Everything sounds better in Italian – something the Maserati Quattroporte (literally ‘four-door’) has proved through various generations since 1963.
Mainstream large saloons have serious names that would look equally at home on a submarine or piece of construction equipment – the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 – for example. Those, along with the Jaguar XJ and Porsche Panamera, are the Quattroporte’s chief rivals.
This Italian offering is something a bit different then. A car with a name that sounds romantic and intriguing and an engine line-up that delivers equally sensational aural drama.
Range lacks rivals’ complexity
Following the range’s 2016 facelift which introduced a sharper grille design and increased levels of technology, you’ve got three flavours of Quattroporte to choose from: standard, GranLusso and GranSport.
The latter two differ visually, as well as in ethos, with the GranLusso focused on being more cosseting and traditional, the GranSport appearing bolder and more aggressive.
Regardless, you can expect 19-, 20- and 21-inch alloy wheels, enormous brakes, a mechanical limited-slip differential and ‘Skyhook’ active suspension damping.
Equipment-wise there are driver assistance systems, the traditional Maserati analogue clock, supple leather interiors, sat-nav and a Harman/Kardon stereo system.
Two petrol engines and a diesel
The inclusion of a diesel engine was a first for the Quattroporte. It’s produced by fellow Italian firm VM Motori rather than Maserati itself, and features AdBlue exhaust after-treatment technology to help reduce harmful emissions.
For the real world this is the one you want – a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 that provides suitable mid-range grunt without costing the earth to run.
It’s the V6 and V8 petrols that will set your knees wobbling though, thanks to a fantastic soundtrack and rapid performance, dispatching the 0-62mph sprint in 5.1 and 4.7 seconds respectively.
An eight-speed automatic gearbox links the engine to the rear wheels – the UK misses out on the four-wheel drive option – and allows you to tailor the driving experience between serene chauffeur-like smoothness, and rapid, punch-in-the-back-style shifts.
Almost limousine space and a sporty drive
If you’re still not convinced then the Quattroporte’s trump card – its drive – should win over any floating voters. While other cars of this type are more easily enjoyed from the back seat, the Maserati is definitely a car for drivers.
There’s no denying its size and weight so don’t expect any agile B-road antics, but given a wide stretch of tarmac and a clear horizon, the Quattroporte is capable of thrilling you and your passengers regardless of engine choice.
It doesn’t offer the road-smoothing ability or the colossal amount of rear-seat space of the S-Class or the all-rounder skills of the 7 Series, but for outright driveability you won’t go far wrong with this Maserati.
Find out whether that’s enough to put it ahead of its talented rivals in our full Maserati Quattroporte review.