2022 Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

2022 Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

Maserati’s new 580hp Quattroporte Trofeo offers supercar pace with limousine space. How does it drive? Words by Tim Pitt. Photos by Michael Ward.

Posed beneath studio lights with butterfly doors aloft, the Maserati MC20 looks every inch the halo car. Sadly, this is the only example in the UK and we can’t drive it yet. “Towards the end of this year,” I’m told. In the meantime, there’s an unassuming saloon parked outside that (whisper it) can go even faster. That car is the new Quattroporte Trofeo and it v-maxes at 203mph, the same as the MC20, despite the latter’s carbonfibre monocoque, 50 extra horses and toothbrushsized boot. The supercar-humbling Quattroporte is Italy’s answer to the BMW M5 F90 and Porsche Panamera Turbo. Just like new Trofeo versions of the Ghibli and Levante, it’s powered by a 580hp 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8.

2022 Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

Yes, it’s another evolution of the acclaimed Ferrari F154 engine, first seen in the California T and 530hp Quattroporte GTS. For Maserati, now divorced from Ferrari, the Trofeo trio marks the engine’s last hurrah.

In typical photographer style, Michael is grumbling about the Grigio Maratea paintwork. Perhaps he has a point; on an equally grey day in Slough, it seems to smother the Quattroporte’s muscular curves. The snarling grille looks suitably dramatic, and red accents on the side air gills hint at the Trofeo’s added potency. But it’s vanishingly anonymous from the rear, with only a token-gesture boomerang graphic in the rear lights to riff on past glories. I also wish the huge trident badge wasn’t made from plastic. Must try harder, Maserati.

Things improve when you settle into the shapely, soft leather seats. Those in the back enjoy limo-like legroom, while the driver faces a dashboard that mixes analogue (large dials and that classic Maserati clock) with digital (10.1-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay) to good effect. Big slabs of carbonfibre look somewhat incongruous in a two-tonne luxury car, but quality is good and you’re pleasingly insulated from the outside world. At least until that mighty engine thuds into life.

Actually, the Trofeo is surprisingly muted at low speeds – and near-silent on the motorway. Only close to its 6750rpm crescendo, with Sport or Corsa mode activated and exhaust baffles wide open, do its claws really come out. Maserati uses a cross-plane crank, rather than the flat-plane format favoured by Ferrari, so the tone is rich and full-bodied, not sharp and spine-tingling. Still, there’s no mistaking the roar of that V8. We’ll miss it when it’s gone.

The eight-speed ZF gearbox is also very familiar. It’s smooth and unobtrusive in auto mode, or whipcrack-fast when you work the tactile aluminium paddles. Lengthy ratios do blunt acceleration a little – 0-62mph takes 4.5 seconds – but that’s all the more reason to wring out the revs. Besides, you don’t get to 203mph without long legs.

You can learn a lot about a car by driving ever-faster laps of the same roundabout. I’ve just jumped into a Ghibli Hybrid to get some cornering shots for Michael; now I’m repeating the task in the Trofeo. The Ghibli needed frequent corrections and soon pushed wide into understeer. The Quattroporte feels much more planted, gripping tenaciously, then edging into throttle-adjustable oversteer if you loosen the electronic reins. With enough space (and, ahem, enough driving skill) you could smoke tyres like Ken Block.

That sort of behaviour seems a bit unbecoming, though. The Trofeo is a softer take on the super-saloon than most German rivals – and none the worse for that. What you lose in ultimate steering precision and body control is gained in luxurious, long-striding comfort. You can press on, savouring the vociferous engine, or simply waft, revelling in the calm responses and supple ride. Like many great Maseratis, the Quattroporte has plenty of bandwidth.

The flagship Trofeo costs £127,310, which is a lot for a car first launched in 2013. You can also expect pretty catastrophic depreciation if you buy one new. Objectively, there are better alternatives, and you’d have more fun in an Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio for half the price. But as a decadent farewell to the old-school super-saloon, the Maserati has bucketfuls of appeal. Not to mention top speed bragging rights.

The QP has finally got the engine it always deserved: a 580hp V8. Red side vents one of few visual giveaways.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS 2022 Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo

  • ENGINE: 3799cc V8 twin-turbo
  • MAX POWER: 580hp at 6750rpm
  • MAX TORQUE: 730Nm (538lb ft) at 2250rpm
  • TRANSMISSION: ZF 8-speed automatic
  • DIMENSIONS: 5262mm (L), 1948mm (W), 1481mm (H)
  • TORQUE: 730Nm (538lb ft) at 2250rpm
  • WEIGHT: 2000kg
  • MAX SPEED: 203mph
  • 0-62MPH: 4.5 sec
  • PRICE: £127,310
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