Maserati Quattroporte GTS test drive review
- by Anand Mohan
- Sep 19, 2015
- Views : 29836
When you've got a Ferrari built V8 up front, four supremely comfortable seats and the kind of road presence few sportscars can match, you know you are driving something right... Maserati Quattroporte GTS is a ridiculous expense you must splurge on
I’ve driven the Ghibli a few days ago and today is the turn of the Quattroporte. The reason we called for the Quattroporte after the Ghibli was because we just had to finish with the Maseratis on a high sonorous note. It had got to be the Ferrari sourced twin turbo petrol V8 in the Quattroporte GTS test car scaring the living daylights off early morning joggers and not the ‘utilitarian’ diesel in the Ghibli. Both cars charge a hefty premium for the Italian roots and sexy design so if I had to put my money on one (the kind of money I don’t have), it had got to be the ludicrously loud petrol Quattroporte. Alright case made for an entertaining day ahead.
Design and styling rating_4.5_rating
The Quattroporte gives the impression of a properly intimidating mafia car. It feels like the car Marlon Brando or Al Pacino would roll into on the sets of a Godfather remake. Even in this shade of brown, you’d be scared of its occupants. Strange how despite the similarities between the Ghibli and Quattroporte, both come with two very different characters. This is the sixth generation of the Quattroporte and the most European influenced car bearing the nameplate. The Italian dominance in design is toned down to appeal to a wider audience and I am still a fan of its immediate predecessor for the purity of its Italian design.
The Quattroporte still has quite a few elements to link it to its roots though… The gaping oldschool sportscar like nose, gills on the front fenders, frameless doors and the Maserati Trident sitting pretty on the C-pillars. That swooping roofline and the overall profile of the car will make the otherwise attractive BMW M6 feel more of a common man’s car. It’s not easy to beat Maserati on the styling front. That bonnet has a big bulge hiding the Ferrari V8 underneath and the multispoke alloys over those GTS-only shiny red calipers certainly look the part of a top spec Italian sports sedan. For pure road presence, the Quattroporte is hard to beat.
Interior and space rating_4.0_rating
The Quattroporte is a proper limo for four tall adults to sit in perfect comfort. Legroom, shoulder room and headroom is more than enough for all passengers, It may look like the swooping roof line will compromise headroom but the seats are set low and particularly in the rear, sink in a bit to accommodate its very rich passengers in its lap of luxury. The interior design however is a bit of a mixed bag.
The Quattroporte interior is better built than the Ghibli and comes with a certain finesse, be it with the chrome lines across the air vents, the clock on the dashboard or the minimalist centre console. There are many such elements that fit the role perfectly. But there are a few elements that do not appeal as well. My biggest grouse is with the carbon fibre panels inside the cabin. It’s a four door sedan that weighs 1.9 tonnes. I’d like nicely textured wood there instead and thankfully it can be specified. Also, the plastics like the Ghibli, designed to match the colour of the leather seats look a bit cheap. The leather wrapped steering is nice to hold and weighs up so well while cornering, but again, the leather squeaked as it rubbed against the steering column at turn ins. The Quattroporte is a full size luxury limo that costs almost as much as S63 AMG money and we’d like more sophistication inside the cabin.
Features and equipment rating_4.0_rating
What I like about the Quattroporte is that Maserati has specified all models and not just the range topping GTS we have here with the full set of safety features. You get front, side and head airbags, the blanket Maserati stability programme that covers all safety electronics including ABS, EBD, ASR (acceleration slip regulation) and Drag Torque Control. There’s even a tyre sealing compound and air compressor packed in the boot. The GTS gets twin trapezoidal exhaust pipe tips compared to circular ones on other variants, black gloss grille and red Trident on the alloys instead of the standard black ones. Aluminium gearshift paddles, electrically adjustable front seats, 8.4 inch Touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, and an optional Bowers and Wilkins 15 speaker surround sound system.
