From £82,0458
With its impressive V6 engine and a breadth of dynamic skills, why pay for a GTS?

What is it?

Completing the sixth-gen Maserati Quattroporte’s launch line-up, this is the 3.0 V6 S. It costs a staggering £28,065 less than its 3.8-litre V8 GTS big brother and is expected to win most UK sales. It concedes 119bhp but is 115kg lighter, and a hefty 404bhp is still enough to achieve 0-62mph in 5.1sec and a top speed of 177mph.

The V6 has standard-fit 19-inch alloy wheels to the V8’s 20s, but the only other pertinent spec absentees are shift paddles (which can be added for £708) and glossy cabin inserts (£660). Externally, the tailpipes differ.

There’s little else to justify the price gulf, unless you count the prestige of two extra cylinders. Otherwise, the S offers the luxury must-haves: acres of leather, ample rear space, decent touchscreen interface, xenon lights, rear-view camera and adaptive dampers (Maserati’s ‘Skyhook’).

We’ve previously pitched the GTS against Jaguar’s XJ Supersport LWB, finding it madly quick and compellingly agile but wanting for comfort. By adjusting the Skyhook settings to account for the weight difference, the engineers have tried to create the same ride characteristics in both Maserati Quattroportes. Although our time in the S was mostly on smooth roads, ridges and potholes were parried nicely and long-wave undulations were crested comfortably. Shorter ripples yielded some pattering, but nothing to seriously disturb bigwigs in the back.

The V6 and V8 engines are closely related. Both are twin-turbocharged, direct-injection units built at Maranello to Maserati designs, but the V6 revs lower, produces peak torque from just 1750rpm and is 
13 per cent thriftier, at 26.9mpg.

What's it like?

Although the new V6 isn’t a patch on its symphonic atmo V8 forebear under rising revs, it has its own addictive soundtrack in the heady upshift blarts and a repertoire of crackling explosions on overrun. Both can be hushed by disabling Sport mode, but the engine is rarely quiet.

Sport mode also prescribes rapid, aggressive upshifts from the eight-speed auto, but downshifts are slower. Normal and ‘ICE’ (economy/low traction) modes yield smooth shifts, and the gearbox is only occasionally caught out when self-shuffling.

There’s a separate Sport mode for Skyhook that tightens body control and gives you the confidence to harry the car within its 4000-6000rpm sweet spot along tight, twisty roads. Aided by healthy grip levels, this lesser model is plenty quick. 

Should I buy one?

Inside, fit, finish and ergonomics are a class above its coupé and cabrio stablemates’, even if the action of some moving parts can’t match the German benchmarks. Nevertheless, it’s a generous and luxurious space, despite a slight visibility penalty from that sliver-like glasshouse.

On this evidence, the S is a 
genuine stately sprinter and we look forward to seeing if this balance arrives intact on UK shores.

Maserati Quattroporte S

Price £80,095; 0-62mph 5.1sec; Top speed 177mph; Economy 26.9mpg (combined); CO2 244g/km; Kerb weight 1860kg; Engine V6, 2979cc, twin-turbo, petrol; Power 404bhp at 5500rpm; Torque 405lb ft at 1750-5000rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic

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Dutch 2 July 2013

maserati

?

chelsearoadie 31 May 2013

tremendous new term

I would like to commend you on creation of the word 'blart'. Perfect!

chelsearoadie 31 May 2013

tremendous new term

I would like to commend you on creation of the word 'blart'. Perfect!