The 2008 Maserati Quattroporte is powered by a Ferrari-designed, 4.2L V8 engine making 400 horsepower. The engine is now available either with DuoSelect--an electronically actuated, F1-racing-derived six-speed gearbox that can manage precise, performance-oriented shifts--or a conventional six-speed hydraulic automatic transmission. DuoSelect models all get shift paddles behind the steering wheel; a sport mode allows especially quick shifts. The Automatic Sport GT also gets the paddle-shifter arrangement. With the new automatic, the Quattroporte can accelerate to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 168 mph.
The Quattroporte has better weight distribution than most sport sedans and is claimed by the automaker to be the best-handling sedan in the world. With the engine mounted behind the front axle, more weight is placed on the rear wheels for better traction and better-balanced handling. With the DuoSelect gearbox, the weight distribution is especially good (split 47/53 front/rear), with the transmission locked to the differential for optimal performance.
The suspension is also designed for high-performance driving. It uses forged aluminum arms and supports and a special geometry that prevents the front end from diving during braking or the rear end from squatting during hard acceleration. The Skyhook suspension system, co-developed with Mannesmann-Sachs, uses a series of sensors to instantly adjust the shocks for driving conditions; it includes normal and sport settings. A Brembo anti-lock braking system brings big four-piston calipers (with cross-drilled discs on the Sport GT) to all four wheels for quick stops from high speed. Electronic stability control is also standard.
On the safety front, electronic stability control is standard. So are six air bags, including front side air bags and side curtain air bags covering front and rear occupants.
Inside, the Quattroporte is finished in Frau Leather and several possible types of wood, including rosewood, walnut, mahogany, Black Piano, and Tanganyika. There are also nine possible interior colors. Entertainment is provided by a Bose audio system developed for the Quattroporte.
Executive GT models get a classic appearance, with chrome front and side grilles, and ball-polished 19-inch wheels. Sport GT models feature sporty red accents and a Maserati trident in front, plus a mesh grille and carbon fiber interior trim. Stylish 20-inch wheels are available.
For those wanting to customize their Quattroporte, there's an Alfieri Maserati Workshops program that allows expanded color choices, along with custom materials and stitching inside, plus additional features like a rear DVD player and TV tuner, side blinds, and ventilated massage seats.
The Italian-made 2008 Maserati Quattroporte mixes the personalities of a high-end luxury car and an exotic sports coupe, making some functionality sacrifices in the name of styling and performance but coming across as more distinctive and engaging than traditional prestige sedans--especially for well-heeled buyers who drive themselves.
World-class performance; distinctive styling; customizable interior.
The 2008 Maserati Quattroporte gets a new tire pressure monitor standard on all models, and the engine's horsepower increase to 400 (from 394). Paddle shifters mounted behind the steering wheel are a new option across the board, while the GSM phone kit is no longer orderable. Sport models can opt for black, yellow, or blue brake calipers as well as extra interior leather trim. The Sport can also add a Chrome Line Package that includes chrome exterior door handles, window mouldings, and exhaust pipes. Several new wheel styles are also on offer.
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