Traditionally, the four-door Maserati hasn’t been a beautiful car. The original Quattroporte was fair, the second dull and the third resembled a bloated Hyundai Stellar. At least the fourth-generation car was striking, in a square-edged way.

It has taken Pininfarina to deliver a truly attractive Quattroporte with this model, though.

The Quattroporte is the most stylish car in the class

There is no bold styling theme – instead, lithe, flowing lines cleverly mask its considerable 5052mm length and incorporate cues from Maseratis past – noticeably a thick, Quattroporte 1-echoing rear pillar and A6-style square wing vents and jutting nose.

Maserati has ploughed over £140 million into development of the Quattroporte and its M139 platform.

The steel monocoque is conventional, only the bonnet and bootlid being made of weight-saving aluminium, but the tiny front overhang and long area aft of the front wheels subtly betray the effort that has been made in optimising the car’s mechanical balance.

If the goal was to create the world’s most elegant luxury four-door, Maserati has succeeded, and despite its age, the most recent facelift has brought a more modern look with LED headlights and a new grille, which is now convex, rather than concave.