Vital Stats

Engine:
3.0L Bi-Turbo V6
Power:
404 HP / 407 LB-FT
Transmission:
8-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
4.8 Seconds (est.)
Drivetrain:
All-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
4,214 LBS
Seating:
2+3
MPG:
17 City / 26 HWY
Base Price:
$108,000 (est.)
The First Maserati To Run Full-Time On All Fours



About six months ago we tested the all-new 2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS and its 523-horsepower 3.8-liter bi-turbo V8 engine, the latter being built in Maranello, Italy, by Ferrari. There were comments on both sides, mostly positive though, and we came away impressed by the sixth-generation Maserati sedan. This despite the fact that both we and you couldn't seem to get past the questionable aesthetics of the 20-inch Crono alloy wheels slapped on all of the test cars. Awkward looking they are, or is "distinctive" the word we're seeking?

For both the crucial United States market and the rest of the world, the most important version of the latest Quattroporte is bound to be the less powerful (and less expensive) bi-turbo V6 model we have just driven here in northern Italy; both rear-wheel-drive and Q4 all-wheel-drive versions. We spent nearly all day in the 404-hp 2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4, and found a lot that we prefer in the six-cylinder powertrain versus the champing aggression and $140,000 price tag of the GTS bi-turbo V8 model. These long and lanky executive-style statements traditionally thrive on the V8 mantra, so it will be interesting to watch how Maserati's need to use stronger and more efficient V6 engines is received by its six-figure customers.

It's a cynical thing to discuss so matter of factly, but descending into five-figure pricing for these rides actually damages their sales potential. It's bizarre, but keeping every trim of the Maserati Quattroporte north of $100,000 was crucial. So, is the 2014 Maserati Quattrporte S Q4 at a projected $108,000 base price worth it? To this stratum of clientele, apparently it is. Even the rear-wheel-drive S with this bi-turbo V6 will come in around $102,000 when it arrives in North America in mid-2014. (Or mid-2015, as yet to be decided.)
2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 side view2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 front view2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 rear view

The other serious novelty here is the Magna Steyr all-wheel traction system, called Q4.

The essential changes made for S models naturally regard the all-new "156" bi-turbo 60-degree 3.0-liter V6 engine, sitting low and far back in the engine bay to aid dynamics during drives involving frequent weight transfer moments. We were on one of the more wonderful proving ground circuits near the Alps between Turin and Milan at the Fiat-Chrysler facility called Balocco, but we also hit real roads that cut through the widespread rice fields of the area. It was an on-again, off-again rainy day, so we also had a range of surface conditions.

That last point is good, because the other serious novelty here is the Magna Steyr all-wheel traction system, called Q4 within Fiat-Chrysler, a system that closely replicates what xDrive does for the four wheels of any BMW model thus equipped. This weather fit in nicely with what we wanted to see from the Quattroporte S Q4. Under default normal highway cruising conditions, all torque is sent to the rear wheels, but it can be sent in varying proportions, whenever needed, to any of the four wheels.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 engine

Right away we preferred the behavior of this 3.0-liter bi-turbo V6.

Right away we preferred the behavior of this turbo V6 as it mates with the three modes – Normal, Sport, Manual – of the really good eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. When we drove the 3.8-liter bi-turbo V8 – called "154" – over stunning and narrow southern French mountain roads last year, we definitely had a mighty thrill, and were somewhat blown away by the big beast on both little streets and highways. But the added beauty of the bi-turbo V6 with 407 pound-feet of torque between 1,750 and 5,000 rpm is the malleability of the powertrain via the throttle mapping, even while in Sport mode.

Granted, the ferociousness of the bigger V8 while getting on and off throttle, especially in Sport mode, would be part of why someone might buy that car. Maserati tells us that the global take rate for its top GTS trim will be around 15 percent of total production, while in the United States that will reach as high as 25 percent. The rest of the Quattroportes bound for the US will be mounted with this new Ferrari-Maserati V6 in S trim. By the time the full lineup of Quattroportes meant for the States is on the ground and selling, it should fall out at 20-25 percent GTS, 60-65 percent S Q4, and about 20 percent for the rear-wheel-drive S model.

Autoblog Short Cuts: 2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4try{document.getElementById("fivemin-widget-blogsmith-image-823958").style.display="none";}catch(e){}

We wouldn't ever order our Quattroporte S Q4 with these optional 21-inch Titano multi-spoke wheels.

With the 207.2-inch long, 76.7-inch wide Italian stallion weighing a reasonably light 4,214 pounds (35 pounds up versus the V8 GTS), all-wheel drive is highly desirable for corralling everything with real sophistication. The Q4 system managed pretty brilliantly for a few 3.0-mile hot laps on the very dynamic area at Balocco called Le Langhe. It was so good that we quickly switched the stability control all the way off and just had at it (see video). We were holding a pleasant small drift through entire sweeping left and right corners without having to change the throttle angle much at all.

