Of course, Maserati is a brand with loads of history, and it's this that helps set it apart from other cars. But when you're driving the new Quattroporte S, it's not this you're thinking of. It's love, and you fell in love with the power, perfectly controlled, and the sound, perfectly attenuated, but not too much (you wouldn't want to miss that exhilarating roar), and always with the chance of pressing the Sport button to open up the valves and listen to the sound of those six throaty cylinders.
There's more to the Quattroporte's seduction. Inside, you look round, and you see the huge space, ready and waiting for the back seat passengers. Look forward, and you see the beauty of the nose, sculpted by the complex curves of the wings running forward towards the headlights. Above all, you love what's in your hands, and under your feet: an automatic transmission, but you just have to touch one or other of the paddles at your fingertips and you're in manual, for perfect driving fun and control.
From outside, it looks like a large car, and it is. But when you're at the wheel, it's easy to forget this, because its ease of handling makes driving absolutely effortless. The technology packed into the Quattroporte is discreet and efficient, so that when you're racing around a corner, the active suspension compensates and keeps the car level and rock-steady. The same system is used to stop the car from tilting upwards when you accelerate, and downwards when you brake. And if you're driving in the wet or snow, the car's sensors measure the conditions and grip of each wheel, redistributing the torque between front and rear axle as necessary. You can see this as it happens, on an LCD screen on the dash. Maserati call this Skyhook. Another cool feature is the rear-view camera that provides a colour image on the 8.4" display. Together with the front and rear proximity sensors, it makes parking easy and fun.
Together with the power and technology, there's the comfort. Superb leather, timber on the dash, alcantara above. The Bowers & Wilkins hi-fi system with 15 speakers and a 600-Watt amplifier produces a massive bass sound when you want it. Every passenger can personalize the air temperature around his or her seat. The whole car becomes a Wi-Fi hotspot by means of its WLAN technology, so that three devices can be connected simultaneously. There is a USB charging port built into the rear armrest. The passengers in the back can watch entertainment on the two 10.2" LCD displays, which can show the same or different content.
There is much more. But the important thing is the Maserati DNA: 410 HP that takes you from 0 to 100 km/h in less than five seconds, and on to 285 km/h, with all that handling pleasure, acceleration, and the beautiful sound of the engine, one of the hallmarks of the brand. And you're generous: you can share it all with your passengers, in glorious, hand-crafted, Italian-styled comfort.