Get to know Aurora our Maserati Quattroporte
Italy is renowned throughout the world for certain qualities: beauty, engineering talent, sophisticated luxury, its long tradition in art and music, a love of life. A Robert Capucci suit, so beautifully cut it almost seems sculpted, has the exact same extraordinary impact as the Macchi flying boat that dominated the Schneider Cup. The astonishingly skilled craftsmanship that went into the legendary Stradivarius violins is no different from the talent employed by the carpenters who built the Riva Aquaramas. The leather used for ladies' shoes created by Ferragamo in the 50's has the same magical quality as the leather Poltrona Frau uses for the classic Vanity Fair.
Maserati's long history in the exclusive luxury executive saloon sector is part of that great culture too. The astonishingly creative technology honed by decades of success on the track seamlessly married with sophisticated styling and materials as well as functional yet alluring forms and solutions. In short, the Maserati Quattroporte will write a whole new and entirely Italian chapter in the history of unique cars. Inspired by the building of the new motorways, Maserati unveiled the first ever Quattroporte in 1963. This unique new car combined all the luxury of a sophisticated, exclusive saloon with the performance of a clearly sports inspired chassis and an engine borrowed from the worlds most powerful barchetta, the 450 S.
The majestic new Pininfarina-designed Quattroporte now takes that same concept and gives it a contemporary twist to suit the needs of today's drivers. The big saloon is the perfect continuation of the superb Maserati flagship tradition that ranged from the unveiling of the first Frua-bodied Quattroporte to the 1976 Giugiaro one, the car of choice of the Italian President Sandro Pertini. The Quattroportes were spacious comfortable limousines that effortlessly and safely ate up the miles on long journeys whilst still delivering the blistering performance of a thoroughbred racer.
The Quattroporte mk V makes it debut into a very different world yet is every bit as audacious and exclusive as its predecessors in terms of its concepts. This completely innovative new arrival brings an exciting breath of fresh air to the often rather stuffy top-of-the-range segment in which there isn't normally much to choose between styling and solutions offered by the competing models. That breath of fresh air comes from the fact that the curvaceous yet aggressive-looking big five-metre long Quattroporte hails the rebirth of the "Italian flagship car", the ultimate embodiment of qualities for which Italy is renowned throughout the world: an appreciation of beauty and good living, elegance, sophisticated engineering, genuinely sporty temperament, and alluring exclusivity.
The purity of the technical solutions adopted for the Quattroporte, the lack of any fussy details or complications, the sensuality of a line created by the world's most celebrated stylist, and a sophisticated bespoke leather and wood interior personalised to suit each individual owner, all combine ti make the new Quattroporte absolutely irresistible. In its role as a limousine the Quattroporte offers impressive size and the kind of roomy cabin that offers equal comfort to both front and rear passengers, plus, of course, a luxurious, beautifully finished interior. The dynamism and seductiveness that shine out of an absolutely cutting-edge design, however, also make it the kind of car you'll want to drive for yourself day after day.
While the Quattroporte's architectural layout-front engine, rear wheel drive - is classic nig saloon fare, its weight distribution system is absolutely unique, thanks to the fact that the engine has been brought back inside the front axle and the gearbox has been rear-mounted in unit with the differential. This is the first time that this Transaxle system, normally reserved for high performance sports models, has been used in a flagship car. The Quattroporte also boasts electro-hydraulic transmission that allows the driver to start off in automatic and the switch to a sportier, more hands-on yet still extraordinarily safe driving experience at the touch of the paddles behind the steering wheel.
A host of other features also turn this new Maserati into a truly exclusive car: a highly sophisticated, light, compact yet thrilling responsive 4.2 litre 90 degree V8 that punches out 400 bhp; the skyhook automatic damping system; the renowned MSP (Maserati Stability program); electronically controlled power steering; and a powerful braking system. The intelligent application of the latest automotive technologies, many of which Maserati has benefited from since its acquisition by Ferrari, has also given the Quattroporte the kind of performance unique in its class: a top speed of 275km/h and 0 to 100 km/h in a dizzying 5.2 seconds. This is brilliant, fun, stress-free driving at its best.
The big roomy saloon boasts all of the fiery temperament of sporty GT that you'll want to experience at first hand. Or in more relaxing moments, perhaps, you'll want to let a professional take the wheel as you relax into your comfortable electronically-controlled seat and just enjoy the elegantly sumptuous interior as well as the power of the engine. By its very nature the Quattroporte is both an exciting status symbol and the magical new symbol of the most exclusive kind of Italian styling, manufacturing and lifestyle.
