THERE’S nothing like a little old fashion to win over the nostalgic among us.
In an era of flashy bells and whistles in cars, and eventually cars that drive themselves before flying a la the sci-fi movie Blade Runner, Maserati takes a slightly less aggressive route forward. The Italian brand known for its racing pedigree dials it back a notch with its street cars, opting for opulence and craftsmanship that appeal to those who value it, not just expect it.
The result is cars that have some of that old-world charm about them. From the feel of plush leather and wood panels to the ride provided by the car in motion, Maserati is less about delivering power and more about feeling it; experiencing it.
The Quattroporte GranLusso offers a four-door (hence the name quattroporte) sedan in proportions that are obvious without being opulent. The shark nose and the short rear allow the four doors to be proportionately positioned to be easy on the eye, in the grand scheme of things. From the front, the vertical grille with the large trident logo makes a statement for the Maserati’s racing pedigree with clean and unfussy detail.
Focusing On User Experience
Inside, it’s about the user experience. The Ermenegildo Zegna design lends a fashionable and classy feel that carries through with understated elegance. Fine leather, mulberry silk insets, hand-stiched patterns…they all add to the exclusivity of the car.
These additional touches are vital to Maserati’s ongoing journey. Behind the wheel, the power from the three-litre, twin-turbocharged engine produced by Ferrari is evident, if not explosive, showcasing some of that overall restraint.
For a big car, it does handle with ease, as the eight-speed switches without discernible gaps. But the drive becomes secondary to the environment of the cabin with the smell of authenticity about it.
Balancing Style And Tech
That mix of modern yet slightly dated technology fits in with the general vibe of the model. The digital display may seem a bit out of sorts in the deep nutty brown and beige dashboard, but with all the electronics and connectivity involved in today’s cars, it’s inevitable. Perhaps a screen that is more adaptable might better suit the mood of the cabin. This is one area Maserati could benefit from a rethink to its design philosophy.
The challenge for the Quattroporte will be the comparisons that are inevitable. The new 3-litre Porsche Panamera comes in gleaming and sparkling, but for around a $100,000 less. That’s quite a big price gap, and the Panamera does have a decidedly sharper feel about its handling.
At the end of the day, it comes back again to preference and what you’re happy to part with for your preferred option.
For those who have been watching the Italian brand change hands, they might find the new distributor, Tridente Automobili, and its steadying hand helpful in establishing the brand’s pedigree and establishing its position as a premium luxury player.
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Engine: V6 Twin-turbo
Max Power: 306kW@,000rpm
Max Torque: 550Nm@,000rpm
0-100kmh: 4.9 seconds
Top Speed: 285kmh
Retail price: *$489,800
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