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First look: Maserati slams Quattroporte

Squat: GT S rides a whole inch lower than its four-door donor car.

Maserati eyes Bentley with its more hard-core Quattroporte GT S super-sedan

4 Sep 2007

MASERATI will present an eye-catching new and more sporty Quattroporte model at the Frankfurt show next week, which that steps further into Bentley territory with a more aggressive stance and dynamics.

The new Quattroporte Sport GT S sits up to an inch lower than the regular model and gets a more hard-core suspension, wheel and braking package. Maserati has ditched the regular Quattroporte’s “skyhook” active suspension in favour of a racing car-style set-up with stiffer single-rate shock absorbers and springs that are clearly designed for handling over ride.

The Quattroporte Sport GT S sits 25mm lower at the front and 10mm lower at the rear, providing a more nose-down stance, and rides on dark chrome 20-inch alloy wheels fitted with more handling-oriented 245/35 R20 tyres at the front and 295/30 R20s at the rear.

These seven-spoke wheels reveal a glimpse of massive brakes developed in conjunction with Brembo, featuring what Maserati claims to be the first use in a road car of dual-cast discs (made from a combination of cast-iron and aluminium) combined with new mono-block six-piston callipers at the front. Maserati claims that the unique dual-cast discs “ensure optimised braking, improving performance in the most extreme conditions and providing greater resistance to fade even at the highest temperatures” compared with conventional cast-iron rotors.

Driving through the smooth-shifting ZF six-speed automatic transmission introduced to the range earlier this year, the Quattroporte Sport GT S is powered by the familiar Ferrari-developed 4.2-litre V8 engine that in Australian-spec cars produces 295kW at 7000rpm and 460Nm at 4250rpm.

Apart from the big alloy wheels, the GT S is externally distinguished by an aggressive black-chrome mesh grille at the front (a characteristic element of the top performance Maseratis) and body-colour door handles, while the side window trims and the two double exhaust pipes are finished in black.

Inside, the dashboard is finished in carbon fibre with aluminium treads, the front seats provide extra support to go with the car’s handling package and the interior features leather in addition to the usual Alcantara, the latter covering the seating areas, interior door panels and the steering wheel.

Overseas sources suggest that the Quattroporte Sport GT S will be priced between the current Sport GT and Executive GT models, suggesting a price of about $295,000 when it is launched in Australia around mid-2008.

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