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4.5 ⁄ 5 stars
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2006 Maserati Quattroporte Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 2 reviews
In the pantheon of the great Italian automotive marques, the trinity of Ferrari, Maserati, and Pininfarina has materialized in one car, the Maserati Quattroporte. The 2006 iteration witnesses a trim-line expansion with the additions of the Executive and the Sport GT.
Pininfarina - the Michelangelo of automotive sheet metal - has produced a study in elegance unrivaled by its business-like Teutonic rivals. The aggressive oval grille of Maserati's heritage blends with modern lines into a distinctively Italian-designed automobile.
Under the hood, this car looks pure Italian: fire-red crackle-finish cam covers with a sculpted matte-black intake plenum that prominently features Maserati's trident logo. The sensuous V8, tuned by Ferrari/Maserati's GT team, produces 395 hp at 7,000 rpm - 500 rpm below its redline - pushing the 4,387-pound sedan from 0-60 in 5.1 seconds and to a 170-mph top speed.
The all-aluminum, 4.2-liter, dual-overhead-cam V8 settles behind the front wheel centerline with the transmission integrated into the rear axle. The Ferrari-engineered chassis results in 53% of the Quatroporte's weight over the rear. Aluminum suspension wishbones and hub centers reduce unsprung weight and further enhance handling quickness. Reviewers rated the Maserati's steering sensitivity and feedback on par with the best.
The Skyhook active suspension system continuously (within 25 milliseconds) adjusts the shock absorbers to real-time road conditions and throttle and steering inputs. The driver has a sport mode option. Reviewers effused that the handling was "brilliant," and "sports-car like."
Italian elegance at its finest graces the interior: It's quiet, comfortable, and swathed in luxurious, soft leathers in a wide range of colors. Real mahogany, briarwood, rosewood, or titanium trim complete the appointments. The rear seats are like the front seats: sculpted, supportive, and roomy; they slide fore/aft with tilt adjustment.
The only significant area of reviewer displeasure was the "automatic" mode of the DuoSelect six-speed sequential transmission. The manual paddle-shifted mode was a joy, but the automatic mode was less than the buttery flow of power that luxury automobiles usually provide. Maserati has corrected this to a certain extent in the Sport GT line with a faster shifting program for the automatic, but the "clunkiness" of the standard automatic remains.