Maserati turns 50 this year, and the celebration kicks off with a new version of the company’s Quattroporte luxury sedan. The Quattroporte (Italian for “four-door”) now features all-wheel drive and a V6 engine, but it retains its signature Italian style.
The redesigned exterior looks very similar to the patent images that were leaked last July, so the result is handsome but not too surprising. The 2014 Quattroporte blends styling elements from the old model with elements of newer Maseratis like the GranTurismo coupe and impending Kubang SUV.
The new styling also conceals more girth. The wheelbase is over four inches longer than the outgoing car’s, and overall length is up by about eight inches. Remarkably, the bigger 2014 model is still about 200 pounds lighter than the 2013.
The result is still a knockout compared to sober German sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG, or the absolutely hideous Porsche Panamera.
A second blow is delivered by what’s under the hood. A new 3.8-liter V8 with twin turbochargers and direct injection replaces the old 4.7-liter, naturally aspirated unit. Despite being almost one liter smaller, the new engine produces 523 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The 2013 Quattrporte GTS only had 444 hp and 376 lb-ft.
Maserati says the V8 Quattroporte is the fastest four-door car it has ever made. It will do 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 kph) in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 191 mph.
Adding some shock to that awe is the new base engine, a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged and direct-injected V6. This might induce flashbacks of the 1980s Biturbo, but Maserati fans have nothing to worry about this time. The new V6 produces 404 hp and 406 lb-ft. It can do 0 to 62 mph in 5.1 seconds, and reach a top speed of 177 mph.
The V6 will also be offered with Maserati’s first all-wheel drive system. The optional all-wheel drive system was co-developed by Canada’s Magna International. Called Q4, it will have a 50/50 front/rear torque split, which is unusual since most all-wheel drive cars favor the front or rear wheels.
The 2014 model is actually the sixth generation of Quattroporte. The first debuted in 1963, and the four-door Maseratis have been made nearly continuously ever since. With styling and performance befitting a sports car, the 2014 Quattroporte once again redefines what a big sedan can be.