The most significant visual update for the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte comes in the form of the toothy vertical bar grille. This grille style was first seen on the Maserati GranTurismo launched at the 2007 Geneva Motor Show, and hearkens back to the 1953 Maserati A6 GCS.
The headlights have also been updated on the 2009 Quattroporte. LED parking lights are visible along the lower rim of the headlight casing, and the headlights are adaptive, turning into corners following the steering line of the front wheels.
Besides the new grille and lighting, the Quattroporte body remains largely unchanged, retaining its curvy sedan design. Maserati is now offering pearlescent paint effects, with flecks that make the color look different in changing lighting conditions.
This particular Quattroporte is an S model, meaning it has been tweaked for sport driving. It comes standard with Maserati's Skyhook adjustable suspension system, which can be changed from comfort to sport settings at the touch of a button. The S also uses brakes co-developed by Brembo, although the calipers carry the Maserati brand.
The taillights on the new Quattroporte get the LED treatment. As this is the S model, it also gets a 4.7 badge, denoting the engine displacement. According to Maserati, the new Quattroporte S has a particularly stimulating exhaust note.
In the past, the standard and S model Maseratis got the same 4.2-liter V-8 engine. For 2009, the Quattroporte S and GranTurismo S get a 4.7-liter V-8 with red cylinder heads. This new engine puts out 425 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque. That gives the Quattroporte S a top speed of 174 mph and a 0 mph to 60 mph time of 5.3 seconds.
The interior quality looks good, with solid switchgear and no errant gaps in the panels. Most noticeably, Maserati adds a new infotainment system from Bose, providing navigation, stereo, and Bluetooth cell phone integration.
The six-speed automatic transmission is designed for smooth shifting, and includes Sport, Ice, and Manual modes. For manual shifting, there are optional paddle shifters on the steering column. The transmission is designed to allow shifts at up to 7,200rpm.
The Bose infotainment system is similar to the one developed for the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti. It uses two knobs for selection and volume, and a proximity sensor to activate functions as your hand approaches the unit. The maps for the navigation system are stored on a hard drive.
Because the navigation system uses a hard drive, there is room to store music, which can be accessed with the Library menu item. uMusic is an intelligent playlist feature that learns what kind of music you like.
You can choose music alphabetically by turning the tuning knob, showing available music by album, genre, and artist. The Bose audio system uses 11 speakers to pump out 5.1 surround sound, with an eight channel equalizer to tweak the quality.