Like a fine piece of art, the Maserati Quattroporte looks better every time you see it. The Pininfarina-penned design of the current Quattroporte debuted in the U.S. for the 2005 model year, but it has since been modernized with LED lamps, and its gorgeous curves continue to turn heads as few other cars can. In fact, many of today's upscale four-door coupes (Aston Martin Rapide, Audi A7, Mercedes-Benz CLS, and Porsche Panamera) were clearly inspired by this Italian knockout. Early Quattroportes were hampered by an automated manual gearbox that was great on a racetrack but clunky around town. Now they all use a modern six-speed automatic. The base 4.2-liter V-8 is no longer available, so the sweet, throaty engine-compartment arias now come exclusively from the Ferrari-engineered 4.7-liter V-8. In the S, the V-8 makes 425 hp and is good for 174 mph. A $7950 premium buys the Sport GT (433 hp, 177 mph) and a lower, firmer suspension; a competition-inspired exhaust system; high-performance Brembo brakes; and a racier transmission that matches revs on downshifts. The Quattroporte offers a dozen or so different shades of leather coverings for the seats, dashboard, and steering wheel, and they can be combined with several types of wood trim. There are twenty exterior colors, seven wheel designs, and six different hues for the brake calipers. Furthermore, the Officine Alfieri Maserati program offers "almost limitless customization." However, even the most basic Quattroporte will greatly impress most onlookers.
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