As I approached the Quattroporte on the second floor of the parking structure, I noticed a couple of twenty-something guys circling it. When I hit the key fob to unlock the doors, they looked a little startled and started heading off sheepishly. Then one of them turned around, walked over to me, and said, "Seeing that car made our day. Thanks!" Now, we've had some pretty impressive cars in our test fleet, but I can honestly say that I've never had anyone thank me just for letting them look at a car in a public parking lot. And that should tell you something about the Quattroporte. On paper, its competitors are the Mercedes S-class and the BMW 7-series (in their most uplevel trims), but in real life the Maserati has a cachet that those two cars --- as good as they are --- just can't match.
The cachet isn't just about the exterior styling (although it is quite lovely), extending to the way you feel when you lower yourself into the extremely comfortable driver's seat. Everything about the car seems to cosset the driver. The Quattroporte's interior is full of lovely materials and exudes the warmth of the Italian character. As for driving, my time behind the wheel was short and sweet, but the engine accelerates swiftly and smoothly, and the handling is commendable. All in all, a lovely place to spend some time.
Amy Skogstrom, Managing Editor