Maserati Quattroporte S. REVIEW. Dubai, UAE

The Maserati Quattroporte S features a twin-turbo V6 but can it keep pace with the range topping V8 Quattroporte GTS?
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The Maserati Quattroporte differs from many of its perceived rivals within the luxury sports saloon segment. The Quattroporte is not a top of the range variant – with added badges, bells and whistles – of a lower specification, less luxurious and mass produced base model. As such, the focus on design, luxury and dynamic performance should be uncompromised and swim happily around at the molecular level of each and every Quattroporte Maserati produce.

The Quattroporte does, however, come in a few different flavours. The Quattroporte GTS would be considered the four-door par excellence within the range with its 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 523bhp. But this isn’t it. This is the Quattroporte S and has a three-litre twin-turbo V6 producing 404bhp. You would have to be a Grand Master in spot-the-difference to be able to determine that though, since none of the models are label victims. No Quattroporte has a badge or ‘special’ bodykit slapped on it denoting its testosterone quotient. The only discernible visual difference between the S and the GTS would appear to be the shape of the tail pipes.

The interior follows suit with nothing immediately dissimilar concerning the elegant design or quality materials. You will never feel like you are traveling second class in a Quattroporte no matter which model you choose. However, the GTS we recently had the pleasure of testing was admittedly an extremely high-specced example with all the trimmings including the fantastic Bowers & Wilkins audio setup which is absent on this S model.

Driving a Maserati provides a soundtrack all of its own that can render any audio system superfluous so I can live with the lack of optional premium stereo. This V6 surprisingly lives up to the marque’s aural heritage and, even more surprisingly, packs some serious performance almost equaling its V8 counterpart. A few tenths of a second are lost on the climb to 100kph and about 20kph is knocked off maximum velocity. However, the difference in power delivery between the two models does differ significantly.

Whereas the GTS provides effortless power from the V8 anywhere in the rev range, the V6 in the S suffers low down lag before the twin-turbos recognize they are required to produce boost. When they do spool up, it is a much more aggressive punch than in the smooth and torquey V8. As such, driving the Quattroporte S requires a little bit more concentration to try and stay in the sweet spot.

Having recently spent some time behind the wheel of a GTS it takes me a while to adjust to the personality of the V6. It comes alive much higher in the rev range which necessitates a slightly more aggressive driving style to maintain peak performance. But then, this only comes into play if you are hooning it down the twisties and not really relevant for normal cruising in a luxury sports saloon.

Something that’s missing from this example is the aluminium paddle shifters which I would recommend as a prerequisite tick in the options box if you are planning Quattroporte ownership. It isn’t the end of the world as manual gear change can still be selected via the shifter. Pull back to select a higher gear and push forward to drop a cog just like on a sequential ‘box as logic would dictate. Whether this is based on Maserati’s racing heritage I do not know but the proliferation in recent years of manufacturers producing this operation in reverse is a battle against physics and plain common sense.

Maserati is also positively resisting the current trend of lavishing its luxury sports saloon with technologies built to reduce the driver’s input. You will not have to fight against any lane departure override system ‘tugging on wheel etc. when ‘it’ thinks it knows better. The pleasure of driving is fortunately still a priority at Maserati HQ.

The Quattroporte S isn’t so much a lesser performance model as handling, braking and acceleration are very similar – or on par – with the GTS. It also certainly lacks none of the luxury elements and refinement expected from the segment. The decision to not brand the various models with a badge on the boot therefore starts to make sense although it would be wrong to think they offer the same driving experience.

The lower displacement engine is mainly an answer to producing a performance car with better fuel economy and CO2 emissions which inherently change the character of this Maserati. Adjusting your driving style is necessary to compensate for the turbo lag while the torque deficit from losing two cylinders and 800cc is also apparent.

Down-sizing of combustion engines is a reality that manufacturers cannot ignore and Maserati is even offering a diesel variant in Europe. While the Quattroporte GTS is ultimately the four-door of choice, the Quattroporte S is still a rewarding drive. The character may differ somewhat from the V8 but importantly, for the brand and customer alike, maintains a Maserati personality.

And no, you still wouldn’t let your chauffeur drive it.



Maserati Quattroporte S
Engine: Twin turbocharged V6 / 2979cc
Power: 410hp @ 5500rpm
Torque: 406 lb-ft @ 1750–5000rpm
Transmission: Eight speed ZF automatic / rear wheel drive
Front suspension: All aluminium double wishbones /  Skyhook damping system
Rear suspension: Five link aluminium / SkyHook damping system
Brakes: 360mm x 32mm ventilated and cross-drilled Dual Cast brake discs / six-piston fixed alloy Brembo calipers (front) / four-piston, fixed alloy Brembo calipers(rear)
Wheels: 21-inch lightweight forged wheels
Tyres: 245/35 (front) / 285/30 (rear)
Weight (kerb) 1860kg
0-100kph: 4.7 secs
Top speed: 285kph

Categories: Car Review,Road


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