Being an automobile journalist is not always a walk in the beach. Waking up at unearthly hours for early morning photo shoots, manoeuvring the same corner for a perfect picture and skipping breakfast to wrap up the drive on time can really get under your skin after a point. Nonetheless, there are days when you get behind the wheel of a truly super car, and all these problems just fall away.
The Maserati DNA
It was one of those days when I found myself in the driver's seat of a swanky Maserati Quattroporte. Maserati is an Italian luxury vehicle maker based out of Bologna; the same place where Lamborghini and Ducati had its beginnings.
Maserati is not known for its sports cars like Lambo and Ferrari. The Italian also doesn't enjoy the status of a Rolls-Royce or Bentley in the ultra luxury segment. Instead, Maserati combines the best of the both worlds and lies exactly at the intersection of luxury and 'fastness'. The DNA of Maserati is truly unique.
What makes Quattroporte special?
The Quattroporte is the flagship full-size four-door luxury sedan from the house of Maserati. The word Quattroporte literally means 'four doors' in Italian. The agenda is clear; Quattroporte is a luxury sedan with a race-bred heart. The company introduced the first Quattroporte as the fastest four-seater car in the world at the 1963 Turin Motor Show. The car blazed a trail for luxury sports sedans. Drawing from its 1950's Formula One experience, Maserati engineers brewed a revolution of sorts with the introdutcion of Quattroporte.
Quattroporte kept true to its legacy in the five decades followed. The sixth generation car we took for a spin screams pedigree even in the slightest purr of its exhaust. The model we drove was the GTS version powered by a Ferrari-built, 3.8-litre V8 twin-turb petrol.
Italian designs are a sight to behold and Quattroporte is no different. At almost 5200mm length, the Quattroporte is capacious to say the least and can accomodate four people comfortably. The protruding nose, a curvier yet slim headlight and the trident logo up front add to the charm. The 20-inch wheels amp up the side appeal of the car, while the quad tailpipe and slim, spilt tail lamps makes the rear elegant.
Quattroporte has used high quality materials to design its interiors. The carbon-fibre inserts in the dashboard and door with chrome inserts lend the cabin a premium feel. The three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel is sentient to touch and offers perfect grip. However, the low resolution touchscreen is a letdown for a car of Quattroporte's gravitas as it gives a hazy video output for the reverse camera. Having said that, this particular car is from 2013 car and the 2017 update has apparently ironed out such chinks. There is a small clock at the centre of the dash that gives a touch of nostalgia to the interiors.
The rear seat comfort is on par with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. With enough leg, knee and shoulder room, space is never a cause for concern in Quattroporte. The large glasses allow more natural light inside cabin and the use of top-notch leather for seats add to the inner glow.
A rev-hungry heart
Maserati Quattroporte GTS is as much a beast as it is a beauty. The 3.8-litre V8 generates 530hp and 650Nm of torque in the GTS vesion and the power is transmitted to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Maserati has used copius amounts of aluminium and is lighter than its size suggests. Despite being a long car, Quattroporte goes like wind when you open up the throttle; so fast that a shift to ICE (Increased Control and Efficiency) mode threw off the cameraman riding shotgun.
Switch to sport mode and the first thing you hear is the throaty exhaust noise. The dampers and steering firm up for a spirited drive. The Quattroporte GTS comes with a 0-100kmph time of 4.7 seconds and top speed of 307 kmph.
Just like most supercars, Quattroporte's 100 mm ground clearance make it difficult to negotiate the speed bumps on Indian roads without getting the underbelly scratched.
The Quattroporte GTS will cost you over Rs 2 crore in India. It's a quintessential Italian car with race car character. Quattroporte is luxurious, flamboyant and fast, by fast, I mean real fast. Add the suave design to the mix, and it checks all boxes for a high-end car buyer.
Maserati Quattroporte picture gallery
Photography: Athul V Aleyas