2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel review

By: David Berthon

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2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel 2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel

Italian exotics don't normally drink from the black pump. Here's one that's turned to the dark side.

2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel review
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel

 

Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel

Maserati has much to celebrate in 2014. Along with its centenary year celebrations beginning in Modena in September, the Italian luxury sports car maker will shortly release its much-awaited smaller Ghibli Coupe to the local market and has just introduced its first ever turbo-diesel engine.

Importantly, the arrival of the new 3.0-litre V6 Quattroporte turbo-diesel at $198,800 lowers the entry point of Maserati’s flagship luxury sports saloon range by $41,200, making it a massive $121,000 more affordable than the range-topping V8 petrol Quattroporte GTS. 

The potent 3.8-litre V8 GTS introduced the latest Quattroporte range in January, priced from $319,800, and the line-up was backfilled in April with the 3.0-litre V6 S, pitched from $240,000.

The much-lauded sixth-generation Quattroporte has lifted Maserati’s year-on-year sales by around 75 per cent and this oil-burner is expected to account for about 10 per cent of overall sales.

The only external differences between the diesel and the petrol S and GTS variants are the wheel size and the shape of the exhaust pipe outlets. Equipment levels are high and mimic the petrol S variant, apart from the sunroof, which now resides on the options list.

While the petrol engines are assembled by Ferrari at its Maranello factory, the 3.0-litre common-rail direct-injection 60-degree V6 turbo-diesel has rather humbler origins, having been developed by VM Motori using technology patented by the Fiat Group.

From the same engine family that powers the Chrysler 300C sedan, the V6 pumps out 202kW of power at 4000rpm and a gutsy 600Nm of torque between 2000 and 2600rpm. Final drive is taken via the Quattroporte’s common eight-speed ZF automatic with manual shift paddles. The same engine and transmission will also be offered as an option in the Ghibli Coupe, due in a month or two.

Despite tipping the scales at a big-boned 1885kg, the diesel is no slouch on the open road, powering to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds. Although gutsy from rest, it lacks the outright fire in the belly and top end performance of the petrol V8 GTS, which reaches the same speed in just 4.7 seconds. Top speed is quoted at 250km/h against the S’s 283km/h and the GTS’s 307km/h mark.

Apart from price, the diesel’s greatest attribute is its low thirst for fuel, and with a range of about 1000 kilometres between fills, it makes a convincing grand touring saloon. On a fast country run it averaged just 5.4L/100km and the spec sheet claims an official city figure of 7.8L/100km.

Like the petrol variants, performance and economy is enhanced by the superb ZF automatic with push-button Sport and Ice modes. Changes are slick, especially in Sport mode, and give the oiler a degree of sophistication.

Two sound actuators near the dual exhaust tailpipes accentuate the diesel’s most distinctive tones, further emphasised by pressing the Sport button. However, despite the best efforts of Maserati’s sound engineers to replicate the raucous and glorious symphony of the petrol V8, the diesel does not provide the same aural delights, but nor did we particularly expect it to. The V6 only makes its present felt in the cabin above 3000rpm and is surprisingly quiet on the open road by diesel car standards.

With standard 19-inch alloys shod with 245/45-series tyres on the front and 275/40 rubber on the rear, ride quality suffers as soon as you leave smooth tarmac and get onto our typical country roads with broken edges.

This was further exacerbated by the optional 20-inch rims on the preview car, shod with 245/40 tyres on the front and 285/35 hoops on the rear. Thankfully, an 18-inch space saver wheel is provided for the local market.

A diesel is an excellent addition to the Maserati Quattroporte range for long distance touring, but for overall comfort is best suited to highways rather than byways.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

2014 Maserati Quattroporte Turbodiesel

Engine: 2987cc V6, turbo-diesel
Power: 202kW @4000rpm
Torque: 600Nm@2600rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto, RWD
Suspension: adaptive dampers, double wishbones, anti-roll bar (f); five-arm multi-link, anti-roll bar (r)
Brakes: vented discs (f/r),ABS,MSP
Weight: 1885kg (kerb)
0-100km/h: 6.4sec (diesel)
Top speed: 250km/h (limited)
Price: $198,800 (plus on-road costs)

 

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