Choosing the right car for an evening is a great way to amplify the experience. So if you have the means, I highly recommend adding a Maserati to your collection. Anyone can show up in some flashy supercar, but I prefer pulling up to the valet in a proper luxury sedan. That way the slack-jawed onlookers and paparazzi won’t see your date’s lady bits as she exits the vehicle. It was with that in mind that I accepted Maserati’s invitation to sample their latest Maserati Quattroporte GTS GranSport for a 1-percenter weekend in, and around, Washington D.C. With a $150,410.00 price tag, and striking Rosso Folgore paint, I did not see another one like it at the valet stand all weekend.
Day One – Drinks and a Movie
Motion pictures area a guilty pleasure of mine but much like you I really dislike having to sit with the unwashed masses to go see them in the theater. Obviously I have my own theater, but apparently gaining early access to first run movies is a crime. At least according to my legal team. So when the new film Ford v. Ferrari was released, I did what anyone else would do – I rented out the theater. But first, the wife and I needed libations.
I’m not a gambling man, games of chance do not do it for me. I do like a good bar though, so we headed to the new MGM Casino at National Harbor. The good man at the valet stand kept an eye on the Quattroporte while we went inside for refreshments. They were quite high end, although typically I prefer an aged whiskey neat, this a was fun start to the evening. The drinks reminded me of something my bartender Alejandro would serve at La Rascasse in Monaco.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the car at this point. Even the window sticker is fancy as hell, here take a look.
The GTS is the top of the line Quattroporte and you can choose from two main variations, the GranLusso or the GranSport. According to Maserati, the GranLusso is for “those who seek even more exclusivity and lavish luxury in their Quattroporte GTS”. That’s not not me, but I felt that the GranSport was more my speed. It is “for individuals of a sporting disposition who want their Quattroporte GTS to reflect their more athletic lifestyles”.
That’s me! I’m sporting AF!
As you can see by the invoice, the GranSport I’ve been driving starts at $138,980.00 before adding any options. To get to the $150K list price, this one adds lots of them. You can read them for yourself, but some of the big ticket items are $2,190 for matte red brake calipers, $3,000 for 21-inch wheels, $3,570 for interior upgrades, and $1,990 for the Bowers & Wilkins sound system.
I thought it proper to take the Maserati out on our trip the movies to root for cousin Ferrari. It turns out they lost – oops, sorry for the spoiler – but we got to hang out with some other enthusiasts for the night. The QP did quite well in Friday night DC traffic, it’s a nice place to spend time in stop-and-go traffic.
Day Two – Wining and Dining
OK, enough of the fake-fancy routine, off for a spirited drive. On day two we got to stretch the Quattroporte’s legs a bit and escaped the hustle and bustle of the city for some more imbibing. This leg of the weekend was mostly high speed highway routes followed by curvy back roads. This car has few peers from a pure grand touring perspective.
Keep the car in normal mode, disable the start-stop feature (because it’s annoying) and you can cover mileage incredibly quickly and in extreme comfort. The seats are perfection, supportive and supple, I could have kept heading west to California and never looked back. That likely would have made this my last Maserati press loaner.
On back roads, the QP magically seems smaller. It’s not a sports car, this is very much a full size car, but in sport mode it’s pretty capable. Steering has a pretty nice weight to it, and it’s direct and communicative over rough surfaces. With a twin-turbo 523-horsepower “Ferrari V8” it can fairly easily move the GranSport’s large body. My only criticism from an auditory standpoint is that it’s just not very loud. Even in sport mode, you struggle to hear much in the way of V8 goodness. This being the athletic version, I hoped for more Italian noises emanating from the dual exhaust. Perhaps in future iterations Maserati can provide some sort of active exhaust that will allow owners to open up the noise a bit while still being a quiet cruiser when needed.
Our day trip terminated at Stone Tower Winery and secured a nice scenic view on a couch overlooking the arbors. The picnic lunch fit easily in the massive trunk, and we even brought our small designer Cavapoo puppy called “Dublin”. It was quite a scene.
The winery staff was even nice enough to let me park the Quattroporte in various pretty spots around the vineyard. Giddy-up. Special thanks to Kevin and the staff for being such great hosts.
Day Three – Visiting Relatives
Cars like the Quattroporte don’t typically go out on loan quite quite as long as lesser cars. Most of my press loans are with me for a full week, this one was only a few days. On the last day I finalized some interior shots and found my way into an impromptu Ferrari meet. The ticket to the event was “your Ferrari”, but they made an exception for me. Actually, they were already in the restaurant having brunch so I parked out there and took some pictures of their cars. Truly an outsider looking in.
Speaking of looking in, the interior is pretty special too. I already mentioned the lovely seats, but all across the cabin its clear that they used really nice materials. Anywhere you see carbon fiber, wood, or other high end stuff, it’s all real. Check it out.
So what did I think of the Maserati Quattroporte GTS GranSport? It’s one hell of a car, of that there is no doubt. And even though it was our trusty companion for all of these high end activities, I would have been just as happy running errands and staring at it in the driveway. That’s the beauty of the Quattroporte, this just feels special. All told, our weekend wasn’t that pricey anyway, and the car was free.
Sure, there are objectively better full size sedans on the market. The Porsche Panamera is faster, and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is more luxurious (and depending on the trim, both are cheaper). But I saw several of each on my weekend with the Maserati, while I never passed another car like “mine” the entire time. Even if I did, I doubt it would have been painted in this ridiculously cool purple color. It’s got massive character, it’s incredibly comfortable, and it’s got loads of Italian cool. That alone is worth the price of admission. I may not be a 1%’er but over my weekend in the Quattroporte, I definitely felt like it.
If you are in the market, maybe consider getting one Certified Pre-Owned and let someone else take the depreciation hit first. I’ve already started looking at used GranTurismo’s online, feel free to talk me out of that in the comments.