Every last detail of the Quattroporte embodies the best of Italy and all things Italian. Pininfarina's confident creativity has endowed its muscular forms and elegant interior with a sense of the marque's most famous styling cues: the long bonnet with its big prominent radiator grill and attractive headlights, the luxury roof-lining, the classic Maserati oval with the legendary Trident crossed by an arrow on the C-posts (another motif from the Frua Quattroporte), the twin exhausts, and the elegant chrome that frames both the radiator grille and the windows. A high coach-line also gives an instant impression of strength and solidity. The cabin too offers particularly good legroom and is awash with deluxe, lovingly handcrafted materials.
Wood and leather are used to harmonious effect and clients can choose, for instance, between rosewood, mahogany and walnut root to create the kind of cabin environment they could only dream of with other cars. The solid wood employed is crafted using traditional instruments. This wood exudes the same perfume as the glorious Stradivarius violins, also a source of great pride to Italy. But it isn't used merely as an inlay or a finishing flourish: the Quattroporte's dashboard is veritable cascade of genuine wood into which the controls have been carefully set.
The result is an atmosphere of luxurious good taste that is further highlighted by the legendary Maserati personalisation programme. In fact, clients have such a freehand in choosing the various materials for their car that the Quattroporte can only be described as the ultimate expression of Italian concept of bespoke automotive tailoring. There is a choice of fifteen different exterior paintwork colours and a record selection of 10 different shades of leather. And because clients get to choose heir own cabin components (seats and door panels, steering wheel, dashboard, woods, stitching, roof lining, and mats), they really can "build" their "own" Quattroporte. In fact, the number of different combinations available runs into millions.
The Quattroporte is built in the Maserati factory on Viale Ciro Menotti in Modena. This historic redbrick complex has been completely transformed over the last few years and is now equipped with the cutting edge production technologies. In fact, we would go as far as to say that the Maserati factory is the most advanced small series production facility for luxury cars in the world. A brand-new production line devoted entirely to the Quattroporte has been built alongside the existing Coupe and Spyder ones. It combines avant-garde electronic engineering control systems with the traditional experience of a skilled workforce schooled in the culture of Italian craftsmanship.
Before it can be delivered to its proud new owner, every single Trident car is individually road-tested by expert test drivers. The achievement of overall excellence is a point of honour for Maserati which, with the new Quattroporte, is taking on one of the most difficult and highly competitive sectors of the world market. The courageous decision to embark on this new challenge was inspired by the Trident marque's faith in irresistible power of Italian charm, the seductiveness of Italian beauty combined with flawless engineering. And it is these qualities that continue to make the difference between a choice made with passion and commitment, and a coldly functional one.
SOFT POWERFUL FORMS
The Quattroporte's styling is unmistakably Italian: elegant yet aggressive and devoid of even the slightest hint of fussiness. Its soft forms are broken here and there by crease lines that create a sense of tension. The Quattroporte's lines flow clean and fluid, whiles its high waist-line gives it a sense of solidity and robustness. Its body is as agile and well-muscled as an athlete's, its beautifully balanced proportions lending it an air of confident dynamism. This is a big, refined car yet sporty too.
The Quattroporte was designed over a long wheelbase with a cab-back stance which highlights the length of the bonnet (in aluminium, just like the boot). These features combined with the imposing grille and C-post, the latter affording a certain amount of privacy to the occupants as befits a luxury limousine, are all part of the Trident tradition. Three styling cues mark the Quattroporte out as a real Maserati at first glance and only serve to accentuate its authoritative personality. The legendary Trident badge takes pride of place on the nose, framed by the chrome-framed grille. Three air inlets, almost camouflaged by their dark colour, lighten the look of the lower part of the front bumper, while the headlights are set slightly back from the grille and delineate the top of the car's nose. The lights are also the starting point for a crest on the wing that runs the whole of the flank as far as the rear light cluster.
The side profile is dynamic thanks to the very short front overhang and the low front wing line, while the rear wheels are set in muscular volume beneath the triangular C-post that frames the famous Maserati trident and arrow symbol, as featured on the Quattroporte Frua or the Mistral. This is big C-post is the only solid element in a very light cabin in stark contrast with the car's body.
The clean, aerodynamic line of the sides, characterised by three small rectangular air vents (a clear reference to those of the A6 1500 Berlinetta Speciale), is accentuated by the ample greenhouse are which, in turn, is characterised by the absence of the usual quarterlight on the front doors, a solution normally associated with GT cars.
