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New models - Maserati - Quattroporte - V6 S

Driven: Maserati Quattroporte V6 S touches down

Six pack: The Maserati Quattroporte V6 S is just 0.4 seconds slower from 0-100km/h than the more expensive V8 GTS.

Entry level $240k Maserati Quattroporte V6 S to account for 70 per cent of sales

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Maserati logo14 Apr 2014

MASERATI’S Australian importer, European Automotive Imports (EAI), has completed phase two in its staggered rollout of the new-generation Quattroporte sedan, with the twin-turbo V6 S version now officially available.

At $240,000 plus on-road costs, the ‘entry’ high-performance limousine is $79,800 cheaper than the V8 GTS version that launched in January, despite coming with essentially the same level of standard equipment and being only 0.4 seconds slower to 100km/h.

In fact, the only difference between the V6 and its more muscular sibling is the shape of its 19-inch wheels (both versions can be optioned with larger wheels and firmer dampers) and different leather design and cabin trims.

No wonder, then, that EAI projects this version will account for around 70 per cent of all Quattroporte sales this year.

Maserati is shooting for a record 270 range-wide deliveries in Australia this year, double what it did in 2014, thanks to this new Quattoporte plus the smaller Ghibli due in July. GoAuto understands this figure could be significantly higher if supply restrictions from Italy were to loosen.

By 2016, EAI wants to record 1500 sales in Australia and New Zealand combined, thanks in large part to the forthcoming Levante SUV due next year.

Maserati calls this new Quattroporte “transformative”, due to its record sales (20,000 orders globally in nine months, way above projections) and an appreciably younger buyer profile, driven by Chinese demand.

This new Quattroporte will, along with the Ghibili and Levante, drive Maserati sales towards a target of 50,000 sales in 2015, up from 15,400 in 2013 (an all-time record) and 6307 units in 2012.

Within the Fiat Chrysler Group, Maserati and Jeep are earmarked as the prime-movers of growth both this year and next, with Alfa Romeo also tapped to expand rapidly.

The Quattroporte S, like its V8 sibling, is pitched equally at traditional luxury limos such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (the S350 kicks off at $215,000), as well as sportier rivals such as the Porsche Panamera 3.6 GT ($201,400).

The new-generation model is longer and roomier than the old car — addressing an acknowledged shortcoming — but is also lighter. The platform is all-new, and will be shared with the Ghibli and Levante. In fact, Maserati claims the car is new from the ground up.

The new 60-degree direct-injected 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine pumps out 301kW at 5500 rpm and 550Nm of torque between 1750 and 5000rpm. As with the V8, this V6 unit is assembled in Maranello by Maserati’s Fiat-owned stablemate Ferrari.

Maserati claims the 1860kg (down 120kg thanks to partial aluminium construction, plus a magnesium dashboard cross-member) V6 can dash from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds, only four-tenths off the 390kW GTS, and perilously close to the old 4.7 V8 range-topper.

Combined-cycle fuel consumption is a claimed 10.4 litres per 100km, compared to 11.8L/100km for the V8. Power is sent to the rear wheels (19 or 20-inch) via an eight-speed transmission sourced from ZF and shared with cars such as the BMW 5 Series (but with a unique tune).

Paddle-shifters are mounted to the column, not the wheel.

The front suspension uses all-aluminium double wishbones (with steel springs), adaptive ‘Skyhook’ dampers and an anti-roll bar. The rear suspension consists of a five-bar multi-link set-up with four aluminium arms.

Dash-mounted buttons can set the engine, throttle, transmission and dampers to a more aggressive sports orientation.

The Quattroporte also gets a mechanical limited-slip differential. The asymmetric locking feature offers 35 per cent lock-up under power and 45 per cent under release.

Maserati eschews electro-hydraulic steering and sticks with a conventional servo-hydraulic system to improve road feel. There is less power assistance than before, Maserati claims.

Dimensions are shared between both variants, with the 3171mm wheelbase giving claimed class-topping rear legroom — especially important for sales in the booming Chinese luxury market.

Rear legroom is claimed to have been increased by a substantial 105mm, and luggage capacity is up 80 litres. This extra boot-space is a result of the company re-positioning the fuel tank further forward, but despite this the car retains a claimed 50:50 weight distribution.

The V6 comes with the 8.4-inch Maserati Touch Control screen (a touch-screen lifted from the Chrysler 300), reverse cameras and an optional 15-speaker, 1280 Watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system, as well as WLAN-based WiFi.

However, features such as DAB+ digital radio, a head-up display or preventative safety equipment such as blind-spot monitoring or autonomous brakes are absent.

Unique to Australia is the space-saving spare wheel, rather than the Euro-spec type repair kit.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte pricing*
V6 S (a)$240,000
V8 GTS (a)$319,800
*Excludes on-road costs

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