Drive

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

Maserati Qu­at­tro­porte Diesel and Mus­tang Coupe

Maserati has smug­gled a sen­si­ble diesel en­gine into a chas­sis that looks any­thing but re­spon­si­ble. Much more than a sheep in wolf’s cloth­ing, though, the Qu­at­tro­porte is a con­tender for the Mercedes S Class’s ex­ec­u­tive crown

The ex­ec­u­tive mar­ket is worth a pretty penny, with trav­el­ling busi­ness­men de­mand­ing the best of all worlds: com­fort, a se­ri­ous amount of miles to the gal­lon and a look that yells, “Get outta the road, I’m very im­por­tant!” The cur­rent king is the Mercedes S Class, but it’s fac­ing stiff com­pe­ti­tion from the new Maserati Qu­at­tro­porte diesel, a dis­tance tourer with a clas­sic Maserati su­per­car look – that oval-shaped grille is iconic – and an en­gine that’s sen­si­ble with­out ever be­ing dull.

It’s a big, hulk­ing devil of a car, but its curved look and lively driv­ing feel be­lie that size. It’s bid­dable in town and at slow speeds, while still re­tain­ing pointabil­ity at a more brac­ing pace. Let it stretch its legs on the mo­tor­way and ride qual­ity is plush, while fid­dling with the sport dampers stiff­ens this to a more jar­ring, but still sup­ple, car­riage.

The 3.0-litre, V6, tur­bocharged diesel en­gine is fru­gal and, paired with the 70-litre fuel tank, de­liv­ers a fan­tas­tic range of al­most 1,100km. To achieve that Maserati has in­ten­tion­ally kept the max­i­mum power down to a mod­est 201kW. Con­sid­er­ing the Qu­at­tro­porte weighs a chunky 1,800kg, you’d be for­given for ex­pect­ing a slug­gish ride. How­ever, that’s far from the truth. Torque is

it may be a diesel, but this maserati still has mus­cle

im­mense and im­me­di­ate, de­liv­er­ing an ex­cit­ing drive – it hits 100km/h in 6.8 sec­onds.

Want to give the im­pres­sion of more go­ing on be­neath the bon­net? Sound ac­tu­a­tors fit­ted near the ex­haust’s tailpipes pro­vide the bark of a sim­i­lar-sized V6 petrol en­gine. Press the Sport but­ton on the gear­stick at the lights to un­leash a deeply mas­cu­line roar.

Of course, lux­ury hasn’t been over­looked. There’s a Chrysler-es­que 8.4-inch touch­screen sat­nav and au­dio is ca­pa­bly dis­patched by a 15-strong fleet of Bow­ers & Wilkins speak­ers, with a USB in­put on the head unit plug­ging your playlists straight in. An op­tional Wi-Fi WLAN hotspot can con­nect up to three de­vices at once if stream­ing’s your thing – we ad­vise en­forc­ing a “driver se­lects the tracks” rule.

A cam­era near the han­dle of the mas­sive boot also records while you re­verse into park­ing spots, pro­vid­ing full-colour footage to help with in­sur­ance claims. Park­ing sen­sors should keep you from most prangs, though. At $199k, the Qu­at­tro­porte doesn’t just com­pete with ri­vals on price. In­stead it aims to do bet­ter, and for the most part suc­ceeds. From $198,800, maserati.com.au

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