The segment created by Maserati with the first Quattroporte in 1963', has been styled by Pininfarina and is powered by the company's highly regarded V8 engine which has been boosted to produce some 400bhp. Maserati is making play of it's ability to customize the Quattroporte through the use of an extensive choice of paint, wood and leather. A large centre console is fitted with a TV screen which dominates the interior. Maserati says the interior is exceptionally spacious. It is thought that the car is based on the big Lancia Thesis platform, although the Quattroporte is rear wheel drive. All versions will use an automated manual transmission with column mounted paddle shifters. Although the system has been much criticized on Maserati's Coupe, engineers have been working to smooth out the shift action. According to insiders the key has been to slow the relatively free-revving V8 engine quickly enough to allow the clutch to engage smoothly.
Maserati has rejected the use of a conventional auto-box, partly because it can't cope with the engine's torque and partly because it is much less efficient than a manual transmission.
Quattroporte is the latest in a long line of high performance four door cars from Maserati, all launched with limited success. The first car to use the badge went on sale in 1963 and it's from this model that Pininfarina has revived the unusual, protruding oval grille. From the side a pleasure to contemplate this car.