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Discussion Starter #1

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it ask us to sign up to read the entire article.
sorry dont want to sign up some account i dont visit, toffe can you please repost? thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
M! its a good publication and has a free subscription (sponsored by adds in the pdf) and you are missing out on all the nice pictures. The attached has a table comparing big sedans, Audi W12, BMW 760i etc.

Maserati Quattroporte
By Brooks Holden
On occasion you’ve undoubtedly taken a test drive and thought, “Even I could do a better job designing this car than these guys.” In fact, you’ve probably wondered how some firms with well-established reputations could release such ill conceived products and features: the Pontiac Aztek, BMW I-drive, the Mercedes SLK suspension, the Porsche 996.0 steering, etc., etc. Without much thought, you could have easily foreseen disaster and sent the professionals in a wiser direction. I must confess, I’ve had these thoughts repeatedly myself, with almost every car I’ve driven. Sure, sometimes the things I’d change are pretty small, but the thought is there. The Maserati Quattroporte presents an interesting challenge to this line of thinking. Not because it is perfect — it isn’t — but because the Quattroporte is in many ways the big sedan you’d spec on paper after the guys in Stuttgart or Maranello got wise and called you up from your living room couch to head their design team. After meeting the team, you’d explain that this time the team would build a big sedan that drivers could love. You’d say that you did not want a huge Camry with lots of leather, wood, NASA-style electronics, and the biggest motor in the shop. You’d say that you did want to work from the ground up to design with the driver in mind, and then indulge the passengers not through isolation, but by inspiration. You’d plan to go on, but by this time the applause from the team would be deafening, so you’d simply smile and sit down. The next day, of course, real work would begin. You’d start with a normally aspirated V-8 for responsiveness, specifying ample torque and a willingness to rev. Check. You’d insist on a characterful engine with a lovely sound across the rpm range, so you’d have it designed by Ferrari. Check. You’d want really balanced handling, so you’d mount the engine behind the front suspension for better weight distribution. Check. Along those same lines, you’d request a rear wheel drive platform with a transaxle. Check. And you’d have shock absorber damping rates adjust to the driver’s style and road conditions. Check. You’d eschew the traditional but unsporting big-sedan slushbox for a paddle-shifted sequential manual gearbox. Check. While this is in keeping with the F1 heritage of the drivetrain, you (oh, brilliant one) would also make the engineers stay late at night refining the auto-shift programming of the transmission for those in-town occasions where the driver isn’t pushing it. Check. To keep weight within reason, you’d specify an aluminum and steel chassis. Check. To ensure ample front and rear room, you’d ask for a long wheelbase. Check. And, then, for your final masterstroke, you’d insist that Pininfarina do the exterior and interior design work in its usual sensuous style. Check. Not bad for a novice. Actually, not bad for anyone. You’ve just conceived of a completely different kind of large sedan, at least when compared with those built by most of today’s leaders — Mercedes (S500), Audi (A8L), Jaguar (XJ8 L), and Lexus (LS 430). The notion of isolation from the road as a critical goal lurks somewhere deep in the design brief for their big sedans. Sure, some will build you a sporty version (S55, Super V8) of their big cars, but the isolationist DNA seeps through. BMW alone among the established brands has a hard time with the isolationist philosophy, and it shows in the 7 series. But BMW isn’t committed to a truly sporting version of the 7. So, congratulations! Your design is unique. But is your design truly good or simply the misbegotten dreaming of an amateur? Well, folks, I’m here to say that the Maserati is the real deal. Once you’ve driven the Quattroporte, you realize that it gives you what a driver really wants in a big sedan. Let’s start out by assuming that you’ve driven the Quattroporte for a few weeks. This is important, because the Duoselect paddle-shifted transmission requires some experience before it feels seamless and natural. Imagine that you’d driven an automatic for 10 years and then, for the first time, you drove a six-speed manual for a day. Do you think the six-speed would feel natural? Do you think you’d be the picture of grace at the contols? The paddle-shifted manual in the Maser isn’t quite that big a jump, but it is different, and it takes some time to incorporate it into your intuition. It is possible that much of the criticism of F1-style transmissions is due to this lack of intuitive familiarity on the part of testers. Once the distraction of using the transmission is gone, you can get on with the Quattroporte experience. The first thing you notice is the sound of the engine. You can hear it clearly, which is a huge advantage, and it sounds fabulous. Deep-throated induction noise is mixed with refined valvetrain whir in a way that makes the Maser feel much more willing than other cars in its class. This sensation is backed up by 333 lb.