Maserati recently launched its fastest ever saloon cars. The Ghibli and Quattroporte in new ‘Trofeo’ spec join the latest Levante, completing the holy trinity of the Maserati Trofeo Collection. Or should that be the three points of the famous trident badge that sits on the grill of all three of these vehicles? While the engineers and boffins at Maserati are diligently crafting the hybridised and electric power future of the brand, there is still a moment in the sun for the internal combustion engine. And what an engine it is. The common theme and the beating heart that unites these three Trofeo vehicles is the mighty V8 with a simply glorious soundtrack. Built in Maranello, it is one of the best engines on the planet and over-delivers on both performance and excitement. The carmaker prides itself on the emotion its cars induce and the Trofeo line comprises vehicles steeped in that Maserati tradition. You would seldom describe Maseratis as slow, but this elite range sits at the peak of the brand’s performance cars.
Design features that distinguish these cars from non-Trofeo models include huge air intakes at the front, vents on the bonnet and carbon accents around the car. They also feature a new rear light design and signature Trofeo badging on the side and rear. Trofeo cars also proudly wear the Italian flag on the B-pillar in a nod to the all Italian build and heritage of these cars. When you see the Trofeo badge you are looking at a race-bred Maserati… although the strong likelihood is that you will hear it coming a long time before you see it.
“The beating heart of these vehicles is the V8, with a simply glorious soundtrack
Looks aside, it’s the ‘Top Trumps’ numbers that catch the eye with the Trofeos: 580bhp in all three vehicles, sub 4.5 seconds to 62mph achieved by all and the two saloons capable of over 200mph. Four-wheel drive in the Levante keeps it planted in multiple conditions and surfaces and befits its SUV status while Maserati has pleasingly opted for rear-wheel-drive only for the Ghibli and Quattroporte Trofeo models.
Unlike the humbler models, you get a Corsa (‘race’) driving mode on the Trofeo cars, which speeds up the gear changes, stiffens the dampers and opens the valves on the exhaust, making it even louder. But make sure you have taken your brave pills first as this mode will also reduce the safety systems and that is a lot of power to unleash without the traction control holding your hand. Launch control also makes an appearance on the trio and allows for race grid-like starts if you want to show off at the traffic lights. Upgraded brakes have also been added to compensate for all of that extra speed.
Power and performance are clearly the priorities for the Trofeo range, yet luxury has not been forgotten. Inside you get a new central analogue clock and the seats are covered in Maserati’s ‘Pieno Fiore’ full-grain natural leather embossed with the Trofeo logo, giving a cosseting yet sophisticated atmosphere to the interior. All these additions make up the Trofeo recipe, but the engine is undoubtedly the chilli flakes on the pizza. You will rarely tire of stamping on the accelerator and unleashing those symphonic horses, giving a Latin chin flick to any disgruntled bystanders covering their ears. It would be easy to dismiss these cars as the hooligans of the range, but the stylish package gives them more of an august presence.
As far as individual characteristics go, it depends on your needs. The Ghibli will feel like the more sprightly, exuberant of the three. The Quattroporte has always been a proficient grand tourer with a flair for continent crossing. Giving it the Trofeo treatment will mean you skip across the country even quicker although you may have to seek out an autobahn to experience its full 203miles per hour v-max. The Levante has been available as a Trofeo for a couple of years before its stablemates joined the party and it has already cemented its reputation as a barnstorming SUV and a compelling alternative to some of its more sober Teutonic rivals.
The Tricolore and proud patriotism are a constant in this collection. The cars were launched in Piazza Roma in Modena, Maserati’s spiritual home and were displayed in the three colours of the flag, or as they are officially labelled, Rosso Magma, Bianco Alpi and a particularly alluring Verde Smeraldo. Which, let’s face it, sounds more seductive than red, white and green. These Trofeos are as Italian as Caprese salad. And the ‘Trophy’ cars certainly live up to the name and despite Maserati’s commitment to an electrified future, these three vehicles remind you of what we will be missing when we inevitably say goodbye to the celebrated V8. Get one before it’s too late.
Ghibli Trofeo, £104,200 OTR; Levante Trofeo, £125,370 OTR; Quattroporte Trofeo: £127,310 OTR; maserati.com