Breadcrumbs

Maserati Quattroporte

Car details navigation

Maserati Quattroporte GT S

Driven December 2007

Additional Info

As the car industry dissolves into ever-fragmenting niches, it's getting harder to tell whether manufacturers are creating cars to fulfil demand or creating a market for metal we don't need. The new Audi Cross Cabrio Quattro is the most recent example of this thinly disguised, answering-a-question-that-nobody-asked marketing ruse.

On the way to Modena to test this Maserati Quattroporte GT S, I was cynically expecting something of similar intent, a perfect supercar/luxo-barge fusion. From the press bumph, the 'S' sounded like an attempt to move the already-excellent big Maser even closer to the four-door supercar ideal.

The old Sport GT made a decent fist of things, but the new car has ditched the 'Skyhook' adaptive suspension in favour of single-rate Bilstein dampers, and bolted up a huge set of world-first dual-cast front brakes for an even more sporting bent.

Sorry, but no matter how you dress that up, it hardly reads like a Tomorrow's World approach to chassis dynamics. This, remember, is £90,000-worth of exclusive premium performance luxury whatever.
I smell the marketing stunt already.

The annoying thing is, though, the GT S somehow managed to drain all my segment-blurring cynicism away. Despite the apparent simplicity of the idea, the new suspension works in an impressively positive way, converting what is essentially a pretty chunky car into
a confidence inspiring, driver-focussed experience you just shouldn't expect from a limo.

It helps that the Ferrari-sourced (and unfettled for the GT S) 400bhp V8 is mounted behind the front axle for a near-ideal 50-50 front/rear weight distribution. The ZF auto gearbox is also a treat for mixing law-taunting supercar chasing with lazy squirts through town. In short, the GT S is a brilliant compromise.

There are a few issues you need to get past, though. For starters, that beautiful profile does ultimately force compromise on space; it's good but not great, and you will be disappointed with some of the switchgear and fittings in that sumptuous interior, too. As for ride, the sporting set-up leaves it a bit too hard, especially at low speed.

But you will, of course, forgive all this every time you look at it - and every time you hear it, too. You'll love it in a way you never could the ruthless efficiency of an AMG Merc.

Above all, though, Maserati has created a proper four-door supercar that both Aston and Porsche will have to work hard to find an answer to. Could that be a good thing? Oh yes. As if you ever needed to ask...

 

 

 

 

 

Now share it...

Latest road tests

9/10 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S
March 2009
9/10 Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S
February 2009

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.