2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte was first introduced to EU crowds back at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. It received its worldwide unveil at the Detroit Autoshow though back in January 2013. Thanks to Maserati Benelux, we got the opportunity to see if this car is really that that much better than the previous generation.

At a time when luxury brands are attempting to grow their appeal by diversifying into the sedan segment, Masearti already have a headstart. The Quattroporte’s heritage extends back 60 years already. The first generation car hit the market back in 1963. Since then, a steady stream of Quattroporte models have left the factory making the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte a sixth generation model.

The latest generation includes the most comprehensive model range yet. For the first time Maserati have offered a four wheel drive version, together with a choice of two engines. The example on test today is the range-topping 2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS. Is it the best version yet?

The Engine

Under the vast bonnet of the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS sits a 3.8 liter twin turbo V8 engine with loads of new technology. As history dictates, the Maserati’s powertrain is still assembled by Ferrari in Maranello. The newest version gets a whopping output of 530 hp together with 710 Nm. Compared to the previous model the power of the new engine has respectively been raised by 80 hp and 200 Nm of torque.

Maserati has downsized the size of the engine by almost an entire liter but, thanks to the twin turbo charging and direct fuel injection, the maximum power of 530 hp is available at 6,800 rpm. The normal torque of 650 Nm is available between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm but can be overboosted to a maximum of 710 Nm from 2,250 to 3,500 rpm. The power to weight ratio is just 3,6 kg per horsepower giving the QuattroPorte GTS an incredible throttle response.

Each turbocharger is fed by its own air-to-air intercooler to supply a constant stream of fresh, cool air. The engine also uses a state-of-the-art ECU for better shifting. Furthermore the new QuattroPorte also introduces the I.C.E. (Increased Control and Efficiency) strategy, a function aimed at reducing consumption, emissions and noise. Last but not least, this I.C.E. system is also useful for driving over low-grip surfaces.

Gearbox & Drivetrain

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

The standard ZF AT8-HP70 eight-speed automatic transmission is specially developed for the all new Quattroporte and is the successor of the six-speed automatic gearbox from the outgoing model. The new gearbox comes with five dedicated shift modes : Auto Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport and I.C.E. mode.

Auto Normal is the standard setting and concentrates on fluid gear shifts at low speeds to ensure maximum comfort and minimum consumption. Auto Sport switches to a sportier shifting style with shifts at higher revs and higher speeds to create more sensation. In both settings the car will recognize a variety of conditions that can have influence on the way of driving.

When choosing for the Manual mode the driver can change gears with either the paddles behind the steering wheel or by using the transmission lever. Though this system is fully manually, it will still chose a correct gear when the engine revs drop too low or climb too high. When activating the Manual Sport mode, all decisions are to be made by the driver. If you then hit the rev limiter, the car will keep on revving at the maximum without going in to the red zone.

The 2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS can be ordered with both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. We believe the car is better off with the all-wheel drive system, because of its weight and the power that is released to the road. Rear-wheel driving of course increases the fun.

Performance

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

Besides creating more luxury and fuel efficiency, it was of course important for Maserati to create more power from the brand new V8 engine. The kerb weight of our test car, the twin turbo V8 version, is 1,900 kg which is almost 100 kg less than the previous model. Most of the weight loss comes from reducing the engine capacity by almost one liter from a 4.7 liter V8 to the all new 3.8 liter twin turbo V8 unit.

This new engine, which produces 530 hp, allows the new Maserati Quattroporte GTS to present some incredible figures. The Quattroporte sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds which makes it the fastest accelerating four-door car in Maserati’s history.

The flagships’ top speed is set at 307 km/h. An impressive fact is that this is the company’s fastest production car ever made, after the mighty V12 powered MC12. Next to this amazing fact we can also tell you that the Quattroporte GTS reaches 200 km/h in just 14.7 seconds and crosses the 1 km barrier in just 22.7 seconds. To come back to zero from a speed of 100 km/h takes only 34 meters.

Suspension

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

Double wishbone suspension layouts are a race-bred tradition at Maserati and the new Quattroporte continues with this heritage incorporating some new technology for greater driving precision. When driving in Normal mode we could easily feel the difference between normal and sport mode. The way the bumps in the road are smoothed away are completely different.

