Just like you, we're big fans of surprises and it seems that the people over at Maserati have a pretty big one for us. The Italians are tired of just playing it elegant under the spotlights, now they actually want to sell cars. Maserati's got an industrial revolution underway and it's all kicked off with the new Quattroporte.
The sixth generation of the flagship saloon is expected to lead a $1.6 billion offensive that should see Maserati multiply its annual sales eight or nine times. The new Quattroporte is the start of it. Together with the smaller Ghibli and the upcoming Levante SUV
, this is desired to push Maserati’s annual sales to 50,000 units by 2015.
They're building the Quattroporte at a new plant, a former Bertone facility in Turin and the four-door saloon promises to be a pretty different animal than what we've seen in the past.
The first look through the industrial glasses may reveal worrying thoughts though. The Fiat Group's drive for sales may mean that the Quattroporte's support is moved away from its Ferrari aroma to the newer side of the Group, Chrysler.
Nonetheless, the Italians are quick to point out that both the all-new twin-turbo V6 and V8 engines of the Quattroporte are built by Ferrari. The Prancing Horse itself is preparing a return to forced induction, so this all seems legit.
Of course, there's nothing like inviting a Quattroporte to a test drive in order to investigate. We wanted to know if the aforementioned goal would make the Quattroporte a more viable proposition or turn into something rather mainstream.
The aluminum key fob
of our V8-powered Quattroporte GTS feels heavy, solid in our hands - this car has a firm handshake. As we approached the vehicle, the Quattroporte's trademark large cabin dome and elegantly long hood were definitely there. Add that compact rear end and you end up with a silhouette that tops what you see in the press photos.
Nevertheless, some of the flamboyance that made the old Maserati Quattroporte is gone. This isn't an accident. In the troubled economical times, certain customers were avoiding the exotic look because this was bringing up their status too much.