The problem with four-door cars is that they suggest family, and family ties, rather than two-door adventurousness. The Maserati Quattroporte is an exception. It’s the kind of car that suggests your only family ties are to the big one based in Sicily.
The new ‘S’ version of the QP features the enlarged, upgunned 433bhp 4.7-litre V8 recently installed in the GranTurismo S, but with a front-mounted ZF six-speed auto rather than the GT S’s rear transaxle. The extra power and torque (over 80 per cent of the latter is available at 2500rpm) give the QP S the real-world pace it always should have had, although the soundtrack is relatively muted – unlike the GT S, there’s no trick exhaust valve to up the decibels in Sport mode. But then Quattroporte drivers don’t need to shout…
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The QP S does gain Maserati’s continuously self-adjusting Skyhook suspension, however; added to the spot-on 49/51 front/rear weight distribution and sharp, well-weighted steering, the result is a quick yet understated car that’s a real pleasure to feed along a twisty road.Maserati has tweaked the styling, too, making the body fractionally longer, adding a new vertically slatted grille and reworking the lights, so that the rears look less like a mid-’90s Honda Prelude’s. But that is just the icing on a subtle and very satisfying cake. With the S, you can now have that cake and eat it.