Auto review: Maserati Quattroporte GranSport brings style, luxury, performance in a large sedan
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Auto review: Maserati Quattroporte GranSport brings style, luxury, performance in a large sedan

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The Maserati Quattroporte (four door), introduced in 1963, is a true execution of the finest Italian design in a sporty full-size luxury sedan, with a finely contoured exterior and distinctive sound.

Iconic triple side air vents express Quattroporte's rich, race-bred heritage beneath the dignified profile of an uncompromising executive sedan. Elegant finesse and refined beauty are combined with a contemporary flair.

Quattroporte's cabin is luxurious and spacious, with the signature of Maserati artisans evident down to the smallest detail, such as headrests with embossed or embroidered Maserati Trident logos, hand-stitched details throughout, and premium interior materials.

Luxurious standard or optional amenities for this sixth generation (introduced in 2013) include remote start, soft-close doors, hands-free power trunk with kick sensor, power-adjustable foot pedals and rear sunshades, and four-zone automatic climate control.

Three models are available, with sub-trims: S ($107,980), S GranLusso and GranSport ($114,980 each); SQ4 ($113,680), SQ4 GranLusso and GranSport ($120,780 each); and GTS GranLusso andGranSport ($138,980 each). GranLusso and GranSport trims enhance exclusivity with unique colors and trims inside and out.

For 2019, the Quattroporte has a few adjustments and some unique enhancements, including an improved shift lever design, new interior and exterior color options, two new high-gloss interior trims, and two new wheel designs.

Pieno Fiore leather is available in three colors in the GranLusso and GranSport trims. Both feature 20-inch alloy wheels, and GranLusso adds chrome exterior trim. Pieno Fiore (full grain) is the best leather money can buy - soft, and the most durable and natural looking.

S and SQ4 models have a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, producing 424 horsepower and 428 foot-pounds of torque. The S has rear-wheel drive and the SQ4 has all-wheel drive.

The GTS I drove has more power with a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-8, producing 523 horsepower and 524 foot-pounds of torque, with rear-wheel drive. The new shift lever is more ergonomic, and controls an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode. EPA fuel-economy ratings are 15 mpg city/22 highway/17 combined.

Three drive modes are offered: Normal (default mode, minimal fuel consumption), Sport (seamless shifts at higher revs), and I.C.E. (Increased Control and Efficiency, superior control in all weather conditions, lower fuel consumption).

The Skyhook performance suspension with electronic damping control absorbs and reduces the impact of imperfections in the road, maintaining great performance without sacrificing comfort by constantly processing information through a computer and making calculations to adjust the shocks.

My Quattroporte was the GTS GranSport, in Rosso Filgore (deep burgundy), riding on 21-inch dark forged Atlante wheels (from Italian for Atlas/figure of a man used as a column, $3,000). Matte red anodized brake calipers ($2,190) peeked through the stylized spokes - wide split 3-D spokes with narrow recessed "Y"spokes between, quite striking.

The Maserati Stability Program included Acceleration Slip Regulation, Antilock Braking, ElectronicBrake Distribution, and Drive Wheels Locking Prevention. An alarm/anti-theft system included perimeter and volumetric sensing, an anti-lift device, and an electronic immobilizer.

The distinctive and dramatic GranSport added unique front and rear fascia - a visual reflection of an athletic lifestyle - 12-way heated/cooled power front sport seats, and Advanced Driver Assistance with adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-keep assist and active blind spot.

Gloss red-painted brake calipers with white Maserati script are standard for the GranSport, replaced by the matte red anodized package.

Standard exterior features included a sunroof; auto-dimming, heated, power-adjustable and foldable door mirrors with integrated LED turn signals; rain sensors; lightweight hands-free power trunk lid with kick sensor; and an air shutter located between the front air vents and the radiator.

Continuous electronically controlled movement of the blades regulates air flow to the engine compartment, controlling engine temperature and reducing aerodynamic drag for reduced fuel consumption and emissions. The soft-close doors were a nice touch.

Two non-metallic colors are available (black, white), as well as seven metallic colors including gorgeous Bianco Alpi ($2,950, very light gray/white), Blu Nobile ($2,950, midnight blue), and Grigio Maratea ($925, deep gray).

