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Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video

Published:10 July 2008

Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video
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Maserati's been busy; only a few months after it launched the Granturismo S, it’s now given us a revised and facelifted Quattroporte. Always one of the best-looking four-door cars around, sensibly Maserati has kept the visual tweaks to a minimum. 

So what is new on the 'new' Maserati Quattroporte?

They've followed the facelift rulebook to the letter, changing the front and rear lights with LED festooned units, reshaping the front and rear bumpers and rear-view mirrors, and adding some sideskirts. Inside it’s little different except a new infotainment sat-nav system (and the choice of a new BOSE option), neater passenger airbag integration and some new fonts on the instruments and cheap-looking clock on the dash. Don't blink now...

Any other reason why I should trade in my current Quattroporte?

The grille on this car is chrome and that’s significant. It means that under the long bonnet resides the same bored-out, red crackle paint cam-cover 4.7-litre V8 engine that powers the Granturismo S. The 4.2-litre unit will remain available on the new Quattroporte, but this larger engined S model is certain to take the majority of the sales in the UK.

Click 'Next' to read more of CAR's first drive review of the revised 2009 Maserati Quattroporte

Click here to view the Maserati Quattroporte S video

So does it sound as good as the GranTurismo S?

Sure, it sounds good, but it’s not the rousing, blaring, near anti-social screamer that signifies its Granturismo S sibling. After all, the Quattroporte S is a car you might want to be a bit more discreet in. The key appeal of the new 4.7-litre V8 is the way it addresses the major criticism of the 4.2-litre unit. The larger V8 pulls with more intent from lower revs, its fatter, more linear torque curve making for easier and scintillatingly speedy progress. Peak power and toque still remain relatively high with 430bhp at 7000rpm and 361lb ft at 4750rpm, but it’s a far more flexible unit. Trust us.

So what’ll it do?

The benchmark 62mph arrives in 5.4sec, some 0.2sec faster than the 4.2. It’ll top out at 174mph, the sixth ratio on the smooth-shifting ZF paddle-shift enabled automatic geared for economy and refinement.

Updated Skyhook electronically controlled suspension is standard on the S and as an option on the 4.2. New damper settings, springs and valves result in a smoother-riding car, even on Sport mode. All Maserati’s good work here will undoubtedly be wasted when UK buyers all select the 20-inch wheel option and drive it on our hideously surfaced roads...

Anything else impress on the facelifted Quattroporte?

Open the bonnet and you’ve got to look far to see those fancy red cam covers. The engine sits well behind the front axle to give the Quattroporte S 49 percent front, 51 percent rear weight distribution. That means it feels tremendously balanced through long sweeping corners and neat and agile in the tighter turns.

If you’re skilful, brave or just plain silly, you can have the rear waggling as much or as little as you like, too. The steering is very precise, a touch light at speed and a little nervous for the first few millimetres of movement, but get through that and Quattroporte S’s nose goes exactly where you want it to. Impressive for such a big car.

Click 'Next' for CAR's first drive review verdict on the new Quattroporte

Click here to view the Maserati Quattroporte S video

Verdict

The Maserati Quattroporte S is much improved, but it’s still not perfect. There are still hints of Maserati’s low-volume status, niggling little imperfections with the trim, some wind noise and a too-high driving position perched upon unsupportive seats.

These glitches are however significantly less obvious though than on the ‘old’ car. The Quattroporte remains an extremely compelling choice if you’re after a sports saloon that doesn’t hail from the Fatherland thanks to the changes. Oh, and if somehow you hadn’t noticed, it’s still absolutely beautiful…

Specs

Price when new: £85,000
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 4691cc V8, 430bhp @ 7000rpm, 361lb ft @ 4750rpm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 5.4sec 0-60mph, 174mph, 18.0mpg, 365g/km C02
Weight / material: 1990kg/steel
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 5097/1895/1438

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  • Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video
  • Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video
  • Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video
  • Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video
  • Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video
  • Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video
  • Maserati Quattroporte S (2009) CAR review and video
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