Maserati introduced an all-new version of its long-running Quattroporte (four-door) model in 2004 and in doing so came up with an outstandingly luxurious conveyance that nevertheless was aimed squarely at the enthusiastic owner-driver. A luxury saloon with the soul of a sports car, the new Quattroporte featured DuoSelect six-speed sequential manual transmission complete with Formula 1-style paddle gearshift. The latter could be switched to fully automatic mode, and when used manually it automatically blipped the engine during downshifts. Displacing 4.2 litres, the Quattroporte's quad-cam V8 revved to 7,200 and produced 394bhp, a remarkably high specific output for a normally aspirated engine, particularly that of a luxuriously appointed four-seater saloon. Unusually, Maserati chose not to limit the car's top speed, unlike the majority of its (mainly) German rivals; thus the Quattroporte was allowed to realise its full potential, achieving a maximum velocity of 171mph (275km/h) with 62mph (100km/h) attainable in 5.2 seconds.
By mounting the dry-sump engine aft of the front axle line, Maserati's engineers achieved a slight rearward weight bias, endowing the Quattroporte with sports car-like balance and communicative steering. The suspension - Maserati's familiar Skyhook - incorporated both anti-dive and anti-squat geometry while offering electronically controlled adaptive damping and excellent ride comfort. Performance was restrained by ventilated Brembo disc brakes all round, supplemented by four-channel ABS, electronic brake force distribution, traction control and stability control. The first Maserati to be styled by Pininfarina for 50 years, the Quattroporte combined elegant Gran Turismo looks with a sumptuously equipped interior featuring Poltrona frau leather upholstery, six airbags, Blaupunkt information centre, satellite navigation and a BOSE sound system.
One of only a few hundred examples imported annually into the UK, this right-hand drive Quattroporte was supplied new via Graypaul Motors, Loughborough and has enjoyed only two previous keepers. The current owner purchased the Maserati at Bonhams' Harrogate sale in November 2008 (Lot 634) since when it has been kept in museum storage. 'FJ04 TXW' is offered with expired MoT (June 2009) and Swansea V5, while the accompanying service booklet records annual servicing from 2004 onwards, the most recent of the four stamped entries being dated 24th September 2007 at 43,543 miles (the current total is circa 48,800). Presented in generally very good condition, this car represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the most exciting sports saloons of recent years at a fraction of the approximately £77,000 launch price.