"The Quattroporte Sport GT S has already been labeled Maserati's iron fist in a velvet glove, thanks to its svelte body wrapping around a high performance drivetrain, a racetrack bred chassis and a soundtrack from the engine that turns heads even quicker than its innate style" says Glen Sealey, General Manager for Maserati in Australia and New Zealand. "The MC Sportline could be said to replace the iron in that fist with carbon fibre, which is used throughout the interior and, with just 30 destined for Australia, it will extend Maserati's reputation for exclusivity."
The MC Sportline equipment package is developed from Maserati's highly successful motorsport programme with the Maserati MC-12, which dominates the FIA GT World Championship and which currently leads the 2010 title chases for both drivers' and team prizes.
"Carbon Fibre is used extensively in the MC-12 and its use in the Quattroporte MC Sportline transforms the ambiance of the Sport GT S," says Mr Sealey. "With its use on the gearchange paddles, which are twice the size of those in the normal Quattroporte and mirror the paddles fitted to the MC-12, it is also a tactile change as the carbon fibre has quite a different feel to the light alloy used in the normal paddles"
The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S MC Sportline replaces all the wood trim in the standard car with carbon fibre, across the dashboard, the front and rear centre consoles, sections of the door panels, the gear knob and around the switchgear. Additionally it is used around the instrument pack and on the gearchange paddles. Each of the door sills is fitted with carbon fibre trim panels embossed with the MC Sportline logo and the MC logo is stamped into the aluminium brake pedal.
When deliveries of the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S MC Sportline start at in November, it will have a recommended price of $298,800 excluding statutory charges, delivery and on road costs.
The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S is the range topping variant of Maserati's sleek salon and, since its launch, has been consistently the best selling variant of the Quattroporte. Compared to the Quattroporte S, top speed is lifted from 280 kmh to 285 kmh and the 0-100 kmh time is trimmed from 5.2 seconds to 5.1 seconds. But these figures are only part of the story of how Maserati has produced a luxury saloon that has the driving abilities of a supercar.
Maserati revised the mapping of the V8 4.7 litre engine, with power increased to 323 kW at 7000 rpm. In Sport mode valves open in the exhaust system to reduce back-pressure increasing maximum available power. These valves not only release more power - they also enable the Maserati V8 to create a throaty roar at low engine speeds and full symphonic sound of a genuine sports car at higher rpm.
The launch of the Quattroporte Sport GT S debuts MC-Auto Shift, the closest an automatic transmission has come to offering instant response of sequential manual, yet maintain seamless smooth gearshifts when a neck-snapping response is not required. This has been achieved via a thorough redesign of the transmission operating software and providing the driver with features not available on other Quattroporte variants.
In "MANUAL MODE" the driver controls gear shifts directly, and changes are permitted up to the redline on the rev-counter. For the most enjoyable, highest-performance driving experience, an electronic gear shift indicator in the middle of the dashboard tells the driver when it is the ideal timing of the gear change; this system, which enhances the pleasure and satisfaction of the driving experience when truly putting the car through its paces, is complemented by "Trofeo" style extra-long paddles behind the steering-wheel, ergonomically shaped for easier gear changes on the most demanding roads.
In AUTO SPORT mode, the gear shift control software activates the MC Start Strategy function. This function allows controlled starts enabling the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 Kmh in just 5.1 seconds, instead of 5.3 seconds.
MANUAL SPORT and AUTO SPORT modes both provide electronic heel and toeing during down-shifts; this, combined with the Quattroporte Sport GT S's other characteristics, make this saloon car capable of unprecedented driver involvement in its unique performance.
The Quattroporte Sport GT S is fitted with the single-setting racing-style suspension system featuring single-rate dampers, stiffer springs and lower ride height that has been developed to further enhance the car's handling and it makes its steering extremely sensitive and responsive.
The additional stiffening of the suspension by 30 per cent at the front and 10 per cent at the rear, together with a reduction in ground clearance of 10 mm on the front and 25 mm on the rear axle respectively, provides a substantial reduction in load transfers and more effective traction control during direction changes.
The Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S's weight distribution is unique in its category with a slight bias towards the rear end (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 perfectly balanced.
The new Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S comes with a high performance braking system developed by Brembo. The 360 mm brake discs benefit from dual-cast technology: cast iron for the braking surface and an aluminium hub. This set up takes advantage of the consistent performance of cast iron at high temperatures and from the lightweight aluminium.
