Did you hear that? That was the raucous exhaust note of arguably the best-sounding car in the history of the automotive world exiting the stage.
Yep, the fifth-generation Maserati Quattroporte is finally being laid to rest. It’d been around since 2004. How we loved flooring the loud pedal in that Pininfarina-designed beauty and unleashing every one of those 440 horses. In a tunnel. It was music to our, and everybody else’s, ears. The 4.7-litre Ferrari-sourced V8 had some serious guts — while the revamped Quattroporte S was a beast of a car. Eight years on and it’s time to say goodbye. But put those hankies away folks, for the sixth generation Quattroporte is going to be lighter and slicker than ever.
The flagship saloon, which will be unveiled at the Detroit motor show in January, isn’t just going to be bigger than its predecessor, but it will be far more luxurious and crammed with all the latest technology. It’ll have to be a serious piece of work because it will be up against some fierce rivals such as BMW’s new 7 Series, Porsche’s Panamera and Aston Martin’s Rapide but the Modena-based manufacturer is sure to have a trick or two up its sleeve.
CEO Harald Wester is pretty confident and says the new model will be a “true global player.” He also says Maserati’s presence in the world will rise to “50,000 units a year by 2015.” That’s a big leap, considering that just over 6,100 Quattroportes were sold in 2011.
Although not much is known yet, the 2013 model is an evolution of the current design. The trident emblem dominates the large grille up front, while the headlights look more angular and aggressive than ever.
We love what the design team has done with the lower air intake — it now looks like it spans the entire width of the front fascia. The character lines give the four-door a more chiselled look; the coupé-like profile remains and it’s longer than before. We like the strong belt line that runs through the entire side of the car to give it a muscular yet elegant feel. The three portholes are intact, while a small quarter-panel window has been added between the rear door and C-pillar. The previous trapezoidal two-piece taillights are now horizontal and they spill over onto the boot lid, which is finished with an integrated spoiler.
The rear fascia wraps around quad trapezoidal exhaust pipes, while on the inside, the cabin is far more refined boasting leather and wood trim along the dash, centre console and on the doors.
Though power and performance figures are not yet known, Maserati has announced that it will use a Ferrari V8 expected to deliver over 500bhp and mated to an eight-speed ZF auto.
According to Paolo Martinelli, Maserati powertrain director, the new engines won’t just be more powerful than ever “but also more fuel efficient than ever before”. Maserati has plans for a supercharged V6 and there may even be a diesel option.
The latter better not sound like the old oil burners our dads drove back in the day or that will be the end of Maser as we know it!