The two elegant rear light clusters are another sophisticated flourish. The chrome-framed reflector, is set into an oval that clearly mimics the shape of the classic Maserati logo. Both the exhausts peeping out from under the rear bumper are also oval in shape. And of course, the inimitable Pininfarina signature adds an extra flourish on the sides too.
THE PLEASURE OF REFINED, SPACIOUS YET FUNCTIONAL SURROUNDINGS
The Quattroporte also comes with electronically adjustable front seats with 14 different settings as standard. In fact, the driver's seat also has three memory settings and a special feature that slides the seat back and raises the steering column to make getting in and out of the car even more comfortable. The electric rear seats are independently adjustable for reach (10cm) and tilt. The passenger occupying the rear passenger-side can also move the front passenger seat up to 22cm forward at the touch of a button on the central arm rest.
The Quattroporte's designers put a huge amount of thought and effort into soundproofing the car and damping any vibration. In fact, courtesy of its laminated glass, the highly efficient, specially calibrated Skyhook suspension and the bodywork's incredible rigidity, the Quattroporte offers all of the comfort of a genuine limousine. In addition to this, however, there's also a typically Maserati touch of luxury in the refrigerated compartment nestling in the front armrest and electric sun shade for the rear window. Needless to say, these two standard features can be joined by a host of other personalisation options. The sportier side of the Quattroporte's dual personality comes out in the original design of the dash and the simple, ergonomically optimised layout of the instruments which are clustered under a cowling just over the steering wheel, while the major commands are very easy to see and use. The drive control buttons (Manual or Low Grip, Sport, Maserati Stability Program Deactivator) are in separate, handy, driver-dedicated area. At the centre of the console there are two "islands": the upper one is for the automatic separate front and rear climate control and has its own display. Each control has been designed for a single function.
LUXURY WOODS AND NATURAL LEATHER
Three different woods are available for use in the Quattroporte: rosewood, mahogany and briarwood, with rosewood offering the richest, cleanest finish. The grain- vertical on the central console, horizontal on the door panels- is again reminiscent of the kind of splendid craftsmanship normally found aboard luxury boats. The mahogany has a special vein and the deliberately very different directions of the grain on the two sides of the cabin are reminiscent of the very best of antique woodworking. Last but not least, the classic walnut root is a symbol of tradition. A further alternative, aimed at drivers who like a modern flourish and allure of technology, is the titanium-style finish available for some of the interior details.
The quality of the Poltrana Frau leather upholstery offered as standard for the Quattroporte is another expression of Italian craftsmanship at its best thanks to the richness of the handpicked leather used and the traditional techniques used in its working. The beautiful, kid-glove softness of the specially treated leather used to trim the Quattroporte is matched only by its durability and practicality. On request, the Quattroporte can also be upholstered and trimmed using a special Poltrana Frau leather which has been tanned using an exclusive method and so is even softer. Even the roomy, rectangular-litre boot id elegantly finished and is large enough to stow five large Quattroporte bags made from the same leather as the seat upholstery, if necessary.
CLEAN AIR, ONBOARD COMPUTER, TV AND CONCERT HALL QUALITY MUSIC
The Multi Media System, developed by Bosch-Blaukunkt, includes the onboard computer functions, a satellite navigation system, a Bose Sound System, and a single CD player. These functions can be controlled using the buttons in the centre of the dash and read on the 6.5" screen. On request, clients can also add a GSM phone, CD hanger (located under the steering column in the cabin), a front TV module and the Onboard CALL Telematic Service as well as a Rear Entertainment System which offers a central screen, TV tuner, DVD player, auxiliary input for a video game console or other external equipment (video camera, or example), and a choice of listening through headphones or the main audio system.
Quattroporte drivers can also control the Bose Sound System, the Multi Media System and the GSM phone using controls laid out on the sporty three-spoke steering wheel (another unique feature in the executive saloon niche), which are perfect ergonomically as they are stylistically. The Bose Sound System takes the whole "bespoke" concept around which the Quattroporte was designed to new heights: the Hi-End Bose audio system was designed and manufactured to adapt to the acoustics of the car and become an integral part of those acoustics. This is absolutely essential to creating the kind of superior audio experience that offers concert hall innovative features include neodymium speakers. The compact size of the components also means that the system can offer excellent acoustic performance without any of the clutter or weight of a traditional onboard unit. The digital Bose Audio System also delivers a more faithful sound reproduction than most analogue music systems and also allows the use of specialist Bose technologies such as Autopilot and active electronic equalisers.
