The Luxurious Maserati Quattroporte – Over 40 Years A Dignitary

Maserati Quattroporte
Maserati Quattroporte 3rd generation Royale

Over 40 years ago on 14 December 1979, the Maserati Quattroporte 3rd generation was presented to Italian President Sandro Pertini at the Quirinal Palace in Rome.

Boasting performance, elegance and luxury, the Quattroporte was chosen as the official car for the Italian President and presented at an official ceremony attended by Minister of Industry and Trade, the Rt Hon Antonio Bisaglia, and the CEO of Maserati, Alejandro de Tomaso.

Giorgetto Giugiaro

Designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Maserati Quattroporte 3rd generation (1979) was the first completely new car to be designed during the de Tomaso management period (1976-1993) and featured lines inspired by the first, 1963, version of the Quattroporte, although with a less sporty and more formal personality.

The luxurious and refined interior in the Quattroporte 3rd generation provided dignitaries door-to-door leather and some of the most comfortable seating ever produced.

With an eye-watering getaway speed of around 220 km/h, the Italian beauty was fitted with a powerful V8 giving the fortunate pilot 4.2L with 255 hp and 4.9L with 280 hp respectively. The car remained on the market from 1979 until 1990, with a total of 2,145 units sold.


1986 saw the luxurious ‘Royale’ launched with additional upgrades and a restyling that included soft leather seats and lavish use of burr walnut on the dashboard and door panels. Other distinctive features were the radiotelephone in the compartment between the front seats and the small stow-away folding table in the rear doors. The Quattroporte Royale was equipped with a powerful 4.9L V8 engine with 300 hp and just 51 were built with this trim.

Armoured Quattroporte

In 1982, the Italian President’s General Secretariat placed an order with Maserati for the construction of an armoured Quattroporte for the President’s use.

In 1983 the Modena firm supplied a Quattroporte, in “Dark Aquamarine” colour with beige velvet interior, to President Sandro Pertini, and it became his car of choice for institutional engagements.

One of the car’s original features was a large ashtray with pipe holder between the rear seats: this was requested by the President himself, and Maserati modified the rear bench to create it. The car also featured a bar cabinet, a telephone system, and an intercom for communication with people outside the car.

The car’s cabin was completely armoured and bullet-proof, with high-strength manganese steel plating. The windows were also armoured, 31 mm thick and made of polycarbonate with 4 electrically controlled windows.

The roof could be opened electrically above the rear seats to allow the President to stand up and greet crowds while on the move; a special handle was installed on the back of the right front seat to make this upright position safer and more comfortable.

Enzo Ferrari

The Head of State used the Quattroporte 3rd generation on all public occasions, including his historic visit to the Ferrari factory in Maranello on 29 May 1983. On that occasion, ceremonial etiquette demanded that once the car had entered the plant, the host, Enzo Ferrari should approach the presidential vehicle. However, Ferrari remained motionless about ten metres from the car. The elderly President Pertini got out of the Quattroporte and walked over to the Ferrari boss.

Enzo Ferrari did not move because of the long-standing local rivalry between the Prancing Horse and Trident brands.

In the 1980s, other famous personalities also chose the Quattroporte 3rd generation as their means of transport. Perhaps the best known was Modenese tenor Luciano Pavarotti; there are famous photographs of him in his Quattroporte outside La Scala in Milan.

Maserati Quattroporte
Luciano Pavarotti and his Maserati Quattroporte

Republic Day

The Quattroporte is still the President of Italy’s official car today and on Republic Day, the current President Sergio Mattarella used the Quattroporte 6th generation with exterior colour “Blu Istituzionale” specially created by Maserati. The powerplant is the famous 530 hp bi-turbo V8 with peak torque of 650 Nm.

The car has interior trims in “Black Piano” (black lacquered wood) teamed with full-grain Pieno Fiore leather. Particular care was taken over the soundproofing of the cabin to ensure the utmost of comfort onboard the car in all conditions of use.

The rear of the console bears the official crest of the Italian Republic. The Quattroporte built for the Italian President was specifically modified to achieve the highest safety standards for cars intended for particular institutional uses.


Model Quattroporte 4.2 Quattroporte 4.9 Quattroporte Royale
Model code Tipo AM330 Tipo AM330/49 Tipo AM330/49
Body type 4-door, 5-seater saloon 4-door, 5-seater saloon 4-door, 5-seater saloon
Design Giugiaro Giugiaro Giugiaro
Chassis Steel platform chassis Steel platform chassis Steel platform chassis
Kerb weight 1,780 – 1,975 kg 1,780 – 1,975 kg 1,780 – 1,975 kg
Engine configuration 90° V8, double overhead camshaft 90° V8, double overhead camshaft 90° V8, double overhead camshaft
Displacement 4,136 cc 4,930 cc 4,930 cc
Maximum power 255hp @ 6,000 rpm 280hp @ 5,600 rpm 300hp @ 5,800 rpm
Top speed 215 km/h 220 km/h 230 km/h

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