First drive: Maserati Quattroporte S
It's hardly surprising, because the S is just £6000 more than the standard model, but comes with a new grille and lights, more standard equipment and significantly more power, thanks to a larger, 4.7-litre engine - 500cc bigger than the standard car.
The changes have turned the Quattroporte from leggy Tourer to vampish four-door GT.
The V8 S sits firmly in super-quick territory, and it sounds great, too. It also annihilates most rivals for sheer driving pleasure, simply because its engine is so free-revving and its power delivery so linear.
Equally, the steering, although light, has an accuracy and a delicacy that's difficult to imagine being bettered.
The S is also extremely responsive and feels absolutely secure through long, sweeping bends.
The slightly rear-biased weight distribution does mean that the front end feels rather light under heavy braking, and the nose is inclined to run a wee bit wide if you're exuberant through tight hairpins. Nonetheless, the S is incredibly agile for such a large car.
Even so, there's no disguising its sheer bulk. At just under two tonnes, the twin-mode adaptive suspension - it can be set for sport or comfort - does its best to keep things under control, but there's still the suspicion that the ride will be bit brittle for UK roads.
Of course, the £85,000 S is not cheap. It's also nowhere near as refined, spacious, comfortable or as well built as a Mercedes S-Class, but boy, it's a damned sight prettier.
• The Maserati Quattroporte S goes on sale in September.
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