It was an undeniable truth that, within six years of going on sale, the luxury four-door sedan from Modena had become the epitome of what the motoring segment should deliver. While other carmakers from Germany focused on ultra-high-speed performance, their amorphous exteriors and bland interiors would cause all these brands to merge into one. The cachet of this Italian purebred, that prioritizes both style and performance, ensures that the Quattroporte stands above all others.
But this was not just based on personal opinions but on solid revenue metrics. By the time the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte had come out, over 15,000 units had been sold worldwide, making it the bestselling Maserati ever. This translated into the fact that the Quattroporte V would dominate the luxury sedan market with over a third of the sales coming from the Modena factory. It had become widely considered that this Maserati sedan was the closest thing you could get to owning a four-door Ferrari.
During those intervening years, Maserati had been busy on improving the model in all key areas. The much-criticized automated manual ‘DuoSelect’ transmission had been discarded, while an even bigger choice of engine was on offer. While the GranLusso specs had been standardized on all models, the ‘Sport’ editions had been provided with extra power in the engine, stronger Brembo brakes to cope with the performance and suspension that’s more attune to high performance driving.
Maserati, the ‘Maestro’s of Modena’, had cornered the market.
The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte was available in three models – Base, S & GT S. While the Base Quattroporte continued to use the 4.2-liter V8 Ferrari engine, the other two would be installed with the 4.7-liter V8 that came from the GranTurismo S.
The Base engine still provided great performance, as it produced 395 bhp at 7,000 rpm and 339 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 rpm. Acceleration was clocked at 5.6 seconds for the 0-60 mph dash and hitting a top speed of 168 mph. The S and GT S models get the larger 4.7L engine that gives out 434 bhp and 444 bhp respectively from the same 7,000 rpm. While both models achieve 361 lb-ft of torque from 4,750 rpm. The Quattroporte S makes 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph while the GT S does the same at 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 177 mph.
As soon as pressure is applied to the gas pedal, the scream of the V8 erupts through the quad tailpipes, giving an exhilarating feel to the experience. For a car that weighs 4,400 lbs. and firing a big engine, the fuel economy is not the best. City driving was gauged to be only 11 mpg while highway motoring was at 18 mpg; though, for owners who could afford a luxury sedan that costs between 124K to 138K, they were not so concerned on the price of gas.
Much to everyone’s relief, the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte only came with one choice of gearbox. Maserati turned to their most trusted partner, ZF from Germany, to provide their six-speed automatic transmission. There were a couple of settings, Normal and Sport, which allowed it to either behave as a sedate urban cruiser or an open road racer.
Functioning as an orthodox automatic, the transmission was very smooth with up and down shifts occurring inconspicuously. When engaging the ‘Sport’ mode, the car came alive. Shift changes were speeded up while the adaptive suspension became firmer in anticipation of the aggressive drive ahead. To add to the thrill, baffles in the exhaust were bypassed to allow the full growl of the Ferrari engine to escape from the back.
To take the driving experience to another level and truly have a Maserati at your fingertips, then slide the gear stick across and engage the Manual mode. Either by flipping the stick up or down or by using the shift paddles behind the steering wheel, the driver would have full control of the gear changes and push the revs nearer the redline.
When checking the magazine and owner reviews, everyone was in agreement – the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte was an exceptional drive. Despite a car weighing over two tons and over 16 feet long, the handling and steering of the sedan was excellent. While taking long straightaways at high speed under great control, the big sedan would be most surprising when it tackled twisting rounds. Behaving like a car half its size, it was highly responsive with the wheel and on the grip of the Pirelli tires, as if riding on rails. The luxury sedan was content to attack all cornering at high speed and experiencing no under or oversteer (unlike the BMW 7 Series, apparently).
Even for the less experienced driver, they could still get maximum thrill from the precision handling and still maintain a level of confidence behind the wheel. This was due in part to several driving aids that had been installed which included both stability and traction control, but also to the perfect balance of the automobile.
While the DuoSelect had been located at the rear of the car, the new automatic transmission was now attached to the engine at the front. But Maserati were still able to achieve a rear weight distribution ratio of 47/53 front to back. This would allow the large sedan to behave smoothly on the road and to have very accurate steering responses.
Whether the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte was gliding down Main Street or flying through tight curves, the interior comfort of driver and passengers was assured. With the use of the adaptive ‘Skyhook’ suspension system, it ensured a smooth ride at all times. Minimizing body roll and lateral movement as well as counteracting any imperfect road conditions.
However, for the GT S model, they replaced the adaptive system with single-rate dampers to enhance its racier profile. In addition to this, they would lower the ride of the GT S by 15 mm in the front and 10 mm in the rear.
Another key feature of why the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte was a standout amongst its peers, was the level of opulence in the cabin. From corner to corner, front to back, the interior was awash with the finest leather from Poltrona Frau. Although this specialized company provided hides to many car makers around the world, they would only provide their finest leathers to just two brands – Ferrari and Maserati.
The front seats and the two rear seats would offer exceptional comfort and encased in the smooth leather. This would be matched by the dash, the central console & gear stick and door panels. Maserati gave a choice of ten different tones for the leather while another 11 different colored threads for the piping and hand stitching. The hard surfaces could be finished in titanium or three different wood veneers (Mahogany, Rosewood & Briarwood). No other luxury sedan came close to the bespoke customization that Maserati offered – this was something important to Italians.
The sensual slopes and contours of the exterior bodywork, from the side curves and flowing wheel arches down to the swooping front nose and iconic Maserati Trident grille, made the shape of this sedan like no other on the road. To top this off, they would offer a color palette of 15 different paints for the bodywork which now included an extra special “Bianco Fuji” Pearlescent paint. Though this takes eight months to deliver at a cost of $8,800. The color and contrast of an owner’s Quattroporte was only limited by their imagination.
The alloy wheels came in three sizes with the base having 18 inch and the S and GT S having 19 and 20 inch respectively.
Wired for Sound
The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte would also update its Infotainment System, with a cleaner look to the central panel and a more inclusive hardware fit out. The nine speaker Bose Audio System incorporates a touchscreen sat nav linked to a 30gb hard drive, a satellite radio and a CD/MP3/DVD player which allows digital music storage on the same hard drive. Connectivity is also possible via iPod integration, Bluetooth and voice activation.
Though some found it a little confusing, others found it workable enough after taking time to go through the button controls.
The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte was offered with a plethora of standard specs. These included: adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, fog lamps, heated exterior mirrors, rear park assist, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, 14-way power-adjustable heated front seats with driver memory, four-way power-adjustable rear outboard seats, a refrigerated storage compartment in the front armrest, dual-zone automatic climate control and a power rear sunshade. The S model also provided a sports steering wheel and Wenge wood finish while the GT S had exclusive wheels as well as exterior and interior styling details.
Maserati had achieved great things. In less than a decade they had gone from being a small bespoke manufacturer of highly entertaining but high maintenance cars, to a global provider of a luxury fleet of desirable and reliable automobiles. The Quattroporte was king.