Great influence also comes from the rims and tires. The new Quattroporte comes as standard with 20-inch wheels, but you can also opt for the smaller 19-inch or larger 21-inch rims. All three wheel sizes are available with Pirelli, Dunlop or Continental tyres. Our test car was equipped with a set of Pirelli tires, that in our opinion sometimes had a hard time to bring the power to the ground. For increased safety and security, each wheel gets am electronic monitor installed that constantly checks the tire pressure. The results of these measurements can be directly read from the display on the dashboard.

Interior

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

As we already stated, the new QuattoPorte is very different from its predecessor. That difference is evident in the interior too where a timeless design combines with high technology and a functional feel. Also remarkable is the extra space created by the enlarged wheelbase, especially when sitting in the back of the car.

Our Quattroporte feature a combination of wood, leather and metal in a trademark Italian design, combined with brown leather used for the seats. In the round, it made our test car a pleasure to be in, even when not driving. Most of the vehicle’s settings are oriented towards the driver and are controlled with the buttons alongside the gear shifter, while other on-board settings can be set by the driver via the Maserati Touch Control (MTC) at the center of the dashboard.

This TMC system is controlled via a 8.4 inch touch screen display. The system includes radio, satellite navigation and DVD player. It also has a Bluetooth connection to connect to external sources like mobile phones and Apple devices.

Furthermore you can configure the cars main settings through the menu’s as well as controlling the seat heating and ventilation, steering wheel heating and the operation of the rear window shade. Last but not least, when reversing, the full screen will be used to help you park the big Maserati.

Design

The 2014 Quattroporte GTS is the biggest car in the Maserati line-up. The combination of the aggressive looking front grill with the big trident on it and the black color our test car had, is just a true delight to the eye. The three small outlets of the side front characterize the car and the brand.

The new Quattroporte body isn’t just about the looks but also about aerodynamic work that is mostly out of sight, beneath the car. It has a flat floor that contains several aerodynamic features designed to optimise performance by lowering drag coefficient and keeping the systems cool at speeds over 300 km/h.

Driving Experience

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

For our road test review of the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte GTS we headed out to the office of Maserati Benelux, based in Mechelen. When we arrived we got an immediate meet and greet with the new Quattroporte GTS as it was waiting to drive off with us.

When getting behind the steering wheel you could immediately feel the difference with its predecessor, it felt like the car was grown up. After finding an ideal driving position we took off for the first kilometers over busy roads through city centers and over peaceful roads in small villages. In both situations the Maserati acted normal and very comfortable, just like what’s expected from a high-end daily driver.

Later on we managed a few miles on the motorway to see how the car handles there. Once again we were impressed by the way the car drives. After some kilometers of slowly queuing we had the chance to see what the car can do with an open motorway. Sport mode activated, gearbox in manual mode and foot on the gas pedal. While keeping an eye on the Balgian traffic rules we could find out what the QuattroPorte could do and that brought us to one direct conclusion: impressive!

When thinking back at the new Bentley Flying Spur we drove a couple of weeks before we could draw several similarities to the blend of comfort and power. We still have to say that the Maserati, which is absolutely no shame, is one or two classes lower than the Bentley but then again. Maserati is of course more looking for a sportive character in combination with Italian beauty and style.

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

Based on our experience with the previous model of the Quattroporte we had to try every possible setting for the suspension, engine and gearbox. Having chosen what we wanted, we selected some nice country roads without too much traffic or people around. A perfect place to see what the Maserati can do in the corners.

With the settings in place and the engine at the right temperature it didn’t take long to get used to this new and much more powerful engine which is really an upgrade for the car. That combined with sports setting for the suspension and the manual driving mode to choose your gears makes it real fun to drive this car. When using both paddles behind the steering wheel or the clutch itself to shift up or down through the different gears you can easily keep control over the still heavy car, which is normal for a four-door saloon car.

Acceleration from standstill is brutal but combined with the sound from the sports exhaust a true pleasure. The sprint to 100 km/h is just great but sometimes it feels that the power is slightly too much and even with the traction control on the Quattroporte might loose some of its grip. All this in dry and sunny conditions, which brings a worrying thought to our minds of what to do when its raining. Let alone snow or ice.

On these country roads in the Flemish Ardennes it is also necessary to have sufficient braking power. Knowing that it is no easy task to bring a car from around 2 tons to a halt, let alone when you are driving and working through the corners, we must say that the new Quattroporte does a great job. All the imperfections and dirt on the road are easily absorbed and filtered away so that at a correct speed all curves can easily be taken.

