Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Leader of Maserati Tribe

This unusual car is a rare spectacle on the streets of Yerevan. It can never be mixed up with German, English or American cars. This is a 4-door sports sedan (when translated from Italian, the word “quattroporte” means four-door), the production of which was launched in 2003. The one I will be testing was “born” in 2006.

Everything in this car, starting from design, which is made by the outstanding specialists of Pininfarina, to technical equipment, makes you fall in love with it at first sight. The exterior of the car is a real masterpiece of the modern automobile design-it’s ideal, unique and exquisite in every detail.
Until recently, the Quattroporte acted as a black sheep in the executive class-this car was designed with a primary idea of comfort, but in fact, the Quattroporte was originally a sports car in a “costume” of an executive sedan.
The car is equipped with an engine by Ferrari, a robotized Duo Select  transmission with speed switches at the core,a transaxle layout (the gearbox is transferred to the rear axle for a better weight distribution), a stiff suspension and with a sharp steering wheel-this set seems to be slightly radical for an executive car,doesn't it? There is also a monstrous version Sport GT, which I really hope to get some day to test it out.
However, comfort was sacrificed to the pronounced sports character of the car, which hindered the sales of the executive sedan on the US market, which was a top priority for Maserati. The majority of wealthy buyers are of course satisfied with the elegance of the interior,melodiousness of the engine and the unique appearance of the Quattroporte, but, at the same time, they get exasperated at the jerky gear box. I must say that throughout the time of production of the car, the specialists attempted to improve the algorithm of the Duo Select and succeeded in doing so. However, when compared with the automatic gearbox, even with the simplest one, the Duo Select is obviously inferior in respect of smooth running. Finally,the constructors of Maserati invented the six-speed automatic transmission ZF. Externally, the version with ZF is no different from the ordinary Quattroporte.

The only visible difference is in the salon, between the front seats: instead of the little joystick Dual Select, you can see the gracefully decorated full-fledged  selector of the automatic transmission. By the way, I didn't see any Sport Mode indication on the slit of the gear selector. It turns out that the Sport Mode is activated through a separate button on the central console. The active dampers also automatically shifted to Sport Mode through this button.
To be continued…