-ft. of torque that the 4.3 liter V-8 dishes out. Still, that torque level is unexceptional in this class. The key is that the Quattroporte doesn’t have an automatic with a torque converter, so throttle response seems vastly superior to the competition. The Maserati steering is also excellent. You can feel what the front tires are doing, and the weighting of the wheel is very nice—not too light and certainly not too heavy. After many miles, I felt that the steering nicely complemented the chassis setup by giving the sense that you were flinging, rather than muscling, the car around. As you might expect, given its 49/51 front/rear weight distribution, the Quattroporte has a pretty neutral handling balance. In medium-speed turns, you can feel the rear tires bite in a most reassuring way. This balance, together with the flat cornering offered by beefy anti-roll bars and Skyhook adaptive damping, encourages tossing the car into corners. Such a description of the chassis’ balance could, of course, apply equally well to the 745Li. Yet the two cars feel entirely different. The BMW, with active anti-roll, seems to hammer the road flat. It feels supremely confident, but always a step removed from what is happening below. The Maserati moves around on its feet much more obviously, like a dancer. The driver has to respond a bit more to what the chassis is doing, but by the same token, the Maserati ensures that the driver is more involved. The Quattroporte has some of the character of the 911, wherein the chassis is balanced and capable, but also offers up some slightly surprising motions to keep things interesting. In the real world, this is what you want. Your head may tell you that you want the BMW, but your heart will prefer the Maserati. Upon further review, say of skidpad numbers close to .9g and 0–60 times around five seconds, your head may go for the Maser too. As fun as the Quattroporte is, Maserati can’t repeal the laws of physics. This is particularly obvious in the way the long wheelbase affects handling. While the Quattroporte is balanced and involving, it doesn’t have the turn-in or eagerness to rotate that shorterwheelbase sports cars do. If going fast and enjoying the process were the only things that mattered, then you’d probably be looking at a different class of car entirely, most particularly the M5 or the Carrera S. So a car like the Quattroporte also has to deliver on the luxury front. Having spent ample time in the S-class Mercedes, the 745Li, the XJ8 L, and the A8L, I’d say the Quattroporte has them covered handsdown in the luxury department. You can get analytical about this, but a much more important criterion in my mind is the memorability factor. I promise that the guests in your Quattroporte will remember the experience. I doubt the passengers in the other four worthy contenders would give their time there a second thought. The advantage of the Quattroporte starts the minute you walk up to the car. You know this car isn’t German or Japanese. It combines graceful lines with a sense of gravity. This positive impression continues when you get into the back seat. The materials, the design, and the details are just massively more interesting than those commonly used in big luxury sedans. The color selections for leather, wood, and carpeting can actually be beautiful in the Quattroporte. In the other cars, the selections seem much more driven by the accounting department. This sense of occasion extends to the seating, too, which is more comfortable than in the other cars. The Maserati gives you ample legroom and headroom, while cosseting you in ergonomically superior chairs, front and back. With optional tray tables, and small design touches like the logo on the rear of the console, the back seat is designed as a special place in which to ride, rather than something handed to a junior engineer while the experienced designers attended to more important matters. Your passengers will find the ride quality perfectly acceptable, and if the Duoselect transmission in auto mode isn’t as smooth as the autobox they’re used to in the LS 430, it isn’t really a problem. They probably won’t notice as they marvel at the sights and sounds of a real car. When reminded that Maserati is Italian and owned by Ferrari, they’ll start reminiscing about that last trip to Tuscany and how the Italian sensibility makes life more enjoyable. You’ll just smile knowingly. There is a price to pay for all this excellence. At a list price of $95,500, the Quattroporte is priced $10,000–$25,000 higher than its big sedan competition. Beyond the differences in driving experience, the cheaper competitors don’t provide the performance that the Maserati offers, generally delivering 0–60 times about one second slower that the Quattroporte (the exception being the Jaguar Super V8). For Quattroporte- level performance (or a bit more), you have to step up to the supercharged or 12-cylinder variants of each company’s flagship sedan. In general, this will set you back $20,000 more than the Quattroporte. And that $20k won’t buy you the exclusivity of the Maserati. So, we’re back to where we started. The Quattroporte is unique among big sedans, in a good way. It succeeds more than other big sedans at being a driver’s car, yet it has a different and in many ways superior take on luxury too. Pretty good for your first project as a chief engineer.




 

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Discussion Starter #5
47/53 is the official Maserati data consistently. Adding an average weighing driver (75kg) to the front load would bring it to 49/51, but reality is that not all of the weight of the driver is on the front. Probably just an error by the journalist, unless their test included an actutal measurment with driver.

Ultimately point of gravity is as important as weight distribution front/back and this is where Maserati's sports car genes show, compared with a 7-series or S-class.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Which publications get the readers respect? EVO, Top Gear?

Winding Road calls our engine "4.3l", which is worse error than "49/51".
 

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i can't tell you which publication gets reader respects. that is not the discussion of this thread.
i just say i don't need to subscribe to another useless online news like the winding road.
 
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