Extended keyless entry included the rear doors, allowing easy entry front and rear.

Interior appointments are determined by trim level. GranSport has standard piano-black trim pieces on the dash, doors, and center console - replaced by Carbon Macrotwill ($1,490) in my Quattroporte. Macrotwill resembles regular carbon fiber, but with larger, more dramatic fibers.

Seating was Black Pieno Fiore Natural Leather ($1,790), with unique "V"-shaped quilting on the seat and backrest, gray stitching on the bolsters, shoulder rest and headrest, and Maserati Trident embroidered on the headrests in gray ($190). The faux-suede headliner and pillars were black.

My GranSport added a heated sport steering wheel ($90) with aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters. The leather gear shifter had Manual Mode activation and a parking button. The air conditioned, illuminated storage bin in the front console had twin power-opening covers, two cupholders and a 12-volt outlet.

Power-adjustable foot pedals, an electronically lockable glovebox, an elliptical Maserati clock on the dash with chrome-plated trim and GTS logo, a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, and HomeLink gate/garage opener were standard.

Rear 60/40 split-folding seats were heated and included a pull-down armrest with USB charger, 12-volt outlet, and two hidden cupholders. The rear window and rear side windows had power sunshades, the auto-dimming interior mirror had an Automatic High Beam Assist sensor, and the trunk had a 12-volt socket.

Quattroporte's infotainment system has been updated with better graphics on the 8.4-inch touch-screen display, and a more user-friendly design for the climate-control system. The standard 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio system was replaced by a 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins audio system ($1,990). Satellite radio, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay were standard. A Wi-Fi hot spot is standard.

Maserati Touch Control Plus with Navigation is a modified version of Chrysler's Uconnect quick and intuitive software, with most vehicle functions controlled through the display screen or a secondary rotary control knob behind the shifter on the center console.

SiriusXM Travel Link is standard, providing real-time traffic and weather updates. Five USB ports provide charging for all seating positions, with one interfacing with the infotainment along with an auxiliary port. Instrument cluster dials are Maserati Blue with white backlighting.

A Driver Assistance Package ($590) brought traffic-sign recognition; a 360-degree Surround View Camera; and front, rear, and side parking sensors and cameras.

Standard Highway Assist is a Level 2 Autonomy (self-driving) system, with Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop and Go, and Lane Keeping Assist. Level 2 still requires the driver to be in control, simply assisting the driver in maintaining the desired speed and distance from the vehicle in front (slowing, stopping, and accelerating as needed), and keeping the vehicle in the center of the lane by actively controlling the steering wheel - it is fascinating (and occasionally terrifying) to experience.

Additional safety features included Pre-Safe to prepare the vehicle for an impending collision (tensions seat belts, closes windows and roof, repositions front seats) or warn of pedestrians approaching in front of the vehicle; Collision Prevention Assist Plus to warn the driver and prepare the brakes for an emergency stop; Forward Collision Warning Plus, Advanced Brake Assist, and Autonomous Emergency Braking,which work together to avoid a collision by helping apply sufficient brakeforce when needed; Pedestrian Emergency Braking, which helps avoid or minimize impact with a pedestrian or cycle; and anti-pinch sensors for windows to help avoid unfortunate accidents from automatic windows.

My Maserati Quattroporte GTS GranSport was simply elegant and graceful, with uniquely Italian styling, a Ferrari-derived engine with an exotic exhaust note (people turned and looked - twice), and an engaging driving experience.

The seats were well bolstered, though somewhat firm, and the rear middle seat was hard and cramped. Most controls were intuitive and easy to use - I'm not a fan of exclusively touch-screen-controlled functions, as I prefer more buttons.

Some quirks included tiny numbers for the cruise control settings, small front door pockets (wouldn't hold even a small bottle), and very hard-to-reach front seatbelt anchors (deep beside the center console).

Options totaling $11,240 and destination charges of $1,995 brought the delivered price of this beautiful and powerful vehicle to $152,215.

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ABOUT THE WRITER

Emma Jayne Williams' auto reviews appear in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She can be reached at emmajayne1948@gmail.com.

Visit Fort Worth Star-Telegram at www.star-telegram.com

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