The latest car to bear the Quattroporte name, the new Pininfarina-styled saloon was released at the end of 2003. A completely new car, it features an all new chassis, body and interior.
To provide the driving dynamics required by such a classic name, Maserati have equipped their new super-saloon with an unusual (for a four seat saloon) drivetrain layout, with the V8 engine set just behind the front wheels driving the rear wheels through a rear mounted transaxle. This gives a near perfect 47% front / 53% rear weight distribution. With 394bhp, the 4.2-litre V8 is more than enough to propel the nearly 2 tonne car in a more than adquate manner, whilst comfort is handled by the 'Skyhook' electronic adaptive damping system (developed in conjunction with Mannesmann-Sachs) and the double wishbone suspension all round.
The engine is an all-alloy, quad-cam, 32-valve, 4.2-litre V8. The crankcase and cylinder heads are made of a special heat-treated aluminium silicon alloy, whilst the balanced crank is tempered steel and runs in five main bearings. The 90deg V8 als has two chain driven camshafts per bank, Bosch ignition and injection systems and a drive-by-wire accelerator.
Obviously such a car is designed more for comfort than for sports, and the interior will not disappoint any expectations. Traditional Italian leather, chrome and wood are joined by a multi-functional colour display, bespoke Bose sound system, dual-zone climate control, six airbags and electrical adjustment of everything. A true four seater, room in the rear is more than adequate and includes adjustable seats too. A huge range of personalisation is available, including various materials (rosewood, mahogany, walnut briarwood, etc), colours (including individual choices from a swatch) and styles. The list of options is extensive, including such things as heated, ventilated and massaging seats (available both in the front and rear), rear entertainment pack, five-piece leather luggage set, alcantara headlining, etc.
At its launch in 2003, the Quattroporte was only available with one transmission, a 6-speed clutchless manual unit. Based on the F1 technology, this could be operated using steering-column mounted paddles or switched to automatic mode. Later, it was named 'DuoSelect'.
In 2007 a conventional automatic transmission was added to the range. This is a 6-speed ZF unit which enables gearshifts at up to 7,200rpm, a record for an automatic transmission. The automatic version has slightly less weight at the rear, with a distribution of 49% front / 51% rear.
Engine 4244cc (92x79.8mm) quad-cam all alloy VVT V8 with 394bhp @ 7,000rpm Suspension front : independent with double wishbones and 'Skyhook' adaptive damping
rear : independent with double wishbones and 'Skyhook' adaptive damping
wheels : 18", 19" and 20" wheels are standard or optional depending on the version
Wheelbase : 3064mm
Track (front / rear) : 1582mm / 1595mm
Brakes front : ventilated discs (diameter 330mm)
rear : ventilated discs (diameter 316mm)
coloured brake callipers are available as an option
Transmission 'DuoSelect' six-speed automatically operated manual (clutchless, hydraulically assisted)
ZF 6-speed automatic
Kerb weight originally 1930kg, later 1970kg (DuoSelect) or 1990kg (Automatic) Dimensions Length / Width / Height : 5052mm / 1895mm / 1438mm
model max speed 0-62mph CO2 emissions Quattroporte DuoSelect 171 mph 5.2 sec 370 g/km Quattroporte Automatic 167 mph 5.6 sec 345 g/km
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