How important is style? A Detroit design chief once observed that if cars were only about practicality, “they’d have to put a roof over Kalamazoo so they could build enough Checker sedans to keep up with demand.”
Checker is long gone, but the moral of that story still holds, and the Quattroporte is proof. Judged by conventional standards—conventional as it applies in the realm of $100,000 sedans—this sleek Italian job could be perceived as coming up just a little short in mundane scoring categories such as rear-seat legroom or the latest electronic gizmology or secondary-control location. (Where did they hide that seat-heater switch?) The Germans do that sort of thing better.
But those are practical considerations, and we’re talking style here, signore—style brimming with passion. Consider its voluptuous Pininfarina shape. You might argue that the Mercedes CLS is just as sexy, but if you stand on a Beverly Hills street corner for an hour, we’ll bet the frequency of CLS drive-bys will be almost routine compared with Maserati sightings. Sexiness has a tendency to diminish in proportion to familiarity.
And once the pilot has settled into the luscious interior, the seduction process accelerates. Magnifico! The inner Quattroporte is a festival of high-end craftsmanship—supple leather, beautiful woodwork, exquisite stitchery—that makes luxosedan interiors from Munich, Stuttgart, and even Ingolstadt seem a little cold and reserved. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by TONY SWAN