What is it?
Completing the sixth-gen 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 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.