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As six-figure executive cars go, Maserati s latest-generation Quattroporte is a viscount among the workaday rich. It s a sedan of lovers; of beautifully tailored suits and perfectly prepared filets; of round Barolos and operatic tenors; of sights, sounds and interactions and flourishes. Put another way, it s a lush, thoroughly Italian conveyance in a field of sternly efficient, luxury people movers. Plus, it corners like a Ferrari.

It s a special kind of sedanista who ll welcome the Quattroporte s most un-sedanlike of traits ‚ÄĒ that is, its peerless road manners and chilling, race-day growl under hard acceleration. Maserati's literally named four-door demands the attention of one who will massage its six-speed Maserati DuoSelect (MDS) electrohydraulic transmission manually, using its F1-style paddles. It rewards those who keep the sport-mode button plunged incessantly, and who ply the torquey, high-revving V8 for all it's worth ‚ÄĒ single-digit miles-per-gallon be dammed to limousine hell.

That s because the Quattroporte is happiest and most satisfying when asked to supply the kind of hands-on control and road feedback most buyers of luxury sedans would rather leave to the automotive help. Sure, those for whom luxury is a state of leisure can switch the DuoSelect into auto-shift mode, soften the electronically controlled suspension (aka Skyhook), and slink along, nearly on par with the cushiest in class. But here, performance is less polished than that of some of its counterparts.

As such, the Quattroporte not a car for generalissimo types whose idea of control is doling out marching orders. Like other cars bearing the Maserati trident, the Quattroporte is made for those who thrive in the execution phase, for whom the value of a beautifully rendered sedan of fine s and premium cowhide is measured by mile after twisty mile. Next: the ratings.

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