European Luxury Sedans: Maserati Quattroporte
Some Quattroporte models have been better than others, but the current one is one of the best.
Maserati has built a number of different four-door cars over the years, and not all of them have been brilliant. However, those which have actually bore the name Quattroporte have sometimes been quite good indeed. This isn’t a universal rule, but it is mostly true, and most important of all, the current car is one of those good ones. In fact, the current car is not just brilliant to drive and practical at the same time, but it is also somehow surprisingly reasonably priced.
The first Quattroporte was conceived and built in the early Sixties, a time when Maserati was at one of its several high points. The car was basically a GT which had been stretched and given two extra doors and more rear legroom. Simple as this formula was, it made for a really spectacular car. There were a couple of other four-door supercars at the time, the Facel Vega and Lagonda Rapide (yep, same idea as the current A-M Rapide) but the Quattroporte was faster and really much more purpose-built to be a supercar. In this sense, this was the genesis of the four-door supercar.
Such was Maserati’s clout at the time that it could do things like invent its own genre of cars. This first Quattroporte unfortunately only lasted until 1969. The new Quattroporte II would debut in 1974, but this was an entirely different vehicle. While the original had been rear-wheel-drive and powered by a V8, this was front-wheel-drive and powered by a 3.0-liter V6. The car was also built on an extended Citroen platform, which immediately made it much less special. The oil crisis would take hold at about this time, Citroen and Maserati’s relationship would deteriorate and the Quattroporte II would ultimately be sold only in small numbers in a handful of countries.