Maserati

Quattroporte

8

10

Model

S

Price

$275,000

The Numbers

2979cc, twin-turbo V6, RWD, 301kW, 550Nm, 10.5L/100km, 0–100km/h in 5.1secs, 285km/h, 1860kg

The Topgear Verdict

The QP is now a full-size luxury car, but still has a spicier character than the mostly po-faced opposition.

2013 Maseratti Quattroporte S

We got to know the new-generation Quattroporte as a GTS, propelled by a ferocious twin-turbo V8. The S version makes do with a 3.0-litre V6. But don’t panic, it’s still a full-fat Maserati. It makes 301kW, and the performance figures are pretty much the same as the old, much smaller (if heavier) naturally aspirated V8 Quattroporte.

The V6 engine’s two turbos, and its induction, fuelling, valving and so on are as per the V8. In other words, if you were a Maserati piston you wouldn’t

know which engine you were in. But rather than just chopping the end off the 90-degree V8, they’ve changed the block’s V-angle to 60 degrees because that suits the firing intervals of a six better. The result is a mechanically smooth engine, one that’s happy to rev. But also, thanks to the two turbos, can make big torque at low revs.

So it’s much more of a limo than the QP of old: the eight-speed automatic transmission slurs its way to the upper ratios, the tacho needle falls, and you burble gently – but surprisingly rapidly – along as if carried by a mighty river. The ride’s far more placid than it was on the old QP, too. And the cabin is much nicer-made, combining up-to-date displays and electronics with suitably lush furniture and trim. If you had to chauffeur some Italian politician from parliament house to court house, you’d be happy in your job.

But it’s a Maserati, and you’re not a chauffeur.

So you jab the sport button, don’t you, and wrest control of the transmission’s ratios. And you make busy with the throttle. The exhaust now pops and gurgles to goad you on, and there’s pretty massive thrust there for the taking. The absence of a couple of cylinders doesn’t seem any great deprivation.

Getting such a ruddy big car to move so fast is surprising. Even more so is that it can change direction so tidily. The steering is precise and carries a reasonable amount of progression and feel, even if the self-centring is artificial. Body control is tight, too. Of course you’ve got to accept that the long wheelbase slows down turning reactions – if you want a Maserati four-door that drives like a BMW 6 GC or M-B CLS, we’re guessing you’ll have to wait a few months for the Ghibli.

 

Reviewed by: Paul Horrell

Driven: August 23, 2013