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  • Typical Maserati sedan-style; excellent new V6 engine; superb ZF automatic; dynamic handling; fine ride quality
  • Steering is a dynamic weak link; interior too traditional for some; can feel its size around town; talented all-wheel-drive model not for Oz

OUR RATING
8 / 10



2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review

The all-new Maserati Quattroporte really does reflect the Italian car maker’s determined effort to challenge Germany’s luxury marques.

The second generation of the modern Quattroporte (the sixth generation Maserati large sedan overall) launched in Europe earlier this year ahead of its planned Australian introduction in September.

The new Maserati Quattroporte has grown in size – it’s now 166mm longer, 63mm wider and 43mm taller than its immediate predecessor – ostensibly to leave room in the line-up for the forthcoming, mid-sized Ghibli sedan.

While the previous-generation rival for the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series was a taut, flowing design – etched by Pininfarina, no less – the new sedan seems to have moved towards the mainstream.

Of course, in terms of the way it drives this will matter little, particularly considering a crucial aspect of the new car’s specifications – its kerb weight – has been reduced by some 100kg.

Globally, the latest Quattroporte is available with a choice of two different engines and two different drive configurations. The engine line-up comprises a 390kW/650Nm 3.8-litre V8 and a 301kW/550Nm 3.0-litre V6 – both twin-turbocharged petrol engines, and both assembled by corporate cousin Ferrari in its Maranello factory. The V8 is a rear-wheel-drive sedan; the V6 comes in either rear- or (left-hand-drive-only) all-wheel-drive configurations.

2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review

We’ve gathered many first impressions of cars over the years, but we were yet to experience one with all four wheels off the ground within the first 500 metres of a test. This was not of our doing; we were merely in the passenger seat learning the layout of one particular test track from Alex Fiorio, a former WRC driver for the factory Lancia team.

On this track, there is a quick straight section followed by an S-turn in the middle of a big compression; Fiorio approached this turn without lifting and the Maserati hurtled through mid-air before landing, settling and continuing on its way.

The composure showed by the Quattroporte during this acrobatic manoeuvre was wildly impressive; we expected something on the car would bend or break, but it was content to be driven in this fashion all afternoon long.

But there is more to this grand touring saloon than just that; on the track’s fast corners, the all-wheel-drive system produced prodigious road-holding and a tendency to perform tail-happy slides at the limit. Impressive.

The AWD system maintains a 35:65 front-to-rear torque bias and is aided by a mechanical rear differential and a torque-vectoring brake system at the front wheels that has clearly been honed to a very fine point, though being LHD-only it is irrelevant for local buyers.

If there’s a weak link in the handling set-up it’s the steering, which suffers from weighting that’s too unpredictable depending on vehicle speed. The steering wheel is also overly big, but these criticisms matter little when set against the strength of the overall package.

2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review

Out on the open road, the Maserati Quattroporte performs as one would expect an executive sedan to perform. The engine note is sufficiently seductive and for good reason; although our test car is two cylinders down on the top-of-the-line model, it’s also one of the fastest V6 sedans in the world.

Rocketing along the autostrada at over 160km/h is a comfortable, effortless experience and there is never the sense that two cylinders are missing in action.

The eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF is a common design among luxury brands these days, but in this case it has been calibrated for quicker shifts – 40 per cent quicker than other applications, according to Maserati.

Inside, the Quattroporte is a reflection of the car as a whole. It’s the unexpected choice and, more pointedly, the non-Germanic choice. The interior has all the latest technology, but it’s ensconced in a uniquely crafted cabin that echoes cars of the past.

There are a few metallic touches here, for example, and no faux carbonfibre or TFT read-outs; it’s mainly soft-touch materials, earthy tones and analogue gauges.

2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review

Behind that massive steering wheel are two very prominent paddleshifters, and to the centre is a screen to house the navigation system. Take these two elements away and the Quattroporte could have been from a past era. It is very traditional.

Of course, it makes sense that a luxury Italian automobile should possess plenty of style. But what is so surprising about the Maserati Quattroporte is the quality of the engineering, and how engaging the car is to drive.

We expected a fairly soft sedan, one that couldn’t come close to the best the Germans had to offer – we were wrong.


