When the sleek steel grey Quattroporte S turns up at our house in Hackney, my first thought is ‘ wow,’ followed closely by ‘where are the heavies.’ For not only does it look like it might belong to a Russian oligarch, it certainly looks like it should come with its own bodyguards. I open the boot, expecting to find a brace of Berettas in a bespoke cabinet, but instead I find a cavernous space, easily enough to ferry all the monogrammed trunks one could need for a grand tour of Europe.
Drive Time: the Maserati Quattroporte S
8th September 2017
Going for a scenic spin in and around Whitstable
One thing this car does is comfort. My friend Katrina arrives and she takes up the VIP spot in the back (we are about to go to Whitstable for a feast at The Sportsman). I don my Chauffeur’s hat and fire up the engine. It roars in the only the way a Ferrari engine can. This six cylinder beauty possesses more of a patrician than a playboy roar; more James Bond than Hugh Heffner.
First we need to get on our way. I am something of a Luddite but even my tech savvy friend found the GPS system rather baffling and not easy to read. She ends up using her iPhone to guide us to lunch.
The car comes into its own on the motorways, when overtaking has the car in its element. We have to watch ourselves as the speedometer shoots up, but luckily there is a warning beep over a certain distance. It is the kind of car that might feel at home on the organised superhighways of Singapore or Dubai, and it would fit those markets well. It is a very large very comfortable exec car, probably designed to be chauffeur driven, and the back provides a calfskin clad mobile office.
As the motorways soon give way to bucolic back roads, we purr through sheep clad pastures and the car shows off its prowess, negotiating curves with grace.
We arrive at our destination – the famed Sportsman, where dishes of marinated salmon and the creamiest vegetable broth delight, as do the three types of homemade bread (sourdough, focaccia and soda).
Katrina’s husband Charlie has driven in their car and it gives the boys to road test the Maserati properly. As I am three months’ pregnant I opt for the safe option: a pootle to Margate’s Turner Contemporary in Katrina’s convertible Mini Cooper. As we sun ourselves at the gallery café, watching day-trippers craft sand castle empires, we hear a roar. The boys have arrived, their faces looking remarkably tighter and their hair wind-whipped into ‘80s Wall Street slicks. A befitting look for this burly beefcake of a car.
Their verdict from my boyfriend Leo – once he has parked the beast - is the following: ‘What strikes me is the comfort/serenity when cruising coupled with the shout of a Ferrari (v6) engine when you put your foot down. It's the car for the CEO who doesn’t have time to waste, but most definitely takes care of business: whether that's getting from the board room to the helipad or even escaping a potential kidnap. It is VERY nippy. I did find it enormous to park, and pretty cumbersome in town. Really, it's the car for people who don't give a monkeys what anyone else thinks about them.’
The Quattroporte S starts from £83,300.