The six-piston callipers, of different diameters, are in a single aluminium block. These keep their shape better than two piece calliper sets and offer unbeatable stopping power.
The system is completed by the ABS, that stops the wheels locking under braking, and EBD, that 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 Sport GT S's brakes are always prompt in responding and live up to the standards you would expect from a Maserati saloon.
Subtle changes have also been made to the appearance of the Quattroporte for its new performance range-topping position as the Sport GT S.
The deeper set grille is fitted to the front bumper, and is framed by the new fog lights and air intakes that have been enlarged to cope with the more powerful engine. The combination of the redesigned bumper and the new grille bestow the front end of the car with an immediate aggressive visual impact.
The front light cluster has also been redesigned and features a titanium finish. This underlines the more aggressive Quattroporte Sport GT S, a feeling reinforced by its xenon headlights and LED indicators.
Turning to the bodywork, the new sweeping wing mirrors are more aerodynamic. The shape of the body below the doors lends the new model a more purposeful look. In profile, the car's lowered stance is easily appreciated: 10 mm at the front and 25 mm at the rear.
These few millimetres make all the difference. The car appears poised as if on the starting blocks, ready for action with its racier set-up perfectly complementing the 323 kW power unit. This car exudes speed even when it is stationary.
The Quattroporte Sport GT S comes with two new types of 20" rims: Multi Trident rims in light aluminium alloy as an option and seven-spoke light alloy rims that have undergone the 'Dark Chrome' treatment.
The top performance model in the Quattroporte range clearly proclaims its character through the style of its interior, its intelligent use of materials and equipment.
The seats, which are state of the art in terms of ergonomics and comfort, have a stylised M for Maserati on the backs. The central sections of the seats are upholstered in perforated Alcantara, for optimal breathability and a firm support during hard cornering; Alcantara is also used on the side panels, the front armrest, the steering-wheel and the gear lever knob.
The interior finishes on this version are a celebration of technology and craftsmanship. The material used is the groundbreaking TitanTex, an ultra-lightweight aluminium-coated titanium fibre fabric, made even more special by a specific processing, which gives the interior a high-tech, high-performance look, as well as a shinier, more three-dimensional overall appearance.
The steering paddles, integral with the steering column, have a decorative chromed finish that gives their edges definition: they are also longer in shape, to ensure a good grip even when the steering wheel is on a tight lock. In the MC Sportline these are replaced by carbon fibre units. The interior finishes are completed by the exclusive addition of the name of the model in relief on the dashboard.
The optional aluminium pedals, which are standard on the MC-Sportline, are specially designed for racing-style driving, they provide outstanding grip when the brake and accelerator are depressed and released in quick succession, complete the interior.
Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S Technical Specifications
Displacement: 4,691 cc
Bore: 94 mm
Stroke: 84.5 mm
Compression ratio: 11.02:1
Maximum power: 323 kW (440 bhp)
Engine speed at maximum power: 7,000 rpm
Maximum torque: 490 Nm (49,5 kgm)
Engine speed at maximum torque: 4,750 rpm
Maximum rev speed: 7,200 rpm
SIZE AND WEIGHT
Length: 5,097 mm
Width (including wing mirrors): 1,991 mm
Width (excluding wing mirrors): 1,855 mm
Height: 1,423 mm
Wheelbase: 3,064 mm
Front track: 1,582 mm
Rear track: 1,595 mm
Front overhang: 891 mm
Rear overhang: 1,142 mm
Turning circle: 12.3 m
Boot capacity: 450 l
Fuel tank capacity: 90 l
Dry weight: 1,880 kg
Curb weight: 1,990 kg
Curb weight + driver: 2,065 kg
Full load weight: 2,365 kg
Maximum weight technically permitted: 2,400 kg
Weight distribution: 49% front.; 51% rear.
Top speed: 285 kmh
0-100 km/h acceleration: 5.1 s (with Launch Control)
0-400 m acceleration: 13.37 s
0-1,000 m acceleration: 24.1 s
80-120 km/h pick up: 3.7 s
100 km/h - 0 km/h braking distance: 35 m
CONSUMPTION AND EMISSION
Urban: 23.95 (l/100 km)
Extra urban: 10.91 (l/100 km)
Combined: 15.71 (l/100 km)
CO2 emissions (combined cycle): 365 (g/km)