We wouldn't ever order our Quattroporte S Q4, which starts deliveries here in July, with these optional 21-inch Titano multi-spoke wheels. If our Q4 were a daily driver and also in a zone with four seasons, we would stick with the standard and very handsome 19-inch Tritone wheels, even if the wells in which they fit might look less bitchin' than they do with the 21s, or even the available 20s. There are no run-flat tires on Quattroportes – yay! – and the steering is still pleasantly responsive and hydraulic – more yay. The steering wheel on Maseratis is nicely vertical, and the shift paddles, though mounted to the steering column, remain the best around because they are big and we can always easily snap the gears up and down without fumbling.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 interior2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 paddle shifter2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 digital display2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 gear selector

The V6 makes 0 to 60 happen in an estimated 4.6 seconds, just 0.2 seconds less quick than the V8.

In the end, the bi-turbo V6 makes 0 to 60 miles per hour happen in an estimated 4.6 seconds, just 0.2 seconds less quick than the V8. This is the better package. There will be fewer peaks and valleys in the performance, and therefore fewer shocking bursts of emotion, but more satisfaction more often while aboard the S Q4 ship. And it costs $32,000 less than the GTS V8.

Maserati is getting there aggressively with this new onslaught of investment in its product lineup. The big challenge now is re-convincing people that Maseratis should be on the same shopping lists as German and Japanese premium rides. The total price tag to Fiat-Chrysler for this push is about $1.6 billion, but the technology and strategy gains here with the Quattroporte and Ghibli and future Levante cross-SUV will find their ways throughout the corporate family. One more potential trick up the Quattroporte's sleeve that remains under discussion is a Q4 version of the V8 bi-turbo GTS.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 rear 3/4 view

