Maserati has an unmistakable trident emblem, a history of superior performance, and a range of features that provide unprecedented luxury. The Italian automaker worked diligently to merit a new attribute for its cars: snow-driving capability. A new all-wheel drive system, known as the Q4 system, provides the current line of Quattroporte and Ghibli models excellent handling in the snow and other conditions precipitated by inclement weather. This driving system will also come standard in the Levante SUV, which goes into production either toward the end of this year or in early 2015.
The transfer case, bolted to the rear of the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, is home to the clutch that functions as the heart of the all-wheel drive system. Maserati engineers state that the intelligent design of this clutch allows it to transition from fully-open to fully-engaged in 150 milliseconds; this means that the vehicle switches from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive with each axle receiving fifty (50) percent of available torque. Even more impressive is that the clutch can react to conditions and provide any proportion of torque to the axles between 0-50 percent. In this regard, this pair of all-wheel drive cars feels like they are rear-wheel drive most of the time.
As always, Maserati delves into some innovative, intriguing new mechanisms.
This Q4 only adds 130 pounds, which has virtually no effect on fuel efficiency and weight distribution.
All of this technical jargon and these specificities do not really translate into a genuine understanding of the car’s capabilities. Even the demonstrations during Italian summers, Maserati’s traditional season for launch events, did not adequately preview how well the Q4 all-wheel drive system could perform. So the company decided to take to the Italian Alps – in January.
In the ski resort town of Cervinia, the Ghibli Q4 and Quattroporte Q4 would meander along narrow public roads throughout the mountain, as well as rocket across a mile-long track close to the resort town (interesting side-note: on the Swiss side of the border, just a few miles away, the mountain is named the Matterhorn).
Despite the slush, snow and ice of the wintry Italian back roads, the Maserati cars were secure, stable, and swift. On the dangerously slick test track, the Maserati Q4-equipped models demonstrated incredible agility. In fact, they both moved off, without difficulty, from a standstill along a twenty-percent incline complicated by snow and ice.
Once again, the Italian automaker committed itself to excellence on the roadway, mastering the obstacles created by inclement weather. It serves as just another reason to come speak with one of our expert brand ambassadors at Maserati of Raleigh to get behind the wheel of the Italian car that will perfectly suit your wants and needs.
As always, we at Leith Cars encourage you to…
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