Engines and performance rating_4.5_rating
The closest I have come to driving a Ferrari is the Quattroporte GTS. Ferrari builds this 3.8-litre V8 twin turbo petrol motor for Maserati, and it sounds glorious, full of soul and character and while there is plenty of torque courtesy the two turbos, it feels and sounds very naturally aspirated. This new generation engine in the GTS makes it the most powerful and fastest Maserati production car ever. It develops 530PS of power and 650Nm of max torque between 2000-4000rpm. You get an additional 60Nm of overboost torque as well under hard acceleration and the way it pins you to your seat is a completely addictive experience.
The Quattroporte GTS has undoubtedly one of the sweetest sounding exhaust notes you can have on a sedan. The light purr when you are ambling about or the blast off when the traffic light turns green, it is the kind of music everyone loves to listen to, turn around and take notice. Under hard acceleration, in addition to the roar of the V8, it feels like there is a lotto machine behind those exhausts tips hitting violently at the container as the exhaust air is passed through. I want to hear those tail pipes scream over and over again. The Quattroporte GTS is an aural delight. It may not be the fastest sports sedan in the presence of the Ms, and AMGs but it sure is an entertaining right footer.
The 8-speed ZF automatic always seems to be in the right gear. The refinement levels are right up there and smooth power delivery even in sport mode just goes to show that the Quattroporte wants to be fast but without sacrificing its civilized nature. You wouldn’t get tired driving the Quattroporte fast all day in sport mode. Drive an M5 at its peaky shifts and you will tire out real soon. 0-100kmph comes in 4.7 seconds and the Quattroporte GTS comes with a ludicrous claimed top speed of 307kmph.
Ride and ease of driving rating_3.0_rating
It’s like the never ending debate between designers and engineers. An engineer will want the design to be functional while a designer will prioritise aesthetics over useability. That ridiculously gorgeous long nose in the Quattroporte for example is an aesthetic delight. However, it compromises the approach angle, which most certainly will send shivers down your spine over large speedbreakers and most ramp entries and exits. Even if you manage to get that nose above and over cleanly, the long 3171mm underbelly is waiting to kiss the earth. So the Quattroporte isn’t very easy to drive considering India’s real world problems. View out of the driver’s seat is fine and parking sensors keep you from playing bumper cars. The ride is thankfully better than our experience in the Ghibli.
Quattroporte models come standard fitted with the Skyhook adaptive suspension that offers two modes – comfort and sport, and both come with a noticeable difference in stiffness. In comfort mode, the Quattroporte rides like a cosseting limo soaking up undulations very well. Stiffen the setting to sport and the Quattroporte feels so much more agile and grippy around corners. It comes at the cost of a harsh ride but on those early morning runs when the traffic is thin, it makes the Quattroporte a superbly planted car at high speeds.
Handling and braking rating_4.0_rating
The Quattroporte is one of those rare finds these days with a hydraulic rack. I love it. The weight in the steering and knowing what those front wheels are doing just makes you want to drive the car that little bit faster around corners. A car that communicates its interaction with the tarmac to the driver is more loved than a car that’s faster but without feedback. Why don’t other manufacturers get that! There is too much obsession over headline figures than feel and character, and thankfully Maserati isn’t compromising on that. So the steering is perfect and well weighed but what about the handling?
It rides on 245/40 R20 fronts and 285/35 R20 rears shod by sticky dunlops. They grip well and even with electronic aids turned off, offer ferocious bite. It’s a RWD car with a happy tail though so keep your wits in check as the turbocharged torque can catch you off guard. The Quattroporte is a fast car but it is also a heavy car, so barreling down the highway is more suited than tackling corners.
Fuel Economy and price rating_2.5_rating
Like most V8s, the Quattroporte GTS has a large appetite for 97 Octane petrol. Official figures rate it at 10.17kmpl but expect in the 4-5kmpl range if you drive it like you are meant to. If you are paying an absurd Rs 2.2 crore plus taxes for the Quattroporte GTS, Rs 6,500 on a tank full of gas should be pocket change I suppose.
You just cannot buy the Quattroporte GTS as a wise decision. Because even the overpriced M6 Gran Coupe at Rs 1.71 crore as its direct competitor feels like a bargain, and the Audi RS7 Sportback at Rs 1.40 crore is downright cheap. The best decisions in life however are made by the heart. And if the heart wants that roaring Ferrari V8 up front and the gorgeous styling over all else, nothing else should matter. My heart certainly wants the Quattroporte GTS.
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