Quattroporte, meaning four-doors in Italian, was a luxury automobile produced by Maserati at various times during its history. The first example was introduced in 1962, when Prince Karim Aga Khan ordered a unique automobile to be constructed from designs created by Pietro Frua. The following year, Maserati introduced their own version of the Quattroporte, based on the Frua designs.
Under the bonnet was a 4.1-liter V8 engine capable of producing over 20 horsepower. Top speed was over 200 km/h for this ultra-luxury automobile. A ZF five-speed manual gearbox was standard with an automatic offered at an additional cost.
From 1963 through 1966 a total of 230 examples of the Quattroporte Series I were constructed. In 1966, minor aesthetic changes occurred including the addition of twin headlights. A 4.7-liter V8 engine became available from 1968, that produced nearly 300 horsepower.
The Series II Quattroporte was introduced in 1974 and remained in production until 1978. It was shown to the public at the Turin MotorShow. There were drastic changes from the Series I to the Series II. The Maserati Company had been purchased by Citroen, and the Series II Quattroporte resembled this acquisition. The car now shared as chassis with the Citroen SM and had a very angular body, the work of Bertone.
Mounted in the front was a V6 engine which sent its power to the front wheels. The front featured swiveling directional headlights and the car rode on a hydropneumatic suspension.
The V6 engine was used in response to the Oil Crisis of 1973. This engine which produced less than 200 horsepower and its styling were not well received with the public, and only 13 examples of the Quattroporte II were constructed. Six of the thirteen cars were pre-production cars. The other cars were created between 1975 and 1978.
In 1976, Alejandro de Tomaso, Maserati's Chief engineer, along with his design staff, created the next iteration of the luxury Maserati. The cars sporty-intentions were re-established as it was given a rear-wheel drive layout and a large V8 engine. They were hand built and were one of the last to be created using this time-consuming, yet specialized method. Production lasted from 1979 through 1988 with a total of 1876 units being constructed.
In 1976 the '4Porte' was introduced, which brought a 4.2-liter engine and over 250 horsepower. The design was courtesy of Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign. The name '4porte' lasted until 1979, when the Quattroporte was re-established.
The fourth iteration of the Quattroporte was introduced in 1994 and remained in production until 2000. The design was courtesy of Marcello Gandini of Lamborghini Countach fame. It was powered by a 2.8-liter bi-turbo V6 engine which offered over 275 horsepower. Top speed was respectable, at nearly 160 mph.
Pininfarina was tasked with creating the latest version of the Quattroporte. It was introduced in 2004 and shared the same 4.2-liter engine with the Coupe, Spyder and the Gran Turismo.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jul 2007
In 1965 Maserati introduced the Quattroporte I, the first edition was introduced. Produced for 5 years, the word Quattroporte comes from the Italian word meaning ‘four-door'. The original model was a sport/luxury sedan that featured a slightly detuned sport-racing V8 engine. The modest flagship for Maerati, the Quattroporte I featured 260 horsepower, 4.2-liter four-cam aluminum V8 from the 450 S. Later this was updated to a 290-horsepower, 4.7-liter. A total of 770 units of the Quattroporte I were produced.
The Quattroporte II was introduced in 1976 for just two years. This version was a downsized, front-drive version with nonsporting Citroen hydro pneumatic suspension. This second generation featured a 210-horsepower, 3.0-liter V6 engine. It was due to government regulations and the 1973-1974 Arab oil-embargo caused a recession that impacted heavily the Citroen-controlled Maserati Company. A total of 12 prototypes were produced for the 1976 through1978 model year.
Attempting to produce a majestic, though not too ostentatious vehicle, Maserati introduced the Quattroporte III in 1979. The new owner for Maserati was Alejandro De Tomaso, who introduced the Quattroporte III to compete with the Bentley Turbo G. Penning the design was Giugiaro's ItalDesign, and the vehicle was introduced at the 1979 Turin Motor Show. A total of 2,110 units of the 280-horsepower, 4.9-liter V8 powered saloons were produced from 1979 through 1990. Several U.S. versions received a Chrysler three-speed automatic transmission.
In 1993 Fiat gained control of Maserati and the four-door Bi-turbo 400-Series sedans were introduced. Both version were twin-turbo that featured 284-horsepower with a 2.8-liter V6 and a 326-horsepower, 3.2-liter V8 were made available. Though no models made it to the U.S., a total of 2,375 Quattroporte IV's were sold by Maserati.
The fifth generation of the Quattroporte was introduced in the summer of 2004 and sold for a price of $90,000. The Maserati Quattroporte is the centerpiece of the marquee's reemergence into the U.S. market.
The Quattroporte V featured a large analog speedometer and tachometer next to a digital information panel under the classic hooded Maserati instrument binnacle. Many innovative elements were showcased in the Quattroporte V, these included a traditional oval Maserati clock topping a satellite navigation screen, a Bose CD audio system and a Bosch/Blaupunkt multimedia system with onboard computer. Any changes in sunlight and humidity were adjusted by automatic dual-zone climate controls that even included a smog sensor that switches to recirculation mode if the air outside becomes sour. A variety of buttons cover the dashboard, center stack and steering wheel.
The chassis featured on the Quattroporte V was a huge departure from the previous generation, now favoring a rear weight bias, much like current Ferrari thinking. The engine was aluminum and was now mounted rearward of the front wheel centerline, while the transmission was integrated with the rear axle. To reduce unsprung weight, the aluminum suspension wishbones and hub carriers help make the Quattroporte lighter.By Jessica Donaldson