Maserati Quattroporte a beautiful-sounding machine
A British insurance company Hiscox conducted a survey on the sounds of cars. The survey concluded that the sound of a Maserati engine is an aphrodisiac. I hope the study was not funded by Maserati’s marketing department. The authors of the survey played a series of engine recordings to test subjects, and found that females exhibited higher testosterone levels in their blood after listening to recordings of a Maserati engine. Elevated blood testosterone levels can be a sign of increased libido. The survey also added that the sound of an average car engine actually led to a decreased level of testosterone. Only 40 percent of the men who participated had their testosterone levels rising whilst 100 percent of the women’s testosterone levels shot up. It comes as no surprise, the Quattroporte’s sound has helped it earn a cult following on YouTube. So next time you see your woman turning their head after the sound of the Maserati and not a Merc AMG, Jaguar or BMW then remember this study. Maserati did not just wake up with a winning sound. A lot of research and development went into the final product.
Times are changing in the motor industry. We now live in the age of the turbocharger and the all-electric Tesla, a machine that ghosts down the road in silence. The natural music of internal combustion is slowly disappearing. Some manufacturers have gone on to pipe synthesized engine sounds into the cabin through the stereo so occupants do not lose that lovely sound made by the exhaust whenever you need it. Nonetheless then we come to the Maserati Quattroporte, the most beautiful-sounding machine I’ve ever heard. There is something about car sounds that excites and gives you that adrenalin rush. The Quattroporte sounds like a four-wheeled Pavarotti on steroids, flowing through stainless-steel tailpipes. One can never got tired of listening to the sweet knots of the Quattroporte.
Making a car engine sound great calls for serious engineering work, plus the finely tuned ear and exquisite taste of a top-flight music producer. It starts with mechanical design: cylinder layout, firing order, crankshaft geometry, and metallurgical choice… the list goes on. And then comes the intake and exhaust systems, which must be shaped with the care that goes into a fine musical instrument. It’s not just a matter of taking an exhaust and plunging it into the engine. It’s a science and an art.
Most cars have no more acoustic allure than a heavily muffled lawn mower. But there are some memorable four-wheeled singers out there. A well-tuned, non-turbocharged Porsche 911 has an angry, Germanic rasp that makes you dream of days on the autobahn. A V-12 Lamborghini makes a spine-tingling yowl. Then there’s Ford’s Shelby GT 350 Mustang, which comes equipped with the most aggressive-sounding V8 probably ever heard on the street. The Quattroporte has all the aural appeal of these cars, but in a package you can live with every day. You hear the sound, but it doesn’t wear you down. The Lamborghini and Shelby are thrilling, but it’s like sitting next to the speakers at an AC/DC concert. One Maserati executive described the Quattroporte’s acoustic design as “mechanical organic.” It’s good for the ear.
A classically beautiful car, with tasteful detailing and a body that strikes a perfect stylistic balance, the Quattroporte is more voluptuous than a BMW, Merc, Jaguar or an Audi, yet avoids the cartoonish excess that afflicts some Italian designs. Beautiful as the Quattroporte’s shape may be, though, its defining feature is its mechanical soundtrack. And Maserati knows it. The company prides itself on the fact that its cars can sound this good without the fakery and digital intervention that other manufacturers resort to.
The Quattroporte is an elegant, high-performance sedan that carries five people in comfort and style. Its competitors include BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Audi. They’re all fine machines. However the Maserati is a car you drive with the windows down, so you can listen to that Italian concerto from the exhaust.