Intimidating the terrain
I’ve adored the Maserati Quattroporte since it appeared in The Godfather III in 1990. There was ‘intimidation’ written all over the car that etched onto the memory of gangster movie buffs. But far from all romanticised notions of any Italian mafia car chase, here in the sleepy streets of Muscat, the Quattroporte S transforms into a versatile machine. The challenge was to find out if the car could effortlessly support the transitions that yours truly had planned for it.
To begin with, I simply had to hear the mean growl of its Ferrari-built V6 engine. The DNA of a racecar injected into the body of a luxury sedan surfaces as the Quattroporte S accelerates from zero to 100km in five seconds. It has a top speed of 288km/h, its 3.0lt V6 delivering 430hp and 580Nm peak torque.
Even with a speed like that the car specifically caters to the safety of the passengers with its new Advanced Driving Assistance Systems. These include active functions like Highway Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist, as well as Traffic Sign Recognition. These allow Maserati to offer Level 2 driving automation technologies, in line with the top competitors in the high-end segment.
The Omani terrain is where the real test lies. From the well-paved roads of Muscat’s highways, to the narrow by-lanes of Sidab, to the unpaved segments of Al Ansab - the Quattroporte S lived up to the transition at each stage of our drive. As a driver, I also got to experience my transition from a pearl clad diva that attended her meetings in the city to an adrenaline junkie in search of adventure in the Al Ansab hot springs. That is precisely the versatility that the Quattroporte S offers along with the glamour of Italian design.
Among other things to learn from the car’s 55 year long history is how Maserati epitomises elegance and craftsmanship to the very last detail. Interestingly, its designers have followed a minimalist approach for the centre of the dashboard which accommodates a high-resolution 8.4” multi-touch screen, the centrepiece of a state-of-the art infotainment system that is fully compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring functions. The lower console’s rotary knob offers intuitive control of the system’s basic functions.
The exterior of the Quattroporte S has been restyled with a new front and rear bumper design and an Alfieri-inspired, more pointed and imposing front grille with vertical chrome elements, which contrast with the deep ‘sharknose’ effect. These enhancements guarantee a second look and also give the Quattroporte S its movie-like groove to announce an intimidating arrival.