The Quattroporte rules the luxury sport sedan class

The luxury product magazine Robb Report noted the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT stood apart as the most beautiful and engaging, and the most fun to drive among the cars in its sport sedan category. To the Los Angeles Times, it’s the most beautiful, best-handling super-sedan on the planet. Two descriptions hard to find fault with while sliding on to the H-1 freeway from Waialae Avenue in Kahala at a smooth, brisk clip.

Driving the Quattroporte is simply a pleasure. The combination of power, crisp handling, firm braking and a comfortable, well-adorned interior makes the Quattroporte a serious challenger in the ultra-competitive luxury sport sedan market.

Soft Italian hand-stitched leather interior and wooden accents highlight the inviting, well-laid-out cockpit. Seats front and rear are fully adjustable, and the telescoping, tilt steering wheel ensures a proper fit while driving. Control surfaces are also well within reach.

While Maserati has made sure to wrap the driver and passengers in luxury, it hasn’t forgotten about that part of the package which includes this machine in a unique class of cars.

The Ferrari-built 4.2-liter all-aluminum V-8 engine puts out 400 horsepower at 7,000 rpm while turning 333 foot pounds of torque – enough power to propel this well-appointed vehicle to 62 mph from a dead stop in 5.6 seconds, with a top speed of 171 mph. By setting the engine back away from the front axle, handling is greatly improved as more weight is pushed to the rear of the vehicle.

Power from the four overhead camshaft engine is sent through either a six-speed automatic or DuoSelect manual transmission. The automatic provides smooth transition through the gears and can be shifted manually, while the DuoSelect, with its paddle style F-1 racing shifters, is for the driver who wants a more active driving experience. Drivers who’ve ever had problems with stiff clutch pedals (the Quattroporte doesn’t have one) and hard-to-find gear patterns will appreciate the paddle’s ease to use, especially in heavy traffic.

Though powered by the same engine, DuoSelect-equipped vehicles are more aggressive, with quicker response up through the gears while still maintaining the automatic’s drivability. Downshifting is smooth and maintains plenty of torque for passing or getting into traffic. Driven in the Sports mode, the stiffened suspension provides tighter control on turns and is transmitted through the hands. The Sports mode is available with the automatic and shortens the shift delay, providing better gear performance.

Driving around quickly or in comfort means nothing if you can’t do it safely, and the Quattroporte, Quattroporte Executive GT or the Quattroporte Sport GT haven’t neglected that. Each car features six airbags, a rigid steel body construction and the Maserati Stability Program that coordinates braking functions among the anti-lock brakes, Electronic Brake Force Distribution and the ASR traction control system. A sure-to-be-popular added feature is the brake assist that prevents the car from rolling downhill on an inclined stop. They’ve even taken care of the sound for you with a nine-speaker Bose sound system with a five-disc CD changer which has been specifically designed for the cabin.

The Quattroporte is a seriously engineered vehicle and a whole lot of fun – exactly what a luxury sports sedan should be.