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MASERATI QUATTROPORTE BREAKDOWN

2013 Maserati Quattroporte Review
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  • Mr.Truth

    In 1971 theMaser QP did 168MPH, THE FASTEST 4 DOOR SEDAN ON THE PLANET, yes faster than a foulcan
    It now has outlasted the Foulcan too

    • Phil

      What 1971 Maser QP? I don’t think the Aga Khan’s one off special counts as a production car like the Falcon. With Italian cars of that era, the manufacturers could be a bit exuberant with performance claims as well. No doubt they were fast for the day, but the QP having the same top speed as the Ferrari 365GTB/4? Highly doubtful. The Tipo 107 cars were tested by the car mags at the time, topping out at 143mph. So you’d have to say the HO Falcon, QP and Merc 6.3 were pretty much lineball.

      Saying it has outlasted the Falcon is a misnomer as well, given there have been production gaps that lasted years between some generations.

      • MR.TRUTH

        So the Falcon will be produced post 2016?

        • Phil

          Perhaps. It is just a badge after all. It might be stuck on the next gen Mondeo/Taurus. The upcoming Maserati Kubang will be built in the US and based on the Jeep Cherokee, so don’t get too excited about a badge.

    • guest

      The only thing foul is the styling of this new Quattroporte. Totally disappointing – heavy handed and dare I say it, Korean looking. if you gave it a Daewoo badge, it’ll probably fit – given the side profile. I’ll be happy to take the last of the old model, thanks very much. More presence and sheer beauty. The new one is too fussy.

      I wouldn’t definitively say the 1971 Quattroporte was the fastest either, given variations between the various fast cars of the day and the fact that some might have had better engines than others, or even different final drive ratios which gave them a higher top speed, or better acceleration.

      The 450 SEL 6.9 of the mid-1970s was another big saloon that had very high top speed – although claimed at 140mph, various journalists achieved 150mph+ with that enormous brick of a car, with 213kW and a truck load of torque.

    • Igomi Watabi

      how old are you, Master Truth?

  • Dominique Vøn Hütch

    Awww gawd damn Maserati rock….i want one, or two.

  • Michelle C.

    I really like the interior.

  • Kennyboye

    Is it just me or do the front lights look like the old cls merc and the back like an audience a5?

  • Kennyboye

    Sorry…. Audi a5.

  • JoeR_AUS

    I read a review on this car and also in another section a S60 Polestar. Similar performance, Volvo a little faster. It made me wander is the Maserati worth 3 times the price?

    • Peter

      I dont really think that they are the same size or class of car. The s60/Polestar (which I like though I think it is overpriced) is pretty small inside, not a lot a back seat room. In fact the rear of the s60 doesnt have any more room than the rear of the s40 compact, though it has a lot more room than the v40 which replaced it. The Maser (not being trendy – I cant spell it without looking) is much longer with a lot more room in the back for his lordship to relax while one is being driven around to assignations with young ladies. Bigger than an XF Jag, more like an XJ. And probably on a par, luxury wise. If it was the same price as an XJ Jag, and I could afford it, it’d be hard to pick. The XJ has the nicer interior but the exterior of the Maser really tickles my fancy, now that they have fixed up the back end.

  • marc

    You’d buy one just for the exhaust note.

  • Zaccy16

    Looks fantastic inside and out, that new v6 sounds like a great engine, if i was in the lucky position to be in the market for one of these cars i wouldn’t go for a german ( maybe the new s class) but i would choose between this mazerati or the equally interesting jag xj

Maserati Quattroporte Specs

4.2L MULTI POINT F/INJ - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 4D SEDAN
Car Details
Make
MASERATI
Model
QUATTROPORTE
Series
MY13
Year
2013
Body Type
4D SEDAN
Seats
5
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
MULTI POINT F/INJ
Engine Size
4.2L
Cylinders
V8
Max. Torque
460Nm @  4500rpm
Max. Power
295kW @  7000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
148.2W/kg
Bore & Stroke
92x79.8mm
Compression Ratio
11
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
REAR WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
90
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
14.7L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1990
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1438mm
Length
5097mm
Width
1895mm
Ground Clearance
100mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
12.3
Front Rim Size
8.5x19
Rear Rim Size
10.5x19
Front Tyres
245/45 R19
Rear Tyres
285/40 R19
Wheel Base
3064
Front Track
1582
Rear Track
1595
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Standard Features
Comfort
Auto Climate Control with Dual Temp Zones, Power front seats
Control & Handling
19 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program
Driver
Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering
Entertainment
Compact disc player
Exterior
Fog Lights - Front, Power Mirrors
Interior
Leather Upholstery, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft, Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  20,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
9-H-18
Country of Origin
ITALY