From £80,220
New Quattroporte loses a little comfort, but gains extra balance and control

Our Verdict

Maserati Quattroporte 2004-2013
The fifth generation of Quattroporte gets a V8 engine and Pininfarina-penned body

The Maserati Quattroporte has character, balance and a wonderful engine, but its ride and gearbox mean it’s ultimately flawed.

10 February 2009

What is it?

This is the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GTS. Last year the Masaerati Quattroporte was given a mild facelift, and at the same time the 4.7-litre V8 engine from the GranTurismo S became available as an option.

Now the range has been extended further with the introduction of this top-end 4.7-litre model, the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GTS.

‘Top end’ in most luxury car terms might equal more speed, but it would also mean more comfort. But this is Maserati. So out go the Skyhook adaptive dampers (replaced by more sporting passive ones), down comes the suspension (by 15mm at the front and 11mm at the rear) and up goes the power and rev limiter.

Okay, so the power's up by only 8bhp (to 433) and the limit by 100rpm (to 7200rpm). But there's more to it than that. The power is up because the exhaust has an active valve which, if you press a button on the dash, sends gases out without damping a great deal of their sound.

Advances in automatic gearbox software, meanwhile, have allowed the rev limit to increase. Apparently autos and high-revving engines aren't naturally suited to each other, so it's only recently that the software has allowed it.

What’s it like?

That revised six-speed ZF ’box is great for a start. In auto mode it's bright enough to blip down a gear when you approach a corner on the anchors, while in manual mode it does only what you ask of it. It won't change up at the limiter, it won't kick down on full throttle, and it won't change down just for the sake of it, although it will engage lower gears as you roll up to a junction. It's very sweet, the measure of almost any robotised manual.

Given that the extra power is all above 6000rpm and represents less than two per cent of total output, it’s hardly a surprise to find that the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GTS doesn't feel any quicker than usual.

What it does do is make a belting noise. Make no mistake: the Sport GTS doesn't just sound 'good'. It sounds 'let's leave it in first gear through the next three towns, eh?' splendid. Which goes down fine around Modena. But probably not so well in Bedfordshire.

The loss of adaptive dampers, the adoption of 20in alloys and the fact that the springs are stiffer than usual (by 30 per cent at the front and 10 per cent at the rear) mean the Quattroporte Sport GTS rides with some firmness.

It's less cosseting than any other luxury saloon I can think of, but it's not harsh – just really well controlled. The lovely suede-finish steering wheel controls a steering system that's overly light (presumably to filter the tugs and kickback that you can still barely feel as the wheels skip and tramline), but perfectly accurate and responsive. The Sport GTS handles, too. Less cosseting it might be, but it's also super to drive.

Should I buy one?

So, would you? If you were going to choose a Quattroporte anyway, then heck yes. The Sport GTS is the most Maserati-ish one of the lot. The loss of a smidgen of comfort is amply made up for by the tighter chassis and the noise.

Join the debate

Comments
24

10 February 2009

Given that - from your recent tests - neither the A8 or new 7-series have particularly good ride comfort either, this Quattroporte doesn't seem to have much of a downside. And it's gorgeous inside and out. And it has the optimum powertrain configuration - 4.7 engine, full-auto gearbox - which isn't available on the Granturismo, so might just be the pick of the Maserati range.

10 February 2009

This is a fantastic machine! One should not think of it as a luxury saloon with a powerful engine, but rather a proper sports car that seats 4 people better than a coupe. I'd love to own one of these one day. By the way, I don't think that the Quattroporte has lost much ride comfort in the GTS as the standard version was not praised for its ride comfort.

10 February 2009

I know this is a beautiful looking car but from a performance, fuel economy, price and ride point of view, i.e pretty much everything besides looks, it gets blown away by Alpina's B5S, Alpina's supercharged V8 version of the 5-series, available in saloon and estate versions.

The B5S's supercharged 4.4l V8 produces 525 bhp and 535 lb.ft of torque, 0-62 mph in 4.6s, top speed 197mph and an amazing 23 mpg/294g CO2 per km, and all for around £70K. Astonishing and little known about.

http://www.alpina-automobiles.com/en/models/b5-s/technical-data/saloon.html

10 February 2009

I agree with horseandcart, i have recently driven one of these and it is one of the best "OVERALL" cars i have driven. it's got a mixture of performance comfort and handling. it blows the BMW M5 out the water.

Alpina are also working on a B7, they will playing around with the 4.4 Twin Turbo engine that is currently in the 750i. Could it have 550hp? it's going to be a very interesting car.

10 February 2009

Let's have a 'What's The Point of the M5' thread!

Who's up for it?

:-)

10 February 2009

[quote TheStig]By the way, I don't think that the Quattroporte has lost much ride comfort in the GTS as the standard version was not praised for its ride comfort.[/quote]

Do you know this because you have driven it or are mearly taking other people's word for it. I'm thinking of buying one but want an opinion from someone who has driven it or owned one and not just a viewpoint from the magazine.

Hopefully you can help

10 February 2009

[quote horseandcart]

I know this is a beautiful looking car but from a performance, fuel economy, price and ride point of view, i.e pretty much everything besides looks, it gets blown away by Alpina's B5S, Alpina's supercharged V8 version of the 5-series, available in saloon and estate versions.

[/quote]

Fair point, but at this level of the car industry there's more to it than just stats and figures. Someone that can afford this belle isn't worried about saving $10k or what the price of petrol is going to be next week. It's the feeling it gives you when you look at it and and sit behind the wheel - like a piece of artwork - individual values come into play.

A B5S maybe surgically superior, but it's a 5-series at the end of the day. If I had the money and was satisfied with it after a good test drive (and it left me with a feeling of wanting more), I would buy it without even trying out the competition.

10 February 2009

[quote Greg1]A B5S maybe surgically superior, but it's a 5-series at the end of the day[/quote]

Exactly - the B5S is a car from the class below - the Quattroporte is a lot roomier (especially in the back) and is a 7-series rival, if anything.

10 February 2009

eh..??? maserati? 89k, - jag xfr... 59k, 500bhp, nuff said!

10 February 2009

[quote Colonel Snappy]Colonel Snappy wrote the following post at Feb 10, 2009 3:38 PM:

[quote Greg1]A B5S maybe surgically superior, but it's a 5-series at the end of the day[/quote]

Exactly - the B5S is a car from the class below - the Quattroporte is a lot roomier (especially in the back) and is a 7-series rival, if anything.

[/quote]

Yes, yes, yes. Still can't understand who wants/needs these vehicles though. If you want to drive rather than be driven, anything above 4.8m/15' becomes barge like. If you wish to be driven you want maximum comfort and space, like an S-Class, standard or long wheelbase. However, here's one for you though Snappy mate, the Alpina B5S may be a jumped-up Munich taxi but it can pull nearly 200mph and take a load of over 500kg, 540kg to be precise(http://www.alpina-automobiles.com/models/b5-s/technical-data/saloon.html). The Maser on the other hand, although over 10" longer, can only take 375kg(http://www.maserati.com/maserati/en/en/index/models/Quattroporte-S/technical-data.html), which is astonishingly low for a car of this size. How can you take a car with such plutocratic pretensions - Lord Mandy demanded one at EU - seriously when it's overloaded with four moderately fat businessmen on-board, minus any luggage. Ridiculous. It's a two-seater masquerading as a limousine that's trawling around an extra 200kg, that can't be used four-up in practice.

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