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Sydney show: Maserati unveils hottest Quattroporte

Exclusivity as standard: Just 30 examples of the hardcore Quattroporte will come to Australia.

Maserati sings final swansong for Quattroporte with new Sport GTS MC Sportline

Maserati logo15 Oct 2010

MASERATI has used this morning’s Australian International Motor Show opening in Sydney to announce the release of what could be the final version of its current Quattroporte before a successor for the pioneering four-door ‘coupe’ emerges at the Frankfurt motor show next September.

Just 30 examples of the newest Quattroporte will be made available in Australia, where first deliveries of the dubiously named Quattroporte Sport GTS MC Sportline will commence in November.

Apart from offering guaranteed exclusivity, the new Quattroporte range-topper will also be somewhat of a bargain – at least in Maserati terms – with a manufacturers’ list price of $298,800 plus on-road costs.

32 center imageThat makes it more than $30,000 cheaper than the current Quattroporte flagship on which it is based – the volume-selling 4.7-litre Sport GT S ($328,900) – as well as $9700 more affordable than the 4.7-litre Quattroporte S ($308,500) and $12,800 more expensive than the entry-level 4.2-litre Quattroporte ($286,000).

For the sub-$300K list price, the most sporting Quattroporte adds a new MC Sportline equipment package that Maserati says was developed from its experience in the FIA GT World Championship, which the Maserati MC-12 racecar currently dominates.

Effectively, the Quattroporte MC Sportline replaces all of the woodgrain trim in the standard Sport GT S with carbon-fibre, including the dashboard, front and rear centre consoles, sections of the door panels, the gearshifter, shift paddles, switchgear surrounds and around the instrument panel.

Its carbon-fibre door sills are also embossed with the MC Sportline logo, which is stamped into the aluminium brake pedal as well.

There are no mechanical changes for the MC Sportline, which is powered by the same 323kW/490Nm 4.7-litre Ferrari-derived V8 seen in the Sport GT S. It therefore offers the same formidable performance figures, including a 5.1-second 0-100km/h time (one-tenth faster than the base Quattroporte 4.2) and a 285km/h top speed (up from 280km/h).

Similarly, official efficiency figures remain unchanged at 15.7L/100km and 365g/km of CO2.

Of course, the MC Sportline – which has the same 1990kg kerb weight – also comes with the Sport GT S’s MC-Auto Shift sequential manual transmission, featuring full manual control, a fully automatic function, a faster-shifting Sport mode and, in the case of the MC Sportline, extra-long carbon-fibre (instead of alloy) shift paddles behind the steering-wheel.

Like the Sport GT S, the MC Sportline is also fitted with a firmer, single-setting suspension featuring single-rate dampers, a lower ride height (down 10mm at the front and 25mm at the rear) and firmer spring rates – up 30 per cent at the front and 10 per cent at the rear.

Beefier 360mm front brake discs with six-piston callipers are also fitted, along with the same 20-inch ‘Dark Chrome’ seven-spoke or optional ‘Multi Trident’ alloy wheels as the Sport GT S.

As with the latter, the MC Sportline is differentiated from lesser Quattroportes by a deeper-set grille framed by new foglights and air-intakes on a more aggressive front bumper, which complements a redesigned titanium-finish headlight cluster with Xenon globes and LED indicators.

Inside is the same Alcantara seat and steering wheel treatment as seen in the Sport GT S, but the MC Sportline adds aluminium pedals, which are an option on the Sport GT S.

“The Quattroporte Sport GTS has already been labelled Maserati’s iron fist in a velvet glove, thanks to its svelte body wrapping around a high-performance drivetrain, a racetrack-bred chassis and a soundtrack from the engine that turns heads even quicker than its innate style” said the general manager for Maserati in Australia and New Zealand, Glen Sealey.

“The MC Sportline could be said to replace the iron in that fist with carbon-fibre, which is used throughout the interior, and with just 30 destined for Australia it will extend Maserati’s reputation for exclusivity.

“Carbon-fibre is used extensively in the MC-12 and its use in the Quattroporte MC Sportline transforms the ambiance of the Sport GTS. With its use on the gearchange paddles, which are twice the size of those in the normal Quattroporte and mirror the paddles fitted to the MC-12, it is also a tactile change as the carbon-fibre has quite a different feel to the light alloy used in the normal paddles.”

As we’ve reported previously, Maserati has promised to make its sixth-generation Quattroporte – due on sale in Australia in 2012 – around 15 per cent lighter and 25 per cent more fuel-efficient through the use of downsized V8 and twin-turbo V6 engines with idle-stop technology, despite the addition of all-wheel drive for the first time.

Maserati also used the recent Paris motor show to stage the world debut of the new racetrack-ready GranTurismo MC Stradale, which will top the two-door Maserati range here in the third quarter of 2011, as well as to confirm its plans to produce a third, smaller model to be positioned below the GranTurismo and Quattroporte.

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