For the 2005 model year, Maserati introduced a full-size four-door luxury sedan called the Quattroporte. Designed by Pininfarina, the rear-wheel-drive Quattroporte competes with the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Changes for 2008 include the addition of a new Sport GT S trim level that sits above the rest with added equipment for sport-minded buyers. High-performance brakes, 20-inch dark chrome wheels, a stiffer suspension and lowered stance are some of the differences you'll find on the Sport GT S.
The Quattroporte has Brembo all-disc brakes and a Skyhook automatic-damping suspension. A V-8 engine works with Maserati's DuoSelect sequential transmission, which can be shifted using paddles mounted on the steering column. Maserati says the Quattroporte can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in a swift 5.2 seconds. For optimum weight distribution, the engine sits behind the front axle and drives a rear-mounted transmission.
In addition to the Sport GT S, the are also Executive GT and Sport GT trim levels. The Executive GT has polished 19-inch wheels and heated, ventilated and massaging rear seats. The steering wheel is made of wood and leather.
The Sport GT features 20-inch wheels, carbon fiber trim, racing pedals, and a black grille and side air vents. Maserati's Skyhook suspension system has been modified for use in the Sport GT, and the car has a sport exhaust system.
Sport GT S models have high-performance composite cross-drilled brake rotors to optimize braking and reduce brake fade. The 20-inch wheels are finished in dark chrome and feature larger tires than other Quattroporte models.
Recognizable Maserati styling cues include its long hood, prominent grille and headlights. Low-slung front fenders, short front overhangs, a swept-back profile, a high belt line and a steeply raked windshield also help establish what the company calls an "authoritative persona [and] predatory appearance."
A broad horizontal-bar grille contains Maserati's Trident badge. The headlights sit slightly back, and a wide air intake is installed below the grille. Three portholes adorn each front fender. Standard wheels measure 18 inches in diameter. Built on a relatively long 120.6-inch wheelbase, the Quattroporte is 198.9 inches long overall and 56.6 inches tall.
Sport GT S models have a blacked-out mesh grille and black-painted trim pieces that give the GT S a distinctive, stealthier look compared to other trims.
Five people can luxuriate inside the Quattroporte, where handcrafted leather complements the premium wood trim. Rosewood is standard, but buyers can specify mahogany, burl walnut, a titanium-style trim or piano black finish.
Standard features include power front and rear seats, a power rear sunshade and a cooled compartment in the front armrest. Touching a button in the center rear armrest moves the front passenger seat forward, supplying additional legroom. The Bosch-Blaupunkt Multi Media System includes a navigation system, Bose stereo and TV tuner.
Alcantara faux suede is used on GT S models' interiors to highlight the seats, door panels and steering wheel. And what's a sport edition without carbon fiber? The GT S has a carbon fiber instrument panel with aluminum highlights.
Under the Hood
The Quattroporte's 4.2-liter V-8 engine generates close to 400 horsepower and 333 pounds-feet of torque. The six-speed sequential transmission can be shifted using paddles mounted on the steering column, but it also includes a fully automatic mode. A Low Grip mode is included for driving in poor weather.
All-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags are standard.