- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 23, 2003

The 2004 Maserati Quattroporte was unveiled at the new Ferrari Maserati showroom in Dulles on Wednesday. This is the first North American showing for the all new Quattroporte, the company’s flagship five-passenger saloon, and it shows very well indeed.

No matter what your personal tastes, nearly everyone agrees that the Italians design the most beautiful cars. This time out the folks at Pininfarina have come up with a stunning example of automotive art — or art itself, for that matter. The car pictured is finished in what Pininfarina calls “Grigio Palladio.”

From every angle the Quattroporte (the name means “four-doors”) exhibits elegant styling that is at once reminiscent of Duesenberg, Jaguar, Ferrari, Delahaye and maybe a little Maserati Ghibli. It’s a gorgeous piece of sculpture that can safely and smoothly carry five persons at speeds of 160+ mph in absolute comfort.

Inside the Quattroporte’s sumptuous interior are elegantly upholstered seats, beautifully styled controls and all the amenities one would expect after spending around $90,000. Each car is equipped with Bluetooth technology and Bose electronics that surrounds each individual in his/her personal “envelope” of sound. Everything inside exhibits a soothing tactile feel. Very, very Italian. …

It’s what’s underneath that makes up a high-speed touring sedan and Maserati has a history of building such vehicles that dates back to 1914, when the five Maserati brothers decided to go into the car business. Under the hood is a 4.2-liter aluminum V-8 engine with four camshafts per cylinder bank, that pumps out 400 horsepower and ample torque to propel the two-ton car from 0 to 60 in 5.1 seconds. Independent front and rear suspensions are actively controlled by Maserati’s Skyhook system and Brembo brakes pull the car down from any speed with full control. Electronic stability control is standard, as well as the automatic transmission that can be driven as a manual through the use of steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The Quattroporte is the first Maserati model designed and developed from a clean sheet of paper after the company merged with Ferrari. It will be officially unveiled at the LA Auto Show in January. It’s sure to draw very large crowds.

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