BESPOKE STYLING AT ITS BEST
There are also "Comfort" packages for the front seats (heating, ventilation, massage, an intelligent system that automatically adapts the seat padding to the occupant's movements) and for the rear also (heating, ventilation and massage).
Other features aimed at further enhancing the onboard experience include a front TV tuner, Rear Seat Entertainment (including central screen in rear, DVD player and TV tuner), CD changer, GSM telephone (where standard is available), and an electric sunroof. "Sport" (with 19" wheels) and "Executive" packages mean that you can bring even more specific kind of flourish to your Quattroporte too.
LUXURY WOODS AND NATURAL LEATHER
The Quattroporte's architecture is typical of a luxury flagship model: three box design, four doors, longitudinal front engine and rear wheel drive, and a long 3064mm wheelbase for superlative comfort. But that's where the new car's similarity to any other ends. Firstly, the Quattroporte's 47% front- 53% rear weight distribution is an extraordinary result in the traditional executive saloon segment. This set-up maximises traction and thrust during acceleration, so that the car remains exceptionally stable and well balanced. This set-up is also incredibly dynamic for a saloon as the general rule in this niche is to place most weight on the front rather than the rear axle.
This is achieved courtesy of two highly specific technical solutions: the setting of the engine further back in the chassis behind the front axle, and the adoption of the Transaxle system which sees the gearbox rear-mounted in unit with the differential. The latter architecture is normally reserved for performance sports cars and this is the first time it has been applied to a luxury saloon.
The chassis also makes a significant contribution to the Quattroporte's superb drivability, safety and comfort as it offers front and back double wishbones with anti-dive and anti-squat geometry which prevent the front diving under braking and the rear squatting under acceleration. The bodywork's excellent torsional (3200 kg/mm) rigidity translates into even better dynamic handling, more precise suspension and a noticeable reduction in vibration too.
EIGHT CYLINDERS OF THOROUGHBRED TEMPERAMENT
This sports-derived solution lowers the centre of gravity of the car for improved stability and balance even at high speeds. The 90 degree V8 engine's crankcase and cylinder heads are made from heat-treated aluminium alloy containing a percentage of silicon, while the balanced crankshaft is in tempered steel and runs on five main bearings. Chain-driven twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank command four valves per cylinder with hydraulic tappets. The intake cams features continuously variable phase timing, and valve actuation takes less than 0.15 seconds too. They also have a new profile which was designed expressly for the Quattroporte. The integrated ignition and injection systems are by Bosch and allow the detection of operating malfunctions within the engine control system, to help ensure compliance with emissions limits.
There is also an electronic drive-by-wire accelerator, while the engine control unit (ECU) interfaces with the other systems courtesy of the CAN (Controlled Area Network) to optimise engine control. In addition to this, the Maserati V8 has a very specific power delivery curve, the result of a much tuning and tweaking by the engineers, which makes for top class ride comfort and smooth driving. Its torque curve is fluid and regular, while the engine revs increase gradually and consistently, so there's plenty of power and consistent delivery at any speed. Combined with the automatic MDS (Maserati DuoSelect) transmission, it offers maximum pleasure in day-to-day driving as well as in more press-on situations, with performance parameters that simply cannot be beaten in the luxury saloon segment.
However, even in automatic mode the system still retains the advantages of an electro-hydraulic gearbox over one with a torque converter: speed, consistent uphill acceleration, perfect functioning every time from cold starts and no need for the driver's foot to be on the brake in traffic jams. This alone would be more than enough to meet the demands of a luxury sporty saloon. However, thanks to the paddles mounted behind the steering wheel on the steering column itself, the driver can intervene to override the automatic changes.
The "M/A Shift" button on the central console also allows drivers to shift to another mode even when the car is moving and to use the steering wheel paddles (right to go up the gears and left to go down). The new Maserati transmission also includes the "hill holder".
A very useful tool for hill starts, it keeps the Quattroporte brake for a couple of seconds to give the driver time to move his foot from the brake to the accelerator without rolling backwards. In order to offer the driver the opportunity to choose the most suitable gear changing mode for the driving conditions and his own driving style, there are two other modes too: Low Grip (for slippery surfaces) and Sport (for faster gear changing and higher rpms). To make parking easier there is also a switch on the central tunnel that selects either reverse or forward gear (Drive in automatic mode of first gear in manual) without any need to touch the paddles. The Quattroporte also has a small twin-plate clutch, a feature unique in the luxury saloon sector.
