I have a long history with the Quattroporte. When I first drove the Quattroporte, during its introductory media event in Florence, Italy, in March 2004, I was amazed by the styling, the energetic V-8 engine borrowed from Ferrari, the oh-so-Italian interior, and the handling, which led me and others to call the Quattroporte "the four-door Ferrari." I was not so impressed by the paddle-shifted semi-automatic manual transmission, which was extremely jerky in urban driving, with unacceptably long, rough upshifts. It was clear then that Maserati knew that the transmission would be unacceptable for many American buyers, as the QP's engineering team was interrogating the U.S. press corps for its reactions to the gearbox. The DuoSelect was great when you were driving the car at its limits on hilly Tuscan roads, I told them, but it wasn't going to fly with the country club set who would buy the car in America.