Maserati Quattroporte continues to defend the Italian flag against a indeboulonnable German competition. But this sixth generation she still has more soul?
Vow of originality
It is true, there is not the eternal German triumvirate at the top end: some brands are trying valiantly to resist the blitzkrieg of Audi, BMW and Mercedes by offering an alternative, a different concept of luxury and pleasure . Among these Don Quixote upscale, Maserati holds a special place for six generations, the Quattroporte defends the colors of the Italian GT, elegant and character. But if the A8, 7 Series and other S-Class sell around the globe like hotcakes, dissemination limousine Maserati has always been confidential. An amateur informed choice, in fact.
Still, the firm Modena did not intend to stay in this (very relative) anonymity since the alliance with Chrysler, Fiat, Maserati sees great effect, great! In addition to this new Quattroporte range will also enrich a sedan smaller than the Ghibli and an SUV, the Levante. Not forgetting, of course, the arrival of diesel engines. I can see the purists take their legs to their necks! But, like Porsche, which has experienced unprecedented development thanks to the success of the Cayenne, the broadening of the range should allow Maserati to gain some financial independence. And, of course, greatly increase sales. In a little over 6,000 units per year today, and they must pass … 50 000 2015!
Reshuffle the cards
This sixth-generation Quattroporte is welcome in any case, since the previous one, launched in 2004, began to lag behind technological competition. First observation: the dimensions are clearly rising! The Quattroporte now measures 5.26 meters long, 16 cm more than the previous model. Width reaches 1.95 meters, while the height remains contained, 1.48 meter. Growing pains that can reshuffle the cards in the range: the Quattroporte and leaves space to the “small” Ghibli, which measures 4.97 meters. Stylistically, it operates smoothly, keeping the seductive curves of its predecessor, but its rejuvenating features. The long curved hood and prominent grille up front with a strong character, while beautifully sculpted flanks give the Quattroporte elegance of a dolphin. The “gimmicks” as the Maserati logo on the C-pillar and side vents on the front wings are still there. It’s finally back to the Quattroporte is changing the most, with horizontal lamps connected by a chrome strip.
Plenty of space, but a disappointing finish
At the opening of doors (with frameless windows), the joy was short-lived. While the design of the dashboard is rather pleasing to the eye, and livability is generous (through elongation, Maserati announced an increase of 105 mm of legroom in the rear!). Aficionados find their clock atop the center console and fixed paddles behind the steering wheel. But finishing side, the Quattroporte has not done enough: plastic chosen for a lack of class displayed next model of € 150,000. As for the Maserati Touch Control, the infotainment system with a 8.4-inch screen, it displays graphics and perfected ergonomics dated. Fortunately, standard equipment is comprehensive, including beam assistant, Handsfree key and laminated glass for better sound insulation.
Always a V8, but “downsized”!
This is especially lifting the cover that will console: if the Quattroporte has agreed to adopt V6 petrol and diesel engines to expand its customer base, its high-end version remains faithful to the V8! But this block here has nothing in common with the previous block eight-cylinder. Maserati designed and assembled by Ferrari, the new V8 displays only 3.8 liters, 4.7 liters against its predecessor. But it establishes a direct injection and twin turbochargers to compensate! Result: power and torque increase sharply, with 530 horsepower and 650 Nm at 2000 r / min.
In detail, the new V8 retains supercarre profile with a shorter stroke (80.8 mm bore 86.5 mm), but adopts a quadruple VVT camshafts. Turbo type “twin scroll” (double entry) are small and integrated exhaust manifolds to reduce the response time. The box is now well known ZF 8HP, eight-speed automatic, while the locking rear differential is. Finally, the exhaust line includes pneumatic control valves to offer the Italian a sound worthy of its reputation. For cons, the “downsizing” sauce Modena is not hyper-efficient: if the new biturbo V8 is more efficient than the old atmospheric engine, it remains to be well away from German cars. Thus, the Mercedes S 63 AMG, yet more powerful than 55 horses, she claims a combined fuel consumption of less than 2 liters per 100 km!
Among the beautiful standard equipment of the Quattroporte, two devices in particular are proving indispensable quickly: the parking sensors and reversing camera! Operate the imposing limousine in underground car parks is indeed a cruel test for the nerves. Fortunately, a little sweet Management facilitates the work. Once on the road, the Maserati also reveals surprisingly comfortable thanks to its Skyhook Damping. One can even speak of flexibility, which actively contributes to the tranquility on board. Under the hood, the twin-turbo V8 purrs warmly. Alas, the daily pleasure is marred by too frequent jolts from the rear differential, as well as a sticky brake pedal which makes not easy dosage the last few meters of deceleration. Finally, the very high consumption (11.9 l/100 km in the combined cycle … but not far twice in reality!) That the 80 liter tank is quickly siphoned. Briefly, cell-side limousine, the Quattroporte would benefit from a little round corners.
An Endearing Character
Side face-sport, Maserati already convinced more. By its performance, first: 0-100 km / h in 4.7 seconds remaining impressive, although Audi S8 is better thanks to its Quattro (4.1 seconds!) And Mercedes S 63 AMG with power (4.4 seconds). Maximum speed side, the Italian is not necessary expensive flanges to German: she boldly displays its 307 km / h in tip! The chassis digested without too much trouble cavalry V8 biturbo, and reveals a nice balance and a reassuring escalation approaching the limits of adhesion. Finally, the song of the engine is pleasing, especially when you activate the “Sport” mode, which continuously opens the exhaust valves. Conversely, when the roads are very slippery, the Quattroporte offers called “ICE” (for “Increased control efficiency”) mode, which moderates motor impulses and urges the auto box to shift gears as soon as possible.
Nevertheless, the direction lacks a bit of feeling, although Maserati has preferred to maintain an electro-hydraulic assistance rather adopt pure electric variants blooming everywhere and rarely give full satisfaction. In addition, the nose seems a little heavy for inclusion, suggesting that the empty weight announced by the manufacturer (1,900 pounds) is somewhat optimistic. Mercedes also claims 70 more pounds on his S 63 AMG … In short, the Quattroporte leaves a feeling of incompleteness. Still, she managed the classic Italian favorite: despite its flaws, it will eventually gradually seduce over the miles. It attaches to its mechanical nature, its sculptural line, cozy comfort. Still, its price is fairly full-bodied: almost € 150,000, € 16,000 is more expensive than the very accomplished Audi S8 .
I’m John Wittkowske
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