One Week With: 2017 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 GranLusso

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he pulse always ticks upward when you slide behind the wheel of a Maserati. Before opening the driver’s door your eyes have taken in the rakish sheetmetal, swooping and curving and gliding into a dramatic, evocative sculpture as only the Italians can do it. Inside, the hedonistic environment—supple leathers, rich wood trim, elegant tailoring—sets your senses on alert. You fire up the engine and … ah, quella bella muscia. A Maserati’s exhaust note will always delight an enthusiast’s ears.

The updated-for-2017 Quattroporte full-size sedan is no different. Chassis and engine offerings are unchanged, but some revisions to the exterior (particularly in the front end) and other tweaks make the QPorte an even more tempting option for buyers looking for a luxury/sports sedan with that certain something extra. As noted, the newly revised car is certainly a looker—graceful, classy, sexy, spiced up with an obvious edge of aggressiveness in that barracuda-like visage. My test car was dressed in optional Grigio Maratea metallic paint ($2,250), a lovely, understated hue with a radiant shimmer.

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For the most part, the cabin is equally attractive, including (on my tester) “Ciuio”-colored leather on the seats and doors, plus open-pore Radica wood trim on the dash and center console and rich Alcantara lining the roof and pillars. Rear-seat legroom is abundant (as you’d expect in a vehicle that’s more than 17 feet long), and the amenities list extensive—including a heated steering wheel, a power rear sunblind, an integrated WiFi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a surround-view camera ($900), and a new rotary knob that adds additional access to the touchscreen infotainment system.

That said, there are obvious concessions to the Maser’s Fiat-Chrysler parentage: the same wiper/turn-signal stalk you’ll find in the Jeep Cherokee, for instance, plus lots of other buttons and switches straight out of purely utilitarian FCA products. These pedestrian bits aren’t enough to sabotage the Quattroporte’s overriding air of regal luxury, but Maserati needs to raise its game in such small but important details. The Germans certainly have.

Two engines—a twin-turbo V-8 or a twin-turbo V-6—are available, with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. My tester was a V-6, all-wheel-drive Quattroporte S Q4 in uplevel GrandLusso trim. Yes, who wouldn’t crave the 523 horses of the 3.8-liter, Ferrari-engineered V-8—but the twin-turbo 3.0-liter six is hardly a slouch. There’s 404 hp on tap, with 406 lb-ft of torque cresting at just 1,750 rpm.