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Italian for "four-door," the simplicity ends with the Quattroporte's name, though that's where the elegance starts. The 2012 model is Maserati's last of the current version of the Quattroporte, however, with a new car due to replace it next year. Not that that should deter you from considering the current vehicle.
Passionate design and excellent execution combine with the Quattroporte's decidedly sporty nature to provide a unique experience, though with relative newcomers like the Porsche Panamera in the segment, perhaps less so than upon its debut seven years ago. A somewhat sharklike front end rakes into the aggressive windshield profile, which melds into the sculpted roofline, elegantly finishing at the tail. Inside, fine detail work adds a richness absent in German alternatives, including ample woodwork and leather piping.
On the road, the Quattroporte belies its Ferrari family lineage; a 4.2-liter V-8 generates 400 horsepower in the standard model, while the Quattroporte S grows to 4.7 liters and 425 horsepower. The hottest model, the GT-S increases that to 434 horsepower. All are dynamic, engaging cars, with each step up the ladder adding crispness and vigor. A six-speed ZF automatic transmission is standard across the range. Ample brakes, brisk acceleration, and a finely-tuned optional Skyhook air suspension deliver true sporting prowess, yet the Quattroporte rides comfortably when driven with less haste.
Inside, the cabin is, as mentioned, comfortable, luxurious, and detailed, but in a few instances, short on space. Headroom in the rear seats, for example, is compromised to accommodate the low roof, the prominent center console impinges on front footwell space, and the low, sloping side pillars give an enclosed feel to the cockpit. That's entirely within its prerogative as a sports sedan, but something buyers should be aware of. A few of the materials selections in the cabin are also somewhat below the standard you'd expect of a $140,000-plus car, but not enough to be more than a minor complaint.
Like many luxury cars in the Quattroporte's range, there's a wide range of available options and features, including upholstery finishes, colors, and trim. In fact, due to the exclusive nature of the car, most are built to order, and can accordingly be equipped just about however the buyer desires.
Also like most high-end luxury sedans, the Quattroporte hasn't been subjected to official crash testing. However, standard side, front, and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, and bi-xenon HID head lights are all standard.