By as soon as next summer, the Quattroporte lineup will be all in place in the States and have something for every luxury buyer, plus a little something no other manufacturers of these big sedans can offer: It's one hot Italian and can act like it, right down to the warm-blooded latin sounds coming from the quad tailpipes.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 107 Comments
      Taint
      • 1 Year Ago
      Style wise, this is a downgrade from the last. It's such a shame when new versions are uglier than older ones.
        Matthew Davis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Taint
        I see your point, Taint. But there are several bits on the longer and lower and wider design that I like a lot more than the last-gen car. Trouble is that it seems there were too many cooks in the kitchen when it came to balancing out the "flair" front to back. The tail end is troubling - looks like an A4 butt a little too much. Should have maybe at least tried copying an A8, no? ;)
      Merc1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ride height is a little high, and the interior looks very upscale Chryslerish, but the exterior really pops. I can't wait to see this car and the smaller Ghibli. M
        adam1keith1980
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Merc1
        Maybe this is the new strategy: Maserati is to Chrysler as Lexus is to Chrysler.
          Matthew Davis
          • 1 Year Ago
          @adam1keith1980
          If that makes sense at all......I'll pay you a shiney new nickel.
        Thomas D Hilton III
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Merc1
        You really need to see the Black Dash, Saddle Interior with Black wood trim option for the QP.
        Matthew Davis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Merc1
        The interior here is miles past any Chrysler treatment, sorry. You have to sit in it anyway to really understand.
          Merc1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          It can't be miles above any Chrysler when it is based on it, clearly using a lot of the same components. Now the finishes are different, but the look is very plain compared to the old car. M
        Merc1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Merc1
        As with you being blind. M
      D550
      • 1 Year Ago
      The more I've seen it, the clumsier it looks. I think the Ghibli is actually a more cohesive design, and it is hardly stunning. I can't help thinking back to what could have been: http://put.edidomus.it/auto/mondoauto/attualita/foto/406538_8160_xl_2013-Maserati-Ghibli-11.jpg http://i.auto-bild.de/ir_img/1/0/5/7/8/7/1/Maserati-Ghibli-729x486-4252752b204f9312.jpg Scroll up a few Autoblog articles (ignore the disgraceful 4-pot) and take a look at the current style leader- Callum's Jaguars are traffic-stoppingly drop dead gorgeous. The GranTurismo is still a killer though- hopefully Maserati can't find a way to awkward that one up.
      EB110Americana
      • 1 Year Ago
      One of the odd tangents that struck me reading this article is that the next CTS is kind of a smaller, "poor man's" Quattroporte. I know it's a class-size smaller, but hear me out. First off, it has the front-and-center vertical grill which gives it a similar distinguished, regal look that's much more mature than the outgoing CTS, the ATS, or really any Cadillac out there. It's athletic, but it's an athlete in a three-piece suit, a dignitary's chariot, where the ATS and outgoing CTS are more racy looking. But it's not just the styling, the Quattroporte offers a twin turbo V6 with 404 HP (407 lb. ft. torque), the CTS gets 420 HP (430 Lb. Ft. Torque) from its TT V6 (0.6L larger displacement). Both offer AWD with performance-enhancing tech (though not on the top engine in the Caddy). Both offer a higher caliber forced induction V8 model. Both feature 8 speed automatics. Both run 0-60 in 4.6sec. Fuel economy is 17/25 for the CTS with two turbos, 17/26 for the Maserati. However, at 195.5" long and 3,600 Lbs. (with the base 2.0L engine), the CTS is dwarfed by the 207.2" long and 4,214 Lb. Quattroporte. Still, at around half the cost, the pint size alternative is quite the bargain all things considered.
        Thomas D Hilton III
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EB110Americana
        But why are you comparing this to the 5 Series Size CTS?? This is the QP not the Ghibli in which competes directly with the CTS. also The V8 havent been Announced so as of right now.. There is no "V" CTS.
      brandobean
      • 1 Year Ago
      I know it's predictable to snag a cars looks here in the AB comment section but... This is a Maserati. And the original quattroporte was one of the two series 4 door vehicles on the road (the other being the Aston). This one, aside from the very front looks anonymous to me, especially from the rear (where most drivers will be seeing you as you leave them in the dust).
        Matthew Davis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brandobean
        A little I agree with you regarding the butt third of the car. But I really enjoy the rest getting stretched out as it has done. The old car was good, too, but way too last decade after too many years. They need to sell cars to many people, not just a few appassionati.
        brandobean
        • 1 Year Ago
        @brandobean
        Typos: * snag = slag * two series 4 door vehicles = two sexiest 4 door vehicles
      Marin
      • 1 Year Ago
      I actually like it very much now. At first I was also in the "the old one was much better" group, but the design has grown on me... and now with the all wheel drive, it sounds like the perfect car to have.
      Mondrell
      • 1 Year Ago
      207 inches? My, how it's grown. The V was no slot car, but I believe the VI's standard length bests the LWB length of every competitor named in this thread. It's light for its size, but the added length can't be bode well for those who were partial to the '4DSC' nature of the V. . . But those folks are probably among those who Maserati hopes to court with the new Ghibli anyway, which I think looks more like the successor to the Quattroporte V than the VI does.
      nathan.wilson5
      • 1 Year Ago
      This doesn't even look like a Maserati! It looks like a Hyundai... www.driverlux.com
      Papi L-Gee
      • 1 Year Ago
      For all that were/are saying that the Quattroporte is based on Chrysler: I did some digging, and apparently they were planning to have the Maserati share quite a bit at first. Very little of those shared parts made it to production, if the Maserati CEO is to be believed. http://www.autonews.com/article/20130114/BLOG06/130119903#axzz2SwUdksrp
        Helix
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Papi L-Gee
        Maserati and Mercedes are just the Chryslers of the premium car world.
          Matthew Davis
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Helix
          Uhhhmmmmmm......no.
          Luis A. Martinez
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Helix
          Mercedes is loosing many real customer,they are lost and this car is way more classy looking than any Benz around....many benzes on trade now,I can't imagine how many more when this car start to sell here in USA,can you buy one?
      Tina Dang
      • 1 Year Ago
      I love this car, but the mere fact I know it shares some Chrysler DNA (albeit not painfully obvious) that kinda ruins it for me... especially in the interior. But I like the cleaner look of the interior and the shift by wire gearshift.
        Matthew Davis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Tina Dang
        The absolute only thing about all this that bothers me is the reaching-for-the-stars pricing. The V6 bi-turbos should be around $90k-95k and the V8 GTS around $120k. For starters.
          adam1keith1980
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          Thomas: The equivalent Equus or Lexus LS cost way less. What's your point?
          ZenDriver
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          I have to respectfully disagree with you. I think the pricing is spot on given the low volume production.
          Thomas D Hilton III
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          The Equal current S Class tops out at 160K.....
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          [blocked]
      1STH
      • 1 Year Ago
      that has to be the dullest, most uninspiring, mundane, and mediocre car Maserati has ever made.....after the BiTurbo.
        Shiftright
        • 1 Year Ago
        @1STH
        Say what you will about the Biturbo, but uninspiring and mundane it wasn't. Just drive one. It was very fast for its day, handled well and was hoot to drive, especially when the turbos kicked in. Although not exotic in traditional Maserati manner, it was very well proportioned, like a 3 series in a sharply tailored Armani suit. The later intercooled and fuel injected versions were actually pretty decently reliable too,although by that time the damage was done to the brand.
          1STH
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shiftright
          i have driven one....i found it very depressing. poor steering, poor handling, generic styling, and an interior full of plastic. Maserati was truly in its dark ages through DeTomaso's misfires...
          ChaosphereIX
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shiftright
          ya and the Ghibli II was positively quick. Also had the most hp/L for a long, long time of any production car...
        Matthew Davis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @1STH
        MASSIVE disagree about the Biturbo. Yep, a real bag of marbles as a car, but completely exciting when urged hard and running well. Very cool design for its era, too.
          1STH
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          while i'm not really a fan of the E30 3-series.....the E30 3-series pretty much did everything better than the BiTurbo.....
          Matthew Davis
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Matthew Davis
          True. But it wasn't a badass, wife-steeling Maserati.
      nlt624@aol.com
      • 1 Year Ago
      It looks like a nice and competent car, but I can't see buying this over a Jaguar XJ for any reason other than more exclusivity.
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