The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte is completely redesigned. The styling is an evolution of the previous model's voluptuous curves, but the sheetmetal is draped over a larger chassis. The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte has increased in size and now fully measures up against the extended-wheelbase versions of other large luxury sedans such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the Jaguar XJL (the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte is offered in just one wheelbase length). The other major change with the new model is that there is now a choice of two engines, a V-6 and a V-8, both turbocharged -- and the former can be paired with all-wheel drive, another Quattroporte first...
The Quattroporte has been the lone four-door Maserati since its debut in 1963. And since Maserati is a brand better known for sexy coupes than for luxury sedans, the Quattroporte has been an obscure minor player in its arena. Maserati hopes to change that situation with the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte, which debuts for 2014 along with its first-ever sister model, the smaller Ghibli, giving the brand a two-sedan lineup that should raise its profile among luxury-car buyers.
The redesigned 2014 Maserati Quattroporte moves up in size (and price) to better compete in the high-luxury segment, where most entrants sell a long-wheelbase model. The Quattroporte has gained four inches of rear-seat legroom, but the stylish interior is let down by some details. The navigation system is a Garmin-based Chrysler unit, which works well enough but doesn't have the cutting-edge graphics of the Audi or Mercedes-Benz systems. One gets the sense that pursuit of the latest electronic gadgetry is not a priority at Maserati, as the Quattroporte also lacks some common driver aids such as lane-departure warning, forward collision warning, and blind-spot monitoring.
Instead, Maserati prioritizes performance. Commendably, the new aluminum-intensive architecture has made the car lighter despite its larger size, and it's more lithe than most of its rivals. That makes easy work for the two available engines. The base unit is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 good for 404 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. A new direct-injected 3.8-liter V-8 spins out a potent 523 hp and 479 lb-ft. The latter storms from 0 to 62 mph in 4.7 seconds and continues to pull strongly into the triple digits; top speed is 191 mph. Both engines are mated to a smooth new eight-speed automatic (with shift paddles) rather than the sometimes-jerky DuoSelect automated manual of the past. The V-6 -- but not the V-8 -- also can be ordered with all-wheel drive.
We give full marks to the communicative steering, an increasingly rare hydraulic system in a world overrun with numb, electrically assisted tillers. The great steering combined with an athletic suspension make the Quattroporte a pleasure to bend through a series of curves. Unfortunately, despite the Skyhook suspension's adaptive dampers, the ride quality isn't as plush as we hoped, particularly on the 20- or 21-inch wheels (19s are standard). That's the price you pay for style -- and style is a big part of this car's appeal.
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