The Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo is an automotive dinosaur – a dying breed soon to disappear forever, says Jeremy Taylor.
Road Test: Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo
ENGINE: 3,788cc V8 petrol
0-62mph: 4.5 seconds
TOP SPEED: 202mph
ECONOMY: 23.1mpg (combined)
STREAMING: Jurassic Park theme – John Williams
‘You didn’t ask for reality, you asked for more teeth!’ Jurassic Park perfectly sums up the outrageously fast but ultimately doomed Maserati Quattroporte Trofeo – one of the fastest saloons on the planet. More T-Rex than nimble velociraptor, the Trofeo is a sporty version of the long-serving Quattroporte. Spacious and sophisticated, the monstrous roar of a twin-turbo V8 petrol engine still can’t save it from the rise of electric cars.
So, what’s the point? Well, lay a Quattroporte key next to one from BMW, Audi or Mercedes and most of us would choose the Maserati. Forget logic – the Trofeo is simply irresistible. Guzzling through fuel at a frankly alarming rate of less than 20mpg around town, this niche Maserati is more about style than function. It’s Versace on speed, beautiful to look, wonderful for making a big entrance but now feels dated – other saloons do it much, much better.
Maserati has announced its own plans for a push into electrification and will even join the all-electric Formula E series next year. A battery-powered SUV called Grecale is on the way, as well as a stunning new grand tourer but, for now, this is the company’s flagship luxury car. For sheer menace and presence, a Trofeo remains unbeatable. It’s achingly cool and a glorious reminder of the bad old days of V8 petrol madness.
RATING: 3/5 HANDBAGS
The handful of Quattroportes sold in this country are cheaper, V6-engined models that offer slightly improved economy for everyday driving. There’s little rhyme or reason to buy a pricey V8 Trofeo. The Maserati will cover vast motorway distances in sheer comfort but forget relaxing on a busy country A-road. All that power at the back wheels can spell disaster for the uninitiated.
Somehow that huge engine doesn’t quite work with the rest of the car – especially at low speed when the Maserati grumbles along waiting to explode. Passengers in the rear might need a sick bag and for the driver that low roof line means poor rear visibility. Most of the buttons and dials upfront feel dated and the touchscreen display has less functionality than an original iPhone. The driving position is weirdly high, the small pedals too off-set and did I mention the Quattroporte loses value faster than just about any other luxury saloon?
Thankfully, what really matters to most Trofeo owners is how the car performs. An unforgiving Italian stallion, once mastered, the Maserati is simply a thrilling steed. Not even a Bentley has this much presence. One last hurrah for the dinosaur, then.
RATING: 4/5 WELLIES