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FAST FACTS

* Model: 2019 Maserati Quattroporte GTS GranSport

* Exterior color: Rosso Folgore

* Interior color: Black/Gray

* Engine: 3.8-liter, twin turbo-charged V-8

* Horsepower: 523

* Transmission: eight-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 22 mpg highway, 15 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Maserati of Atlanta (also Birmingham and Nashville)

* Price (as tested): $150,410

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy/ The interior of the Maserati GTS GanSport features Pieno Fiore natural leather.

The 2019 Maserati Quattroporte GTS GranSport has a published top speed of 190 mph. Not living near Talledega Superspeedway or the Bonneville Salt Flats, I was unable to verify this performance metric.

I can, however, vouch for the fact that it will go zero-to-30 miles per hour in a hiccup.

Not that a NASCAR-like top-speed matters much with this piece. The Maserati Quattroporte (Italian for "four-door") GTS is one of those rare sports sedans that creates as much excitement at a dead stop as it does flying down the road. I had soccer moms stop to inspect the car, middle-schoolers whoop "Maserati!" when it pulled up and neighbors gather around my driveway to ask questions about the Italian-made sedan.

From its menacing grille, to its swept lines and sumptuous Pieno Fiore natural leather interior, the Maserati exudes luxury. Our tester's Rosso Folgore exterior paint is a rich hue that adds to the exotic lines of the car. The Maserati's triple side-air vents and trident grille badge signal that this a special vehicle that isn't apt to encounter too many cousins on the road.

To snag a new Maserati you'll have to travel. Nashville, Birmingham and Atlanta all have Maserati stores but not Chattanooga. And bring your checkbook, our tester has a bottom line of $150,410. Or if you prefer, the manufacturer is offering a 36-month least for a mere 10-grand down and easy payments of $1,675 a month.

WHAT IS IT? The Maserati GTS GranSport is a four-door luxury sports sedan with Italian styling and a 523-horsepower V-8 engine made by Ferrari. It has seating for five and goes from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds.


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HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? A six-cylinder S model starts at $107,980. A mid-trim S Q4 starts at $113,680 and a GTS model, like our tester, starts at $138,000. Notable options on our tester, provided for a one week Chattanooga test drive by the manufacturer, include carbon fibre trim ($1,490), upgraded leather ($1,790), red brake calipers ($2,190), special 21-inch wheels ($3,000) and a Bowers and Wilkins Sound system ($1,990).

WHAT WE LIKED: The Maserati has the right mix of curb appeal and performance chops. The interior design captures the personality of the car and the horsepower befits the Ferrari connection.

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT: The ignition button location, to the left of the steering wheel, will throw off most U.S. drivers. The seats are on the firm side and the rear wheel-spin, even when you are not trying, can be a bit tiresome.

DRIVING EXPERIENCE: The Maserati GTS GranSport is a relaxed cruiser when you want it to be, but its muscular twin-turbocharged engine and sport tuned suspension are always cocked and loaded. Plant your right foot and the sedan instantly surges into beast mode, with melodious sounds emanating from the back tires and exhaust. Torque steer is minimal and the Maserati claws at the road. We found mountain driving to be especially satisfying.

BOTTOM LINE: This is obviously a car for top executives and other one-percenters. The silver lining is that Maseratis depreciate quickly so this $150,000 race car could be yours in a few years for a surprisingly modest price.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.

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