The usual upgrades are offered, including a bump from the standard 18-inch alloys to 19s on the Executive GT and 20s on the Sport GT, but the main ingredient, that growly, responsive V8 and slick six-speed, means there isn't much, dynamically speaking, to differentiate between the cheapest and the most expensive versions. Prices run from under $110,000 to almost $120,000 for the Sport GT, hardly outlandish compared to the competition. In every sense, this Maserati is everything Italian style stands for. And except for an oversensitive throttle on take-off, the drivetrain delivers smooth surges of torque-laden power, accompanied by an engine note that would draw raves at La Scala. The Quattroporte Automatic is simply la bella macchina, inside and out.

2007 Maserati Quattroporte

*Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

*Engine
4.2-liter V8, dohc, four valves per cylinder

*Transmission
Six-speed automatic

*Dimensions
Length x Width x Height (in.): 198.8 x 74.6 x 56.6
Wheelbase: 120.6 in.
Curb Weight: 4387 lb

*Performance
Peak Power: 400 bhp @ 7000 rpm
Peak Torque: 340 lb-ft @ 4250
0-62 mph: 5.6 sec.
Top Speed: 168 mph

*Why we love it: Still looks good, now shifts well

*Why we don't: What about a top-class manual gearbox? Huh? Huh?

The Price Tag: $110,000 (est.)

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