The India-Bound Maserati Machine

Published: 01st February 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2015 02:59 AM   |  A+A-

It was exactly 10 years ago

Ammar Alvi first came face to face with the trident, the fountain on the Piazza del Nettuno in the centre of Bologna (Italy), also the home to the world’s most renowned luxury sports and luxury car companies. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pininfarina have all been born on this soil, also the trident or Maserati. Although Maserati did make an entry into India in 2011 through distributor route, the company is now planning to re-enter on its own with now a much formidable line-up including its luxury sedan Ghibli and of course the lengendary all new Quattroporte. Ten years later,  this writer flew to Dubai and testdrove the latest India-bound Quattroporte and discover the company’s plans.

Maserati Quattroporte has indeed evolved since the last time I tested it. The one I had to test-drive in Dubai seemed leap years ahead than its predecessor. The new Quattroporte continues to be the benchmark for high-quality engineering, supercar performance and limousine comfort.

It was in the early 1960s that Gino Rancati, a Cremona-born journalist, suggested the idea of what was to become the Quattroporte—the world’s fastest sedan at the time. The very first Quattroporte was designed by Pietro Frua in 1963. The 4.2-litre V8 engine powered the car to a top speed of 220 km/h. In 1974, Bertone designed the Quattroporte mark II with a 3.0 litre V6 engine—the first and only front-wheel drive Maserati. Only 11 units were built. In 1979, Maserati, under Alejandro de Tomaso, launched the very successful Quattroporte mark III designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro with its V8 engine and its 3-speed automatic transmission. Almost 2,100 units were produced. In 1994, the Quattroporte mark IV followed the V6 Bi-Turbo engine and Ghibli models in terms of aesthetics and technology. Ten years later, Pininfarina and its team designed the Quattroporte mark V, which is closely related to the Granturismo: balanced weight distribution, and a dry sump 4.2 liter V8 engine. It set the design standard for the segment for almost a decade.

Maserati launched the all-new Maserati Quattroporte in 2013. The sixth-generation model delivers a leap forward that not only sets the high-technology tone for Maserati’s upcoming new-model onslaught, but also remains faithful to the company’s long history. The flagship of the Maserati product range is larger, lighter, more luxurious and more practical than the globally acclaimed car it replaces. The powerful engine and the large cabin are at the core of the Quattroporte’s design, dominated by a long, powerful nose and a concave Trident grille and providing a clear link to both the outgoing Quattroporte and the GranTurismo.

The grille’s three-dimensional design is accentuated by the movement of the guards, which emphasise the bonnet or hood, and run into the headlight mouldings at the front, which draw the eye to the Trident symbol at the centre of the grille. Its silhouette line begins from the headlights to create a sharp upper edge to the front fender that continues along the car’s roofline and creates a coupe-style grace in the C-pillar. This C-pillar, a feature of four-door Maseratis dating back to the original Quattroporte in 1963, is enhanced by the Saetta logo, while Maserati’s distinctive three-side vents proudly denote the volume of the front fender. Larger in its wheelbase, track widths, overall width and length than its predecessor, the new Quattroporte conveys a sporting attitude that deliberately falls just short of outright aggression and promises elegance instead.

The all-new architecture retains the Quattroporte’s traditionally exquisite handling characteristic thanks to its 50:50 weight distribution, a double-wishbone front suspension, the state-of-the-art five-link rear suspension, the limited rear slip differential and the Maserati Skyhook suspension system.

The Quattroporte also delivers new standards in quality in every area from design, development, fabrication and process controls. It is produced in a new plant that combines Maserati’s traditions of craftsmanship with cutting-edge technologies that are able to guarantee outstanding quality by controlling even the tiniest details.

As Head of Maserati Centro Stile, Lorenzo Ramaciotti rightly puts it, “The design of the Quattroporte is inspired by Maserati’s core stylistic principles: attractive shape, extremely dynamic lines and Italian elegance.” The interior of the new Quattroporte unites refined, clean styling with high technology and a timeless sporting character. The Quattroporte is expected to come at a starting price of `1.20 crore (ex-showroom). Its re-entry will redefine the brand’s position as a top luxury car manufacturer and also a preferred one for the growing Indian lux club!


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