DYNAMIC GT DRIVING AT THE TOUCH OF A BUTTON
The Skyhook system works in tandem with highly developed suspension architecture with front and rear double wishbones with arms and hubs in forged aluminium. Pininfarina-designed 18" (19" to order) wheels complete the picture. The Maserati Stability Program offers drivers extra support in difficult situations to. Developed by Maserati, it interfaces with ABS, EBD and ASR functions and acts on the brakes and engine to guarantee the driver stays in control of the car even at critical moments. A series of sensors pick up any anomaly in the car's ideal dynamic behaviour. Just like Skyhook, the MSP operates using two different logics which the driver can choose by touching the Sport button on the central console which allows it to act simultaneously on the suspension calibration, stability control and shift speed.
The Quattroporte's steering stays direct and precise yet light and responsive even in sportier driving conditions. Electronic control means that the power steering works at the speed the car is moving thus offering optimal sensitivity at high speeds and light comfortable manoeuvring. It also has a 12.3-metre turning circle.
The Quattroporte's braking system is exceptionally powerful and effective too. Manufacturing by Brembo, it consists of four vented disc brakes (front 330mm, rear 316 mm) with four-pot callipers on the front and two-pots callipers o the rear, plus a power brake. The system also has an ABS anti-lock system and electronic braking effort distribution (EBD) which spread the braking force more evenly between the rear and fore carriage. Both, by the way, are integrated with the MSP stability control system. When the brakes are hit at 100 km/h, the Quattroporte decelerates at 10.2m/s and comes to a complete stop in 36.9m.
MAXIMUM DRIVER AND PASSENGER PROTECTION
Together with the car's basic structure, specifically designed to turn the cabin into a protective cell, and the soft, rounded forms of the interior, the Quattroporte's safety belt-air system is an example of modern passive safety at its best. The airbag system is activated by sensors situated in the front and on the sides of the car and bags, both two-stage, inflate is directly proportional to the severity of the impact.
The Quattroporte also boasts side-bags in the front seats plus rail curtains, while the front and rear side seats belts have pretensioners and load limiters. The standard safety features also include laminated glass which is much stronger than traditional glass.
Sticking with the subject of safety for a moment, we should also mention that the Quattroporte has twin xenon headlights (full and dipped) that offer a beam that is far superior to a traditional halogen lights (maximum visibility, greater durability and lower energy consumption); cruise control; light and rain sensors; a light-sensitive rear view mirror
EIGHT CYLINDERS OF THOROUGHBRED TEMPERAMENT
MAXIMUM DRIVER AND PASSENGER SAFETY
The Quattroporte is built in Modena in the world's most advanced small series production facility. The traditional redbrick Viale Ciro Mentotti factory still retains all of traditional Maserati charm, yet its layout, technologies and environmental production systems have all been radically upgraded. The Ferrari Maserati Group has invested heavily in Maserati to guarantee that it would be able to deliver the highest quality and production standards in the world. The Trident's production lines have been completely overhauled as have the quality control and road-test area. In fact, a brand-new production line has been added to the existing ones on which the Coupe and Spyder are built. The dedicated Quattroporte production line is divided into two areas: one for engineering and electronic components and the other for interiors and finishes. Specially trained teams work at assembly stations to which the various components arrive (the Maserati V8 is actually built in Ferrari in Maranello and then delivered to the Modena factory, for instance), and at quality control positions where every element of the car is checked to ensure it meets certain strict standards.
The car is approved at various intermediate stages and the workers check that the previous operations have been completed to perfection before moving onto the next stage. This approach is part of the Maserati production philosophy and inspires incredible concentration in its employees. The Quattroportes then move on to the quality control and road-test in which the engine, suspensions, set-up and water seal of the cars are checked electronically. Sophisticated rolling-roads measure the electronic parameters of the engine and the efficiency of the ABS system, in particular.
These tests mesh with the road test which is still considering absolutely vital at Maserati. In fact, a car's production and testing cycle is completed only it had undergone a tough road test of about 100km plus a further final control in the finishing department. At that point, the vehicle is ready for delivery to Maserati's international network of importers and dealers which covers 47 countries world-wide, the Trident's most important markets being the United States, Germany, Britain and Italy.
Displacement: 4244 cc
DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT
Get to know Aurora our Maserati QuattroporteWritten by Maserati Memories
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