll buy two!

Sigh. And so the waiting list gets a little longer.

 

Reviewed by: Tim Keen

Driven: January 21, 2014