The Maserati Quattroporte demonstrates an appetite for corners that its size would never lead you to expect. Exceptional body control plays a big part, its adaptive dampers sensing body movements and reacting in an instant to all but eliminate roll, pitch and dive, and provide nimble turn-in.

The chassis is exceptionally neutral and manages to hold off hints of over- and understeer. Body roll is well restrained. The steering impresses because it is so easy to accurately place this big, wide car on the road.

This is a saloon that drives like a sports car

There’s a price to pay for this good handling, however, and that’s how the Quattroporte rides. Broken Tarmac unsettles the car, and at speed this feeling never really goes away. Town roads can be downright uncomfortable.

On the standard Quattroporte, suspension is a coil spring and double wishbones set-up, controlled by Maserati’s Skyhook electronic adaptive dampers. A button on the dash switches between normal and Sport modes, adjusting the aggression of the damping and gearshift speeds, as well as the degree of intervention from the stability control. S and GTS models do without the Skyhook system, and use fixed-rate shocks and stiffer springs that give a firmer ride still.

To further improve weight distribution, drive heads to the back wheels through a rear-mounted six-speed transaxle. The transmission offers fully automatic gearchanges or clutchless sequential manual operation via paddles mounted either side of the steering column.