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Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow Maserati Quattroporte Automatica
Maserati Quattroporte Automatica PDF Print E-mail
There is always something slightly strange about driving an automatic version of an already highly successful manual car.? Will it be in any way diluted?? Will it lose a great deal of performance in ?power losses? due to the necessary torque converter? Or will the manufacturer manage to disguise its shortcomings in a new package?

Well, as far as the new Quattroporte Automatic is concerned, none of the above is true.? Or even relevant.? It is without doubt an amazing motor car: a sports car with all the amenities and convenience of a luxury saloon.

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Make no mistake, the Quattroporte is a big car, along the lines of an S-Class or an Audi, but its sporting instincts place in a class of its own. The gearbox is a ZF automatic ? not the F1-style Magneti-Marelli unit found in the Ferrari 430 or the 360 ? but a fully automatic unit. It does however have paddle steering-wheel manual control if desired.

Using the steering wheel-mounted paddles and with the system in sport mode, the performance is simply outstanding.? With a top speed approaching 270 km/h and a benchmark sprint time from standstill to 100 km/h of under six seconds, there are few four-door saloons that can match the Quattroporte Automatic.? To rein in this performance massive ventilated discs are fitted, resulting in a stopping distance from 100 km/h of just 35 meters.

The power plant is Maserati?s lightweight 4,244 cc, 32-valve V8, delivering a healthy 400 bhp (294 kW) with a strong torque output of 460 Nm produced at the relatively low engine speed of 4,250 rpm.? More significantly, around 75 percent of the available torque is produced from 2,500 rpm.?

The new six-speed ZF transmission is mated to the rear of the V8 engine, unlike the standard Quattroporte where it is part of the rear transaxle.? The result is a subtle alteration in the front-to-rear weight distribution, which is now an almost perfect 49:51, still offering the slight rear bias necessary on a large rear-drive car.

The interior of the new model is typical Maserati: luxury and style combined with classic lines and complete functionality.? The dashboard centrepiece is the familiar Trident oval clock, while the tachometer and speedometer are tastefully finished and of a sensible size; no massive rev counter as if to draw attention to the engine speed.? There are nine interior color options and five choices of wood veneer, including rosewood, walnut, mahogany, black piano and an obscure option, Tanganyika.? The roof lining is a supple Alcantara, while the seats are sumptuous leather.?

A full complement of air bags is fitted, including side bags, while there are five headrests and a full set of lap-and-diagonal seat belts.? Rear seat passengers have their own climate controls, while the automatic air conditioning can be individually set for each front seat occupant.

The styling of the Quattroporte by the legendary Turin-based Pininfarina design house has attracted a great deal of critical acclaim and it is rare for such a large car to feature such classic yet sporting lines.? Large alloy wheels and low-profile tyres add to the overall impression, while the traditional Maserati grille topped by the Trident emphasizes the long tradition of the marque.? The trident logo, borrowed from their home town of Bologna, was adopted by the Maserati brothers when the company was formed in 1926.

The latest Quattroporte Automatic is the ultimate in luxury, but with its superb performance it can be rightly described as a sports model with the convenience of a sedan.? A high-performance machine with all the amenities and an outstanding example of automotive brilliance from Maserati.

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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