Heritage

A Look Back: Maserati Quattroporte celebrates its 56th birthday with a nod to its royal lineage

Royalty and high-ranking government officials have driven Maseratis throughout the last six decades.

Photo courtesy of Maserati

Italy has been the historical home for luxury performance cars for a century. The Maserati Quattroporte has been around for half that time, serving as a coach for royals and high-ranking government officials since its birth.

The Quattroporte traces its roots back to the Maserati 5000 GT known as The Shah of Persia. Only 34 models of the coupe were produced. The first was delivered to Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the last King of Iran. Other buyers included Karim Aga Khan, the son of Prince Aly Khan; Gianni Angellini, the head of Fiat; and Adolfo López Mateos, the President of Mexico.

Maserati 5000 GT Maserati traces the roots of its Quattroporte back to the 5000 GT.Photo courtesy of Maserati

Series I of the Quattroporte kicked off production in 1964 and ran through 1966 with 230 units produced. It was equipped with a 4.1-liter V8 engine that achieved 260 horsepower and was paired with a five-speed manual transmission. A three-speed Borg Warner automatic transmission was available upon request.

The second iteration of the Quattroporte, Series II, included many upgrades including twin headlights, a leaf-sprung solid axle, and a completely redesigned interior. The dashboard was now trimmed with real wood fascia. The Series II was offered with the 4.1-liter base engine, as well as a new 4.7-liter power plant that delivered 290 horsepower. The Quattroporte 4700 was equipped with the larger engine and had a top speed of 158 mph making it the fastest four-door sedan in the world at the time. Maserati made 776 Series II models by the time the generation ended in 1969.

The second generation of the Maserati Quattroporte debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 1974 and went into production shortly thereafter. The Quattroporte was nearly dead on arrival. Due to a downturn in the economy and the company's financial woes, Maserati produced just 13 Quattroportes between 1974 and 1978.

Maserati Quattroporte third generation 3rd The Maserati Quattroporte Royale was a luxurious take on the new generation of the sedan.Photo courtesy of Maserati

The Quattroporte made a triumphant return to dealership lots in earnest in the late 1970s. In December 1979 the tradition of Quattroportes being owned by the world's elite, continued with the delivery of a Quattroporte to Italian President Sandro Pertini at the Quirinal Palace in Rome.

This version of the sedan featured a more high-end interior than Maserati's had before. It was powered by variants of the engines available in the first generation Quattroporte. The car was on the market until 1990. Maserati sold 2,145 Quattroporte IIs.

In 1982, an order was placed for an armored Quattroporte for the President of Italy, Sandro Pertini, to use. The model, with a Dark Aquamarine paint job featured a beige velvet interior. Its large ashtray featured a pipe holder between the rear seats, a modification to the original design requested by Pertini himself. There was also a bar cabinet, telephone system, and intercom that could address people outside the car. All four windows were electronically controlled, as was the roof.

Maserati Quattroporte third generation 3rd The interior of the third-generation Quattroporte was significantly more upscale than the first and second generation.Photo courtesy of Maserati

In 1986 the "Royale" version of the Quattropporte was launched as one of the most luxurious to date. It had soft leather seats, burr walnut dashboard and door panels, a radio telephone, and a stow-away folding table. Under its hood was a powerful 4.9-liter V8 engine that achieved 300 horsepower. Just 51 Royale models were built.

The car became more closely associated with celebrities in the 1980s. Famous Modenese tenor Luciano Pavarotti was one of them. Today, the list of celebrities who have driven Maseratis is long. Singer Gwen Stefani, soccer star Lionel Messi, Olympic champion Apollo Ohno, comedian Jay Leno, and Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper make the roster.

Maserati Quattroporte 3rd generation Luciano Pavarotti poses in his third-generation Quattroporte.Photo courtesy of Maserati

The Quattroporte is still the official car of the President of Italy. Current President Sergio Mattarella used a sixth-generation version of the sedan with a Blu Istituzionale paint job and Black Piamo (black lacquered wood) interior that is paired with Pieno Fiore leather. The model was powered by a 530-horsepower, twin-turbocharged V8.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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The F-Type P450 cars replace the P300 and P380 as part of the Jaguar lineup.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Two new versions of the Jaguar F-Type are on the horizon. New versions of the model have been created to further the car's luxury proposition and both are powered by a roaring V8 engine. The new P450 variants replace the P300 and P380 models currently in the lineup. Jaguar is keeping the F-Type R around.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450

The 2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 will be available as a coupe or convertible in P450 RWD or P450 R-DYNAMIC AWD grades. All varieties come with a 444-horsepower supercharged V8 under the hood that achieves 428 pound-feet of torque. An electronic active differential is standard. In all configurations, the car gets from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and has a top speed of 177 mph.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The car has received minor exterior updates from the 2021 model.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

In a nod to its suburban buyers, the F-Type has a Quiet Star mode that allows a more subtle roar out the back side of the car upon startup. Drivers who don't care about keeping quiet can switch the car in to Dynamic mode and let the rumble out.

Each F-Type P450 rides on 20-inch wheels, has larger brakes than traditional F-Type models, and has the switchable exhaust. Double J-Blade daytime running lights feature up front while new slender rear lights allow the body of the car to speak for itself.

Buyers who get the F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD get bespoke badging; a gloss black front splitter, side sills, valance, and venturi; auto-dimming, power- folding, heated door mirrors with memory; and 20-inch Style 6003, split-spoke, gloss Dark Grey with Contrast Diamond Turned Finish Wheels.

2022 Jaguar F-Type P450 The interior sports a refined appearance.Photo courtesy of Jaguar

Monogram stitch patterns on the car's seats and interior accents in Windsor Leather and satin-finish Noble Chrome enhance the interior. Additionally, there are "Jaguar Est.1935" markings on the center console finisher, glovebox release button surround, and seatbelt guides. Six-way electric power seats are standard on F-Type P450 RWD, while F-Type P450 R-Dynamic AWD adds 12-way electric memory front seats, electrically adjustable steering column with memory, Delta Aluminum Center Console, and R-Dynamic branded metal treadplates as standard equipment.

A 12.3-inch driver information display is standard.

F-Type P450 is available in 11 standard exterior colors, and can be ordered in over a dozen custom SVO paint finishes. It starts at $69,900 for the P450 RWD Coupe and $79,900 for the R450 R-Dynamic AWD Coupe.

2022 Jaguar F-Type R

The F-Type R is the pinnacle of the Jaguar lineup with torque on-demand all-wheel drive, Jaguar Intelligent Driveline Dynamics control technology, a double wishbone front and rear suspension, and electric power-assisted steering.

It can get from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph thanks to its 575-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. All-wheel drive is standard.

This model starts at $103,200.

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