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In 1963, the original Maserati Quattroporte (literally, “four doors”) came with a 256-hp V8; buyers could opt for a 295-hp V8 instead. New generations arrived in 1976, 1979, 1994, 2004, and 2013. The most recent car generates up 523 horsepower from a turbocharged 3.8-liter V8.
The sixth generation Maserati Quattroporte is reputedly loosely based on the Chrysler 300C; the interior is similar in layout, and there are common parts, including the lighting controls. The Maserati chassis is longer than the 300C, with a wheelbase of 125 inches versus the 300’s 120 inches. Compared with the 2012 Quattroporte, the 2013 was ten inches longer, three inches wider, and 220 lb lighter (the latter, because 60% of the upper body and much of the suspension is aluminum).
Two new engines are built under contract by Ferrari at their Maranello plant. Both are twin turbos; one is a V8, one is a V6. In both cases, the exhaust is controlled by pneumatic valves; normally, the bypass valves are closed up to 4,200 rpm, but in sport mode, the exhaust valves are open, giving the shortest possible route for the gases and a louder noise. The trapezoidal exhaust tips are under the rear bumper on V8 models, with twin double polished-steel pipes.
The 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 cut emissions by 20%, but boosted power by 18% and torque by 39%, compared with the 2012 4.7-liter V8 in the Quattroporte Sport GT S. Peak torque arrives much earlier, going from 4,750 rpm in 2012 to 2,000 rpm in 2013.
The V8 uses a pair of low-inertia, twin-scroll parallel turbos, each having its own air-to-air intercooler. It retains the over-square nature of the outgoing V8, and has a slightly lower compression ratio of 9.5:1. Torque can be overboosted to 524 lb.-ft. from 2,250-3,500 rpm.
High-tumble cylinder heads have four cam phasers for valve control; the cam phasers and hydraulically adjusted roller finger followers advance or retard inlet and exhaust valve timing in real time.
A 200-bar direct fuel-injection system has seven laser-drilled holes, along with multiple injection, to help atomize fuel in the combustion chamber itself. The on-demand alternator, water pump, and variable-displacement oil pump reduce parasitic drag.
The engine has normal and sport modes, with manual versions of either mode, using shift paddles fixed to the steering column.
Quattroporte’s “I.C.E.” (Increased Control and Efficiency) strategy, which other automakers call “economy mode,”cuts consumption, emissions, and noise when selected. It delivers softer throttle pedal response, cancels overboost, and keeps the exhaust’s sport flaps closed until 5,000 rpm, adjusting shifts to make them softer and slower and reducing torque at each gear’s take-up point. It gives the peak fuel efficiency figure and is useful for driving on low-grip surfaces.
The V6 twin-turbo engine has 404 hp at 5,500 rpm and 406 lb.-ft. torque between 1,500-5,000 rpm. In normal mode, torque is smoothed at 369 lb.-ft. in the lower rpm range.
The engine shares the V8’s bore and combustion chamber design, valve control technology, twin turbos, direct injection-ignition system, and auxiliaries (alternator, starter motor, and power-steering pump); the oil pump is similar. The V6 revs to a 6,500-rpm maximum speed, and delivers its torque level 500 rpm sooner than the V8. The block itself is derived from the Chrysler Pentastar block, according to some sources, but is not identical to it.
The V6, when hooked up to rear-wheel drive, is lighter than the V8 car, at 4,101 pounds (add 154 pounds for all-wheel drive). The rear-wheel-drive version accelerates to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds, all-wheel drive in 4.9 seconds; the rear-wheel drive car’s 177-mph top speed matches that of the Sport GT S. The V6 is also used in the smaller Ghibli.
All versions of Quattroporte have a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, for near-instant shifting and strong fuel efficiency. The transmission weighs 8.8 pounds less than the previous six-speed transmission.
There are five shift modes: auto normal, auto sport, manual normal, manual sport, and economy. Gearshift modes can be selected via buttons on the left of the gear knob. The transmission can be controlled manually, using paddles on the steering column or the transmission lever.
A mechanical limited-slip differential with asymmetric locking has 35% lock-up under power and 45% under release. The rear differential is driven via a two-piece, 3.15-inch diameter steel propshaft (hollowed for weight saving) with two constant-velocity joints and one head rubber coupling; it runs through a cross-member-mounted rubber bearing for higher comfort from vibrations and harshness levels.
An all-wheel-drive transmission switches torque from rear wheel drive to all wheel drive within 150 milliseconds, and is able to work with the electronic stability program for maximum safety. AWD is available on the V6 only.
Quattroporte’s chassis is based around a rigid and secure steel safety cell, using steel and aluminum alloys to provide a good weight distribution. The front of the chassis has an aluminum sub-frame and a reinforced cross-strut for rigidity.
The front suspension has high-mounted, aluminum double wishbones for light and precise handling. The shock towers, upper and lower control arms, and uprights are made of forged aluminum; the springs are steel. The rear suspension uses a five-bar multi-link system with four aluminum suspension arms.
The suspension package also uses anti-roll bars and steel springs damped by the Skyhook adaptive electronic-controlled damping system.
