New Maserati Quattroporte comes with extra shush
Quattroporte doesn't pack punch of its sibblings but has handling to match
When you think of a brand such as Maserati, your mind doesn’t immediately head towards fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Instead you think of power, noise and looks.
But Maserati wants to stay relevant in a world increasingly concerned about fuel economy, so has introduced a new version of the Quattroporte into the local market, with a less powerful version of the twin-turbo V6 that powers the Quattroporte S and drinks only a claimed 9.1litres/100km of fuel, while committing only an extra 212g of CO2/km to the air.
Slipping in between the 202kW/600Nm Quattroporte Diesel and the 301kW/550Nm Quattroporte S (in terms of output and price), the new 243kW/500Nm-engined car is simply known as the Quattroporte and costs $197,900.
While no one is actually using the words “ladies’ Maserati”, the fact that the less powerful V6 is said to be “catering to an audience where performance is not a key requirement” and the highest percentage of buyers is expected to be female, is something that is somewhat hard to avoid ...
Still, 243kW is still a fairly decent whack of power, while the impressively flat torque curve peaks at a healthy 500Nm at just 1750rpm. This is enough to propel the Quattroporte to 100km/h from a standing start in 5.6 seconds, which isn’t exactly hanging around, although it does lack the savage punch of the V8.
It also lacks much of the aggressive aural nature of the more powerful 301kW version of the twin-turbo V6 engine, which is somewhat mystifying and would certainly make the new car a lot more satisfying.
While it lacks the noisy drama usually associated with Maserati performance, the handling abilities of the newest Quattroporte are still right up with the rest of the range. Precise and surprisingly agile for such a large, long sedan, the Quattroporte felt impressively confident over the New South Wales roads, although it did suffer from the same feeling of being over-tyred, particularly at the front end, which would enthusiastically track the uneven contours of the road.
Still, this is a relatively minor irritation and the Quattroporte more than makes up for it with huge amounts of grip and a rear end that is willing to be playful if provoked.
The Quattroporte’s ride is noticeably firmer than most of the competition in its segment — and can occasionally feel a bit unrefined over rougher surfaces — but remains comfortable, yet with a distinctly sporty feel.
Hitting the “sport” button for the suspension, however, transforms the Quattroporte into a jittery, harsh-riding horror that we know from experience makes it utterly incredible on a race track, but generally awful on the open road. Best to save sport mode for those track days.
Given that the lower-powered Quattroporte is aimed at those “performance is not a key requirement” customers, then that won’t be happening either.
It is a characterful car that is as unique and exclusive as it is attractive and practical, yet it is slightly unclear as to what the point of it is. Sure, there may well be people who just want the looks and appreciate the relative frugality, but isn’t that what the cheaper 243kW Ghibli is for?