“When a car looks good enough to eat, why change its appearance?”
Well, car designers can’t resist giving their chariots a cosmetic makeover from time to time, just to keep themselves in work – and the rest of us interested.
Maserati has renovated its 2017 Quattroporte, but you’d need to be a complete auto anorak to tell. Under the car’s metal, there’s not a lot that has changed, either.
But, it would seem ill-mannered of me not to look into Maserati’s revisions, especially as the Italian car giant was gracious enough to fly me to Sicily to drive the newest Quattroporte.
Outwardly, the splendid four-door sports saloon has a fine-tuned nose that’s analogous to Maserati’s most topical car – the Levante, and, at the rear of the grille, there’s an electrically triggered air shutter. This keeps the Quattroporte’s powertrain at a good temperature. It stays ajar at lower speeds and fully closes when the car goes faster. It hastens the warm-up process, and it means Maserati can save money because it now uses the same radiator as other models in the racy range.
“The zero to 62mph sprint is now only 4.7 seconds”
The Quattroportes the UK will get have the following engines: a 275PS 3.0 litre diesel, a 409PS 3.0 litre V6 petrol and a 3.8 litre, dual-turbo V8. The eight-cylinder generates the same 530PS as in the outgoing Quattroporte and is driven through exactly the same eight-speed automatic ‘box. However, the air shutter, as well as a superior diffuser and bumper at the tail, have improved aerodynamics by 10 percent, so the car’s maximum speed has been boosted by 3mph to 193mph. What’s more, the zero to 62mph sprint is now only 4.7 seconds.
It is the cabin where things are most noticeably different, though. There is a changed touch-screen slap bang in the centre of the dashboard, with a double-height dial in the middle of the console. There are a bunch of rejuvenated driver assistance systems, too. These incorporate adaptive cruise control, emergency braking and lane departure warning technology.
There are now two trim levels; GranSport, and GranLusso, which bring marginally improved bumper and plastic finishes, as well as clear material treatments to the cabin. The GranSport has a flashier theme, with vivid red brake callipers and shaded plastics, and the GranLusso is fixated on luxury, with silk, rather than leather, in the cabin.
“The Maserati Quattroporte’s rich concoction of power and pragmatism gives it real appeal”
Behind the sexy sports steering wheel, which can be specified in leather or carbon fibre, the tasty V8 Ferrari- fashioned engine is gratifyingly fierce, with a big power range and a riotous soundtrack. While the ride is far better than the outward-bound Maserati Quattroporte model, it crashes over unfriendly road surfaces, feeding unflattering tremors through a steering rack that, at other times, offers reasonable accuracy and weighting.
The seats are terrific and the driving position fabulous. There is a lot of leg-room in the back of the car, and getting into the Maserati’s rear passenger area is simple. Headroom is satisfactory, too – only people who are more than six-foot-tall will have to drop down into their seat to avoid chafing their head on the roof-lining. The Quattroporte is also a commodious
cargo-carrier with 530 litres of load space. This means golf clubs or suitcases are accepted gladly. Even more can be stuffed in with the rear seats folded down.
There are other luxury focused saloons that are less pricey, but the Maserati Quattroporte’s rich concoction of power and pragmatism gives it real appeal.
PROS ‘N’ CONS
* Power √
* Comfort √
* Image √
* Room √
* Price X
* Max speed: 193 mph
* 0-62 mph: 4.7 secs
* Combined mpg: 26.4
* Engine layout: 3799cc V8 twin-turbo petrol
* Max. power (PS): 530
* CO2: 250 g/km
* Price: £115,980
Reviewed by Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist – tweeting @carwriteups