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

Later that day we went to the port of Antwerp, where we could concentrate on taking photographs of the car with as little traffic as possible. The new Quattroporte is lovely when stationary, but believe us, once its driving it looks even better.

The next location for a shoot was on the other side of Antwerp, where we found a location along the banks of the river ‘Schelde’, more exactly a gravel and bulk business. A mountain of gray pebbles seemed an ideal background for the full black Quattroporte.

To finish the shoot we went to the center of Antwerp where we were able to enjoy the first of the spring sun shine through the glass roof, getting many glances driving with the sports exhaust through the city center. Several people even took pictures and gave us thumbs-up which is kind of surprising because we’ve spotted another Quattroporte, previous model, but also two GranCabrio’s travelling along the streets.

After the shoots and the drive to Antwerp it was time to get back home and put the car away for the night. The next day would start early, because the car, sadly enough, had to go back to the Maserati offices in Mechelen.

Still, that didn’t mean our experience with the new QuattroPorte would come to an end soon. When heading back to Mechelen, sadly enough on a Monday morning, we came across another interesting fact. While cruising down the E17 motorway our attention was drawn to a new Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG which overtook us and later on drove next to us. The driver from the Mercedes wasn’t looking for a race or anything, but was simply taking pictures and filming our car with his phone. Too bad this nice moment didn’t last long as we had to change direction to Brussels while the Mercedes drove on in the direction of Antwerp.

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

This last decision, taking the direction of Brussels, was probably the worst one to make on a Monday morning. There were traffic jams for the rest of the route, another 76 km left until arriving in Mechelen. What followed was just awful, it took us nothing less than 2 hours and 10 minutes to cover this distance.

Positive minded as we are we tried to make the best of it. Besides the many, half smiling, looks we had from other drivers in the traffic jam, we concentrated on the navigation system. It is nothing new that recent navigation systems are looking for alternative routes in case of traffic jams, but in the Maserati we got not one alternative but the choice between two or more. Sadly enough, the lady in the GPS constantly told us that we could take alternative routes but without winning any travelling time.

What to spec?

During our weekend with the Maserati QuattroPorte GTS we of course had a look at the various options available for the four door saloon and here are some optional extras that definitely should be considered :
• Bowers & Wilkins high premium Sound System : this sound system, existing out of no less than 15 speakers with 1.280 Watt is definitely a must have for every moment you are or cannot enjoy the sound coming from the engine or exhaust pipes. The package comes with a price of 4.235 euro and is a must have in our opinion.
• Executive Pack : a multiple option package available for 15.000 euro that includes :
– Backseat with 2 separate seats and center console (inclusive adjustable and ventilated seats, leather rear tray, USB connection and a small refrigerator).
– Keyless entry system for the back doors
– Chair ventilation for both driver and passenger seats in front
– Leather perforated finish with refined structure
– 4 zone climate control
– Wi-fi vehicle Hot Spot
• 21 inch Titanio Design wheels : speaks for itself to have the nicest finish on your car. Maybe not the best choice if you’re planning on doing long distances but still important as a car like this will get the attention it deserves all over the world. This exclusive wheel set is yours for 4.356 euro.

How does it compare to the previous generation QuattroPorte?

When we drove the previous generation of the QuattroPorte GTS we had a typical feeling about a way too heavy but still very fast four door saloon. The old car could make up a lot to us with its exhaust sounds but what comes out of the two double pipes in the new car is simply better. Comfort compared you’ll never go back to the old car once you’ve been in the latest generation QuattroPorte. What’s left? The engine? It became smaller but so much better.

What about the competition?

For a car like the QuattroPorte GTS there’s quite a lot of competition. First, we think about the German cars such as the BMW M5, the Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG or the Audi RS7. Of course there’s also the Jaguar XFR-S that we tested a few weeks ago. All these cars have an even more powerful engine but the QuattroPorte can say that it’s an Italian thoroughbred. When you then choose this car you can still say you’re driving a Maserati, which we believe is a big asset for the car.

2014 Maserati QuattroPorte GTS Review

Conclusion

The QuattroPorte GTS was a pure pleasure to drive with. The way it accelerates, the cornering behavior, the way it steers when driving fast and how it can relax you when driving slowly is simply amazing. You might think it’s an exaggeration, but the QuattroPorte is not twice but ten times better than its predecessor.

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