Future Car: 2014 Maserati Quattroporte
Italy’s most glamorous sedan is redesigned with sexier styling, new fuel-saving tech, a first-time V6 option, and available all-wheel-drive. With all this, the next-generation Quattroporte should be well-nigh irresistible–and also rather more expensive.
What It Is
The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte will begin the sixth design generation for the sporty, high-performance sedan from this super-premium Italian brand. Maserati is part of Fiat Group, which took control of Chrysler in 2009 by helping the American automaker emerge from its government-ordered bankruptcy. The two companies have since been busy integrating operations and forging joint global product plans. The redesigned Quattroporte is a small part of that effort in commercial terms, but it’s a highly visible symbol of the Fiat-Chrysler alliance, owing to Maserati’s celebrated history and star-quality brand cachet.
Quattroporte is Italian for “four door,” and the Maserati line has usually included a sedan since 1963. Today’s QP dates from 2004 and shares a basic platform with Maserati’s 2-door Gran Turismo coupe and Gran Cabrio convertible. A 2009 freshening brought revised styling, powertrains, and model choices.
Maserati has relied for several years on components and engineering expertise borrowed from Ferrari, which is also part of the Fiat empire but operates as an independent subsidiary. Sources say Ferrari will continue to influence the engineering of future Maseratis, including a “baby Quattroporte,” expected in 2013 and rumored for the name Levante, and a first-ever SUV, due out in 2014, perhaps as a ’15 entry for America. (The latter was recently previewed by the Kubang concept.)
The 2014 Maserati Quattroporte may get its public unveiling at the fall 2012 Paris Auto Show. European sales are tipped to begin in early 2013. U.S. deliveries should commence a few months later for model-year 2014.
2014 Maserati Quattroporte Design and Engineering
Solid intel on the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte is a bit sparse for a new model so close to introduction. However, photos of disguised test prototypes suggest the redesign will maintain the current car’s curvy, low-slung styling and general size. Today’s QP has about the same length, width, and wheelbase as a Chrysler 300 large sedan, but sits about 2 inches lower. The new one is expected to grow a bit in most dimensions, but the changes shouldn’t be drastic.
Appearance will likely become more dynamic, with crisp feature lines and compound-curve body-side surfaces adding visual dash compared to today’s rather plain, rounded look. Classic long-hood/short-deck proportions will continue, and we expect a new iteration of Maserati’s square grille with concave vertical bars and prominent “trident” emblem. The interior package will remain a lushly trimmed affair with practical seating for 4 passengers. Count on a redesigned dashboard with more-logical controls and a new navigation/infotainment system with a larger dashboard screen and full Internet connectivity.
Sources say Fiat and Ferrari are developing a new rear-wheel-drive platform to host the 2014 Maserati Quattroporte and upcoming kid-brother Levante. This architecture will be mostly steel, like today’s M159 platform, but is expected to make greater use of aluminum and other weight-saving materials for the sake of improved performance, fuel economy, and emissions levels.
The 2014 Maserari Quattroporte will likely use an updated version of the existing model’s four-wheel independent suspension with all-around coil springs and double-wishbone geometry. Rear-end components are reportedly redesigned to be more compact and thus open up more trunk space. We gather that engineers will address complaints about ride quality by specifying somewhat softer springs and adopting “magnetic ride” shock absorbers, which are filled with a special fluid that can change firmness when acted on by an electric current. These shocks should replace the current QP’s fixed-rate and variable-rate damping setups, yet provide roughly the same handling qualities via two or more driver-selectable firmness modes. Brakes will remain large four-wheel discs with ABS and an integrated antiskid system with traction control, but components will probably be lighter, and we expect carbon-ceramic rotors to arrive as a first-time option, though at a very stiff price.
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