NEPTUNE’S CHARIOT. DA MAN takes the Maserati Quattroporte S for a spin and discover a heady mix of luxury and power unlike anything we’ve encountered before
Let’s get one thing clear: the Maserati Quattroporte S definitely sits in a class of its own. Perhaps the best way to classify this car is as a sport saloon. It fulfills all the requirements for a saloon, and its performance puts the Quattroporte S squarely in the sporty category along with many of its more exotic cousins from the supercar class. But wouldn’t “luxury saloon” be more appropriate in this case? Well, let’s just say that when it comes to cars bearing the iconic trident logo on its grill, the “luxury” part is basically a given.
ROAR OF THE FOUR DOORS
Driving the Quattroporte S basically feels like driving a four-door supercar (the word quattroporte literally means four doors in Italian). Its overall look and stately design belie a very aggressive profile with power to spare. Again, this sits perfectly in line with its designation as a sport saloon: It has all the trappings of a luxury saloon, but it definitely handles like a full-fledged sports car.
New drivers might need a while to get used to the dimensions of a car. Much like its supercar brethren, the Quattroporte family is rather expansive, with a noticeable widening to the rear. It becomes especially challenging when trying to navigate Jakarta’s notorious backroads during the rush hours (as we had the misfortune of experiencing during our test drive). But other than that minor annoyance, driving the Quattroporte S is an absolute breeze.
For the better part of our journey inside the city, we relied on the Quattroporte S’ I.C.E. mode, which stands for Increased Control and Efficiency. This automatic transmission mode neatly held the immense power of the car’s V6
engine as we made our way through traffic to the toll roads. There we could finally try out the car’s Sport mode.
As we tapped the Sport button and stepped on the accelerator, the car sprang to life. We knew what to expect, but it was still quite a surprise to see and feel the large car lunge forward like an exotic racer meant for the tracks in Maranello, as the twin turbochargers kicked in. There was almost no noticeable turbo-lag, and the Quattroporte accelerated smoothly.
And then you hear the sound—the iconic throaty rumble that has become Maserati’s calling card. The cabin did a fine job muffling exterior sounds, yet the growl of the engine was clearly audible inside. We could only imagine what it sounded from the outside.
Of course, the best combination of acceleration and sound comes when you switch to manual transmission and use the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Still, the Quattroporte S’ manual transmission tackles the job just as well.
Once again, the Maserati Quattroporte S is spelled “sports saloon” with a silent “luxury.” The latter manifests itself in the exterior through a smooth silhouette and clean lines; although Maserati didn’t really add any distinguishing visual characteristics, opting instead for subtle elegance punctuated by small accents such as the brand’s signature grille and trident logo.
The cabin interior, however, is a whole different story. Up front you have electrically-adjustable captain seats wrapped in Poltrona Frau leather, an 8.4-inch screen for the intuitive Maserati Touch Control, and a fully adjustable steering column. The car also features a reverse camera along with an optional 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system.
The rear seating area comes in two varieties, either two individual seats or the more common three-seat configuration. Unsurprisingly, the former is much more popular as it offers a truly luxurious, limousine-like riding experience. Optional finishing touches include touch-screen panels on the back of both front seats for a more comprehensive entertainment package.
WEEKDAYS AND WEEKENDS
If an exotic sports car is the quintessential “rich kid toy” and a luxury saloon the standard status symbol, then the Quattroporte S (and Maserati cars in general) speaks of a more mature individual—one who understands real quality and standing. This is a car that can elegantly whisk you to work and one that can easily keep up with anything that you might encounter on the freeways. Or perhaps our friends at Maserati Indonesia put it best: You ride the Quattroporte S in the back on weekdays and in the driver’s seat on weekends.