Caught in the classifieds: 2010 Maserati Quattroporte V8
If you’re in the market for a mid-size performance saloon, you’re probably thinking of buying something German. The M5 is a great choice, as is the Audi RS6, but both of those options are a bit… vanilla. Cars like the M5 and the E63 have become so popular they’re not that exciting anymore. Sure, they’re great to drive and own, but some of the magic found in the original E34 and the E39, and to an extent, the E60, got lost with their successors.
This is where Maserati and their incredible Quattroporte come in. The Quattroporte is a car which is dripping with magic and charisma, something the Germans know very little about. In essence, the Quattroporte is a four-door Ferrari, from the way it’s styled down to the way it drives and behaves on the road. This incredible example we’ve managed to find on our site has just 51,000 miles on the clock and is listed for a shade under £16,500. While that might seem like a lot of money for a ten-year-old Maserati, you have to bear in mind that this car had a starting price of well over £100,000 when it was brand new. Prices for older examples like this one have bottomed out, making this an incredible purchase.
If the BMW M5 is an accountant wearing a smart suit and a tie, and the Lexus GSF is lawyer wearing jeans and a sweater, then the Quattroporte is definitely a mobster with a pinstripe suit and a flat cap. This car might be over a decade old by now, but people still turn around and stare every time it passes next to them. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about it that evokes emotion and passion within you. It brings out the 9-year-old in all of us, for better or for worse.
I wouldn’t call it an aggressive design, but it’s unquestionably striking. Maserati has managed to nail the proportions just right from all angles. The front is dominated by that large ‘shark mouth’ grille, adorned with the Maserati trident logo in the middle. Finished in black like this example, it’s as menacing as it is woefully gorgeous.
The side profile is spot on as well. Quite often mid-size saloons get the front and the rear styling right while messing up the sides, but not the Quattroporte. The way the rear roofline slopes down is stunning, and you only need to glance at those three sills in the front quarter panels to instantly fall in love with the thing. Visually, it is the epitome of what all cars should look like.
Ergonomically, the cabin doesn’t make a lot of sense, but by God do the Italians know how to design a cabin which is amazing to look at. The infotainment screen is slow and outdated, and the climate controls look like they’ve been stolen from a Fiat Punto, but everything that’s vital to you as the driver is bang-on.
The steering wheel is the correct size and shape, so it fits snugly in your hands. It’s also slanted at a 90-degree angle and it comes up to meet you at the chest, exactly like it does in a lot of Ferraris. The seats are supportive but not as supportive as they are comfortable, which is perfect for a performance cruiser like the Quattroporte.
The dials are clear and easy to read, but the fact that they’ve got a blue background somehow makes them seem cooler than they actually are. Despite some of the horror stories you may have heard, the Quattroporte’s cabin is very robust. The materials have held up well and apart from a few squeaks and rattles here and there, it seems bulletproof. Electronic things like the window motors or the seat motors are bound to give up eventually, but they’re not that expensive to replace when they do. Elsewhere, you’ll find the Quattroporte has a ton of room in the back as well as the boot.
Engine and Performance
Early models of the Quattroporte had a 4.2-litre V8 and a DuoSelect transmission sending power to the rear wheels. Most of the Quattroporte’s notoriety comes from these early DuoSelect transmissions, which were really just electrically-operated manuals. Apart from the fact that they were slow and dimwitted, they had a tendency to eat up clutches and would often go wrong themselves.
From 2008 onwards Maserati decided to ditch the DuoSelect and instead fit all Quattroportes with ZF’s brilliant 6-speed auto. This solved a lot of the Quattroporte’s reliability issues and made the drivetrain virtually bulletproof, as the 4.2-litre V8 was already known as a stout and durable unit. All non-S variants (like the one we’re highlighting) came with the 4.2-litre unit, while sportier ‘S’ trim Quattroportes utilized a larger 4.7-litre V8.
Even with the smaller engine, the Quattroporte doesn’t lack any grunt. With 400 horsepower and 339 lb-ft of torque, it’s able to hit 62 mph in 5.6 seconds and go on to a top speed of 168 mph. Perhaps not as fast as an F10 M5, but a million times more special and exciting.
Although it’s a relatively quick car and it handles exceptionally well, the Maserati’s party trick is the insane exhaust note. Nothing, and I do mean nothing, sounds like a Maserati at full chat. At wide-open throttle, the Quattroporte sounds like an old-school Ferrari V8 with open headers. It sounds so much better than any M5 or RS6 it’s almost laughable how the Germans managed to get it so wrong.
Model: Maserati Quattroporte
Trim: V8 Auto
Why buy one
In many ways, the Quattroporte is a very flawed car. It’s not as fast as its rivals, it depreciated like a rock for the first five years of its life, and it likes to drink fuel at a silly rate. On the bright side though, these late-model cars have very few reliability issues, look better than anything else on the road, and sound like the world is about to end as they approach 8,000 rpm. Is it a good financial purchase? If you’re making that choice with your head, then probably not, as you’re better off with a diesel if you’re doing lots of miles. If you’re absolutely adamant you need a performance mid-size saloon though, I would make the case that it’s every bit as good if not better than its German rivals. So, do yourself a huge favour and check out some used Maserati Quattroporte cars for sale on the DesperateSeller.co.uk website today.
DesperateSeller.co.uk rating: 9 out of 10
View the car here: 2010 Maserati Quattroporte - £16,985