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

Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

4.2-liter V8, dohc, four valves per cylinder

Six-speed automatic

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

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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