You will be hearing a lot from Maserati. The Fiat-owned sports/luxury brand is being transformed under enigmatic President Sergio Marchionne - already here is the all-new Ghibli sedan and in the pipeline is an all-new luxury SUV called the Levante and a new coupe and cabriolet model called the Alfieri.
And the acclaimed Quattroporte hasn’t been overlooked with a new turbo-diesel model here now and set to ruffle a few feathers in the premium sedan segment priced at $198,800. The turbo-diesel is a worthy addition to the Quattroporte range which has been the cornerstone of Maserati’s massive sales surge – up 148 per-cent last year.
That growth and Marchionne’s passion for the brand has lead to big changes on the production front with significant investments in factories and engineering as the Turin-based company lays a path towards annual production of 50,000 vehicles.
Maserati Quattroporte Turbo-Diesel Overview
The turbo-diesel Maserati Quattroporte arrives boasting virtually the same levels of specification as the S and GTS models. That’s to say it’s glorious inside and out – a genuine Italian supercar.
For Maserati, the sixth-generation Quattroporte has been a game-changer – the elegant ‘four-door coupe’ with imposing looks and sonorous powerplants has become the ‘must-have’ car for celebrities in Europe and North America. And ‘non-celebrities’ who appreciate Italian style and performance have snapped-up the Maserati Quattroporte in record numbers.
Locally, Maserati reckons the new entry-level turbo-diesel variant will account for around 10 per-cent of Quattroporte sales (the twin-turbo V6 S will deliver about 65 per-cent and the twin-turbo V8 GTS will provide the remaining 25 per-cent).
So the updated Maserati Quattroporte lineup looks like this:
Turbo-Diesel 3.0-litre 202kW V6 Turbo-Diesel $198,800
S 3.0-litre 301kW V6 $240,000
GTS 3.8-litre 390kW V8 $319,800
Maserati Quattroporte Turbo-Diesel Engine
The new V6 turbo-diesel was developed specifically for the Maserati Quattroporte by the Fiat-owned specialist VM Motori. It’s a 60-degree 24-valve 3.0-litre V6 with common rail fuel injection, Bosch Motronic engine management and a single Garrett turbocharger.
Maximum power is 202kW at 4000rpm and the massive peak torque of 600Nm is delivered between 2000-2600rpm. The redline is at 4500rpm.
Drive is to the rear wheels via a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission with five driver-select shift modes and beautifully crafted alloy steering wheel paddle shifters. Interestingly all three Maserati Quattroporte models run identical gear ratios.
The Maserati Quattroporte runs zero to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds and combined-cycle fuel consumption is rated at 6.2l/100kms.
Maserati Quattroporte Turbo-Diesel The Interior
For sheer opulence and style inside, there are very few cars which can match the Maserati Quattroporte. The clean lines and simple layout actually draw your attention to the superb craftsmanship and quality timber, leather and alloy materials.
Behind the glorious leather-wrapped steering wheel the Maserati Quattroporte delivers a perfect driving environment thanks to multiple electronic adjustments for the wheel and seats. To the left is a seven-inch TFT screen for satellite navigation, climate control and the Harman or Bowers & Wilkins audio system.
Seats are superb and the rear delivers astonishing leg-room. The rear seat split-folds 60/40 for load-carrying versatility and cargo capacity is massive at 530-litres (that’s numerous full-size golf bags to use the international standard for luxury sedans!).
And of course the luxury technology abounds including glorious interior lighting and retractable sun blinds for the three rear windows.
Maserati Quattroporte Turbo-Diesel Exterior & Styling
Since the first Maserati Quattroporte debuted back in 1963, the model has been admired even by rival designers. The current generation recalls previous models with signature features like the shapely front air-intake, three front fender air vents and the muscular C-pillars with the hallmark ‘trident’ logo.
The on-road presence is enormous thanks to that unique front-end, curvaceous wheel-arches, rising beltline and bold rear three-quarters. It’s dynamic and the pinnacle of Italian luxury styling.
Of course aerodynamics were a focus and in the latest Quattroporte Maserati engineers delivered a 24 per-cent reduction in lift and the drag Cd is down by 12 per-cent to just 0.31 – very impressive in a four-door sedan measuring 5,262mm in length and with a wheelbase of 3,171mm.
Maserati Quattroporte Turbo-Diesel On The Road
The question on our mind before we drove the Quattroporte diesel was exhaust noise. How could even the excellent VM Motori 3.0-litre V6 deliver the sort of exhaust note which Maserati buyers expect?
We shouldn’t have doubted Maserati. It’s called ‘Maserati Active Sound’ technology and when you press the ‘Sport’ button two sound actuators fitted near the tailpipes deliver an appropriate sound track – brilliant!
We covered some ground in a full day behind the wheel of the Maserati Quattroporte diesel on the windy roads north of Coffs Harbor in northern New South Wales. Enough to glean the turbo-diesel can more than hold its own in the driving dynamics department when compared to its petrol-powered siblings.
In full ‘Sport’ mode, throttle response and suspension settings sharpen noticeably but the Quattroporte is after-all a Maserati and to be honest, even in the softest and most fuel-efficient setting, ride and handling will be sharp enough even for enthusiast drivers.
Kick the V6 turbo-diesel along and response is lusty to say the least (600Nm of torque gets ones attention) and the Quattroporte hustles along as you’d expect a Maserati to. But in the twisty stuff, just like the petrol models, the Quattroporte makes light work of its 1885kgs weight with pin-sharp turn-in and mid-turn balance which is astonishing.
And in rapid changes of direction, the Maserati Quattroporte turbo-diesel quickly takes a ‘set’ in a way some smaller, lighter cars can only dream of. All the while it delivers a level of refinement you expect from a Maserati.
Maserati Quattroporte Turbo-Diesel Issues
When changing gears manually, actuation of the paddle-shifters is a tad slow.
Maserati Quattroporte Turbo-Diesel Verdict
We’re massive fans of the Maserati Quattroporte – always have been. Here in one car is all that’s great about high performance Italian cars – the style, the elegance, the driving dynamics and yes a nod to the fabled history of this great marque.
The turbo-diesel model with its sub-$200K sticker may open the Maserati door to a legion of new buyers but in no way does it blunt the Quattroporte’s reputation. Maserati has been smart in maintaining the standard equipment in the turbo-diesel and it drives just as a Maserati should.
But now you have a Maserati which can probably get you from home to your holiday house and back again without re-fuelling (range is about 1,000kms).
Maserati Quattroporte Turbo-Diesel The Competition
Obviously it’s the Porsche Panamera. The turbo-diesel Panamera is a smidge less than the Maserati Quattroporte diesel at $196,700 but it’s also a bit short under the bonnet with 184kW/550Nm to 202kW/600Nm for the Maserati. And the Maserati is quicker zero to 100km/h at 6.4 seconds (6.8 seconds for the Porsche). For rear seat room there appears to be little to separate them.
Audi A8 is an astonishingly good car and the entry-level V6 turbo-diesel (184kW/550Nm) is sharply priced at $188,000. Not quite in the head-turning league as the Quattroporte, the latest A8 is Audi’s best.
You’ll need $205,100 for the BMW 730d (190kW/560Nm). It’s a beautiful car inside and out, drives like you’d expect a BMW to, but – like just about everything else – looks a tad plain when parked alongside a Maserati Quattroporte.
Mercedes-Benz wins the engine race with the 190kW/620Nm S350 ($215,000 for the regular model or $225,500 for the long-wheelbase). And with fuel consumption of 6.0l/100kms you win those bragging rights too.