Standard are 20-inch wheels; 19-inch and 21-inch wheels are optional. The 19- and 20-inch alloys are made with flow-forming technology that reduces the wheel’s core thickness and weight without sacrificing stiffness and strength. The 21-inch forged-alloy wheel weighs no more than the 20-inch.
The 19-inch wheel uses 245/45 front and 275/40 rear tires; it’s geared toward reduced fuel consumption and low road noise. The 20-inch wheel uses 245/40 front and 285/35 rear tires, and the 21-inch wheel uses 245/35 front and 285/30 rear tires and is focused on sports handling.
All three wheel sizes are available with Pirelli, Dunlop, or Continental tires. Winter tires can be used on the 19- and 20-inch wheels.
An electronic parking brake operates on all four wheels and is controlled with a button on the gear-level bezel. The stability control and hill-starting system can both tape this system. The front and rear brake calipers come in black with the Maserati name in white; they are also available in red, silver gray, and polished aluminum.
An aluminum steering box uses a servo-powered hydraulic power boost system.
The Maserati Stability Program (MSP) can detect skidding and reduce engine output and actuate the brakes to restore the car’s stability within milliseconds. Key systems that make up MSP include:
The front of the passenger compartment (pillars and under-door moldings) has hot-molded steel components and a magnesium dashboard strut to save weight; the rear is stiffened with high strength steel. Crash bars at the front and rear are made of extruded aluminum, and the doors, engine compartment, mudguards, and luggage compartment are aluminum.
Quattroporte has a six-airbag system. Two-stage airbags are in the front, side airbags are under the seat leather, and two head curtain airbags are in the roof next to the B pillar. A standard rear-view camera displays on the 8.4-inch screen and comes with audible sensors.
Quattroporte uses bi-xenon headlights, with LED daytime running lights and tail lights. The headlights have an automatic front-lighting system (AFS) that adjusts headlight depth for better view and low glare, and can rotate in the direction of the steering, automatically applying the brights as needed. Both headlights have high-pressure lens washer nozzles, direction indicators, LED side position lights, and side reflectors. Automatic lighting settings are city, highway, low visibility, and driving on the opposite side of the road (in applicable countries).
The city beam, used at speeds below 28 mph, sets the beam wider and shallower for turning and peripheral danger views. A rain beam starts when the windshield wipers are on and sets individual beams at different levels to minimize reflection and wider/higher outer beams. Cars in the U.S. and Canada do not have the AFS but still have automatic depth and rotation control functions.
Quattroporte has Maserati’s signature features: the front air intake’s contour, three small outlets on the fenders, and triangular C pillar with Maserati logo. The side character line defines the rear fender’s volume and creates a muscular look. The sleek cabin has a three-window treatment and frameless doors.
Quattroporte’s design has a 12% improvement in drag (Cx), down to 0.31, and a 24% reduction in lift, improving fuel consumption and high-speed stability. A flat floor with several aerodynamic features keeps proper cooling of all systems at speeds more than 186 mph.
A 7-inch TFT display includes a large speedometer and tachometer. The leather-finished steering wheel is electrically adjustable for reach and height; the pedals are also adjustable on left-hand-drive versions. Vehicle settings are controlled through buttons beside the gear shifter and via the 8.4-inch touchscreen, which is similar to the 300C’s UConnect in most ways. The car comes with heated 12-way Poltrona Frau leather front seats, dual-zone climate control, air conditioning, and cruise control.
Quattroporte also has optional WLAN technology to turn it into a Wi-Fi hotspot. A SIM card can be put into the router for Internet signals, and up to three devices can be connected simultaneously. It supports HSDPA, UMTS, EDGE, and GSM.
The polished-aluminum key uses Keyless Go. Doors and the luggage compartment can be opened by pulling on the handle or compartment button when the key is in a pocket or purse, eliminating the need to find the key to open the car.
JackRatchett did not know what the Quattroporte would look like when he penned this fairly accurate rendering; the lights and rear glass are rather different on the “real thing” but the overall image is close
An optional Bowers & Wilkins stereo has 15 speakers and HARMAN’s QuantumLogic™ surround sound processing and system integration. It uses:
The rear seats are heated, and door panels have electrical sun blinds with rear-window sun blind. The rear seats are also modular in a 40/60 pattern. A two-seat option for the rear has standard heating, ventilation, and electrical movement.
Optical fiber along the dashboard, doors, door-handle cavities, and door pockets provide extra lighting. Front and rear ceiling lights have a diffused lighting lamp and two reading lights. The foot area is illuminated, and light brightness is dimmer-controlled.
An optional rear-seat entertainment unit has two tilting 10.2-inch LCD displays with A/V-in and individual remotes.
The dual-zone automatic climate control system has 13 ventilation ports – a demister on the windshield, four on the dashboard, two between the front pillars and upper-door surround, two at the feet of front passengers, two central ports on the rear unit, and two at the feet of rear passengers. A humidity sensor governs flow from defrosting and demisting ports, and a sunlight sensor regulates air temperature and cancels the effects of sunlight and outside temperature.
An optional four-zone climate control system improves comfort for rear passengers and has a dedicated nebulizer and two additional B-pillar ports; it also has a separate temperature control unit for rear passengers.
The 2013-2015 Maserati Quattroportes are made in the Grugliasco plant in the province of Turin, Italy.
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