New for 2005, the Maserati Quattroporte takes its place as the Italian company’s flagship sedan. The name may have come from the 1960s, but this sports sedan is all up-to-the-minute.

Designed by Pininfarina, the Quattroporte (for “four doors”) is powered by a 4.2-litre V8 and includes the company’s Skyhook automatic damping system, Maserati Stability Program, and electronically-controlled power steering. It’s capable of zero to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds, with a top speed of 275 km/h; weight distribution is 47 per cent front and 53 per cent rear for stability and balance. The front engine hooks to a rear transaxle, with the gearbox mounted in unit with the rear differential. Normally used on high-performance sports cars, Maserati claims it is the first use in a luxury sedan.

Features include fourteen-way power seats with memory and easy entry, leather and wood interior, Brembo brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic Xenon headlamps, cruise control, rain sensors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, rear passenger controls to move the front passenger seat, laminated glass, refrigerated compartment, rear electric sunshade, multimedia system with navigation system and CD player, and front and rear automatic climate controls.

Available trim options include three wood choices, extra-soft Poltrona Frau leather, and a five-piece luggage set made from the same leather as the seat upholstery. Other choices include an integrated phone, CD changer, rear seat entertainment centre, heated massaging seats and upgraded Bose stereo.

The Quattroporte is built in Modena, Italy.

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