For now, the Quattroporte holds the market captive; the Mercedes S63 AMG is perhaps the closest match to the Maserati in performance and spirit (it outdoes the Maserati for acceleration), but it feels much heavier, doesn't handle as well, and doesn't have that unmistakable Ferrari sound.
And it looks too close to lesser S-Class models.
The Bentley Flying Spur is a close match from another direction; it's very exclusive, like the QP, but it's more of the strong-and-silent type.
For high-speed highway storming, it's our choice over the Maserati, though.
A more affordable alternative is the all-wheel-drive Audi S8, which won't exactly stand out at the most exclusive events but has very satisfying performance from a Lamborghini-derived V-10 engine.
Next year the Quattroporte will have some heavy competition, in the way of the 2010 Aston Martin Rapide.
The Rapide will be perhaps the closest rival to the Quattroporte but packs the DB9's 5.9-liter V-12 engine, rated at around 500 hp.
And that's even before considering the heat from the 2010 Porsche Panamera!
|2009 Maserati QuattroporteBrowse Used Listings||2008 Audi S8Browse Used Listings||2008 Bentley Continental Flying SpurBrowse Used Listings|
|12 MPG City / 18 MPG Hwy||13 MPG City / 19 MPG Hwy||10 MPG City / 17 MPG Hwy|
|Gas V8||Gas V10||Gas W12|
|4-Door Sedan Quattroporte||4-Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan|
|Rear Wheel Drive||All-Wheel Drive||All-Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4-Door Sedan|