The technology on the Maserati Quattroporte 4.2
The new Maserati Quattroporte comes equipped with an aspirated, eight cylinder 4,244 cc V90° engine. The lubrication system features a wet sump, which results in a reduction in noise making the cabin quieter.
The Quattroporte’s V8 power unit’s cylinder block and heads are made of aluminium alloy and silicon with the drive shaft and five supports in forged, reclaimed steel. The timing is actioned by two chain-driven overhead camshafts per bank and four valves per cylinder controlled by hydraulic tappets. The aspirated overhead camshafts, designed especially for the requirements of a luxury saloon, are controlled by a high pressure, continual phase variator with actuation times of less than 0.15 seconds.
The ignition and injection systems allow operational fluctuations in the car’s engine management system to be controlled, meaning that the car always stays within emissions guidelines. The accelerator is controlled electronically using ‘drive by wire’ technology while the ECU microprocessor communicates with the other systems through the Controlled Area Network (CAN) to optimise the engine management. All this translates into an engaging ride. The Maserati’s V8 engine delivers its power in a specially designed way to give the Quattroporte maximum on-board comfort and super smooth gear changes.
The torque curve, which reaches it peak of 46 kgm at 4,750 rpm, is characterised by its fluid delivery. The engine’s revs rise gradually without any sudden jumps to offer consistent power at any point in the rev range. The Quattroporte’s performance has a 405 hp power output, a top speed of 270 km/h and a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 5.6 seconds.
The Maserati Quattroporte’s automatic transmission ensures fluidity and smooth gear shifts, without compromising power or speed. The gearbox, the result of a partnership between Maserati and ZF, is served by a hydraulic torque converter. This provides a boost at low-mid revs and also ensures sufficient power right up to 7,200 rpm.
The driver can modify the transmission to best suit the road conditions or to match his/ her own driving style by selecting the Low Grip or Sport buttons.
Low Grip mode guarantees maximum safety when the road surface is slick or icy thanks to the direct input of the ASR traction control. Pressing the Sport button makes the transmission more aggressive and places the emphasis on performance with faster changes at higher revs. To keep in touch with its granturismo heritage, the Quattroporte can also be driven in manual mode by flicking the switch located on the centre tunnel.
Chassis and suspension
The Maserati Quattroporte’s chassis makes it an involving drive whilst also improving safety and comfort. Its torsional stiffness and flexibility results in well-balanced handling that enhances the driving experience.
The car’s front and rear double wishbone suspension, with forged aluminium arms and hubs, features ‘Antidive’ and ‘Antisquat’ geometry. This prevents the front end dipping under braking and the rear end squatting under acceleration. The Quattroporte’s suspension has been further upgraded with dampers fixed to a ‘comfort’ setting to further ensure a fluid drive. This set up results in a car that is agile with body roll being well contained.
The Skyhook System
The Skyhook System is available as standard on the Quattroporte. This electronically controlled suspension system provides automatic and continual adjustment of the damping. Any bumps in the road surface are absorbed and on-board comfort levels remain as high as ever as the system even adapts to the individual driver’s style behind the wheel.
Skyhook boasts software that is specially designed for the Quattroporte and conceived to offer the maximum in comfort on the move. Skyhook acts by using acceleration sensors that detect movement on all four wheels and the body and instantly adjusts the dampers accordingly.
There are two different settings: Normal and Sport. In Normal mode, the ride is softer, meaning greater comfort. The driver can switch to Sport mode at any time to stiffen up the ride and bring out the Quattroporte’s sporty nature and performance.
Traction and stability control
The Quattroporte’s dynamic handling is further assisted by the Maserati Stability Programme (MSP). This has been specially designed by Maserati to improve safety and works by integrating the ABS, EBD and ASR, acting on the brakes and the engine in order to give the driver complete control of the car, even in critical situations. The Programme is based on a series of sensors that are able to pick up any movement that differs from the car’s ideal handling. Like the Skyhook system, MSP can act according to two different performance options. These correspond to settings chosen by the driver by pushing ‘Sport’ on the centre console. This setting adjusts the dampers, the traction control and the speed of the gear changes.
The electronic power steering is direct and precise at speed and transmits to the driver exactly what the car is doing. At the same time, it is light and easy to use at lower speeds and when performing manoeuvres.
The Maserati Quattroporte’s weight distribution is unique in its category with a slight bias towards the rear (49% front and 51% rear). This split transforms the luxury saloon into a car where performance is favoured and rewards the driver with its superb handling. This set up was achieved by shifting the engine behind the front axle to maximise traction and acceleration while also making the car stable and balanced.
The Maserati Quattroporte’s brakes are made up of four self-ventilating discs (330 mm at the front and rear) with fixed, four piston calipers at the front at the rear and on the servo brake. ABS stops the wheels locking under braking and EBD distributes the braking force between the front and the rear axles; both systems are integrated into the Maserati Stability Programme (MSP). This solution offers excellent performance both in terms of stopping distance and resistance to brake fade, even under intense use. The Quattroporte’s brakes are always prompt in responding and live up to the standards you would expect from a Maserati saloon.
The Quattroporte uses front and rear lights that have been developed to offer the very best in each individual function. The use of LEDs makes a big impact on the car and is one of the elements that link this model with the Maserati GranTurismo.
The most important lighting functions have been improved. The front xenon cluster now boasts the Adaptive Light Control system. This produces a brighter and clearer beam compared to conventional bulbs. The lights also automatically track the movements of the steering wheel so that the beam points to the inside of a curve (up to a maximum of 15º). For safety reasons, when the car is travelling above 120 km/h, the system returns to a traditional fixed position.
The Daytime Running Light function is a useful addition and is made up of ten LEDs set along the bottom edge of the headlight. The indicators catch the eye and the front headlights are memorable for their side-marks that merge flawlessly with the outside edge of the car, with the wiper forming part of the cluster. The fog lights employ an altogether different set up and are located in the bumper to ensure a wider beam.
This system is also used in the rear with 34 LEDs making up each light. This technology was employed because LEDs illuminate more quickly and produce a more intense beam than normal bulbs. They last longer, consume less energy and their performance does not reduce over time.