Maserati Quattroporte GTS 2013 – Review

Is Mature the new Sexy? Surely not?

By Shahzad Sheikh

Maserati_Quattroporte_1

The fifth generation Maserati Quattroporte (04-12) has always been one of my very favourite premium sports saloons, even back when it only came with the automated manual that everybody hated for being clunky and hard work. But its sheer charisma, style, devil-may-care attitude, not to mention decent performance and surprisingly good handling made up for its foibles of which there were numerous.

Read the review of the V6 version – the Quattroporte S

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Apart from the aforementioned transmission (which was addressed with a better ZF solution later in its substantial life-cycle) the controls and ergonomics were a mess, the rear was cramped, the seats weren’t as comfortable as they should be, and there was always a big question mark over reliability.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Only time will tell when it comes to reliability, but the all-new version seems to tackle all the other ‘quirks’ head on. So I’ve been really looking forward to sampling this successor to one of the most desirable super-saloons out there. But I find myself perplexed. Because it may be, that the pursuit of perfection has diluted the er… pursuit of sex?

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Think of it this way. The old QP is the guy that effortlessly drips animal magnetism as he walks past, fawning women gasping in his wake. He’s a champ on the field, but a flunk in the classroom. He is dynamic and determined but is likely to act before thinking – analysis and contemplation is not his gig. His stories are always fantastic and beyond belief, but you buy them anyway. He may not be a perfectionist, but he is successful. And he stands out from the crowd.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

The new QP seems to be the same guy a few years later in life, when he’s settled down, embraced responsibilities, and become sensible. Harsh reality seems to have kicked him a few times, and he’s realised that conformation is often necessary to get ahead. He also went back to school and got his qualifications. He remains a high-achiever, but one wonders if you would count more male than female admirers in his entourage now?

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Indeed Maserati has made the new Quattroporte bigger, and it feels like it too, both from the driver’s perspective and certainly from the passenger’s. Which is a good thing as far as the latter are concerned, because there’s way more room in the comfortable rear cabin. And they get their own set of rear controls, plus TV screens in this GTS which, unlike in other luxury cars, seem to be mounted with distinct flair and style.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Up front things are even better. The seating position is still slightly laid-back, as you might expect, but the ergonomics is vastly improved. It’s much more user-friendly, all the controls are logical and intuitive, correctly placed, and you also get a real sense that they will all work and do exactly what they are meant to – something you could never quite be sure of with the old car.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Of course it helps that the Fiat (owners of Maserati) marriage with Chrysler has meant a lot of input from the Americans when it comes to the fascia and dash, and if you own any of the US giant’s cars, you might well recognise the window switches, steering wheel buttons, the starter button, some aspects of the instrument panel and the operating system of the large central screen.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

It’s also very clean and modern in here, although almost in a 70s retro-futuristic Italian manner with clean, bold surfaces and blocky panels employing a mixture of materials from matte alloy, to chrome strakes deliciously bisecting the top of the dashboard, to the textured wood, and quality leather.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

The cabin appeal makes up somewhat for the exterior. Don’t get me wrong, this is an extremely elegant and good looking automobile with classy lines, compelling curves and a taught muscular stance, but it just isn’t as seductive a shape as the previous Quattroporte.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Perhaps the bigger size and longer proportions are to blame. And it feels bit to drive too. This is a car that’s stepped up to compete alongside the likes of Audi A8s and BMW 7-series, and it does look at least as good if not better than either of those.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

And it’s about as sporty as them too, with strong performance, retaining the excellent ZF transmissions with exquisite paddle shifts, although bereft of the textured rears of the previous pair. Anyway, it doesn’t matter what they feel like to the touch, because they probably won’t be used much considering the updated persona of this car.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

There’s decent handling that can still entertain especially in Sports mode though once again, it isn’t quite as brilliantly balanced or poised as the old QP, and you certainly feel the mass moving about a lot more than before.
The Sports suspension firms up the springs and reduces the body roll but makes the ride a little brittle, so you end up leaving this in regular (comfort) mode.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

But you keep it in Sports mode, because that also turns up the exhaust noise, so it’s deeper, bassier and, rather delightfully, it crackles and pops. The only problem is that you can’t actually hear much of it from inside the car, because the insulation is so much better.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Which of course fits in appropriately with the far more refined ambience, the perceived improvement in quality, durability and solidity, and the more extensive catalogue of gadgets and executive toys.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

That does make the slight low-speed driveline shunts in traffic a little surprisingly in a car of this sort, perhaps a little more dampening and suppression through smart engine mounts and bushes is required. Or it could be that that’s just the soul of old QP buried beneath the new found finesse making itself known, straining at the leash a little, suggesting perhaps that it’s been caged within.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Spend some time with the car, dig below the surface and you will indeed find that the beating heart of Maserati remains embedded in the Quattroporte. This gives it a certain flamboyance and charisma that its somewhat dour rivals can only dream about it.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

At the same time, you’ve got to give Maserati its due, the luxury and performance Italian marque has done exactly what it needed to, and that’s to take its flagship saloon to the next level where the emphasis naturally falls more on luxury than sportiness.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

That’s fine. And I truly hope it successfully sees conquest sales from the Germans and even Lexus, but for me, at least, it’s lost some of the raw, slightly crazed, appeal of the previous Quattroporte.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS

Having said that, I don’t think all is lost. Because I’ve seen the new Ghibli at the Frankfurt Motor Show, and its sexier style, more compact dimensions and aggressive stance, give me some hope that it , not this, is in fact the true successor to my beloved old QP, in spirit at least. Can’t wait to drive it and find out!

2013 Maserati Quattroporte GTS
Specs
Price: AED525,000 ($143k)
Engine: 3.8-litre V8, 530bhp @ 6800rpm, 479lb ft @ 2000-4000pm
Performance: 0-100kph 4.7s, top speed 307kph, 11.8L/100km
Transmission: Eight-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Weight: 1900kg

Does the new Quattroporte still turn you on? Tell us below

 

2 responses to “Maserati Quattroporte GTS 2013 – Review”

  1. Mohammed says:

    I always love the quatroporte and its my favorite saloon. the old generation has a much better interior specially the wooden steering wheel and the stitching all over the seats. moreover the variety of interior colors such as maroon, dark blue or even British green were all available unfortunately not anymore, where we are limited with 3 or 4 colors. I tested the car and by far its better than before in accelerating, handling and the most important thing is the exhaust sound that will really blow your mind off. price wise its actually 585,000 with out the rear entertainment system (very expensive) at the end my point of view who drive this car has a really special, unique Italian taste

  2. UtkManUtd says:

    IMO, The new Quattroporte is the best sports sedan in its price range. It beats the 650i GC and the Panemera by a small fraction. The only other sports sedan which is placed above it is the Rapide S, which is in a different class of its own.

    Hats off for the article as well as the elegant pictures! 🙂

    PS: Not taking the beast, M6 into consideration.

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