There seems to be a lot of companies producing limited edition products these days. From watches to whisky, everyone appears to be searching for something individual and special. But what happens when that ‘something’ is special to start with? When it’s company’s legacy stretches over 100 years… When it’s hand built in Italy… When it’s one of the most desirable luxury cars in the world… in the case of the Maserati Quattroporte, that’s exactly the case. Passionate design… Sophisticated interiors… Since 1963, the Quattroporte has been 4 door Italian luxury encapsulated. However, if you’re the sort of person that doesn’t find ‘special ‘, well, special enough… Maserati might just have a solution for you. The Maserati Quattroporte GTS Nerissimo is a car built from the shadows. It not only happens to be the fastest Quattroporte ever made, it’s also the rarest. Only 50 of the Nero beauties have been built, and Maserati Australia have managed to get their hands on 5 of them. It’s a car that goes from special to bespoke in every detail and as I found out driving the Nerissimo, the Trident has well and truly been sharpened.
Let’s start with that cloak. Custom Nero Ribelle paint combines with Piano black finishes to create a visual blackout. At night, the Nerissimo acts as a canvas for any light that hits its surface and it sparkles accordingly. Up front, the grill has been blacked out giving the Trident a menacing glisten. Out back, the exhaust pipes have been given the same treatment to maintain the cohesion. When so many vehicles look tacky when given black-out themes, Maserati appear to be more nuanced in the dark arts. If you look closely, you’ll find carbon fibre tastefully integrated throughout the exterior. Door handles, mirrors, b-pillar trim, front and rear splitters are all made from the lightweight black weave. If the Nerissimo is Monica Bellucci in a black dress, then the brake callipers are her lipstick. Anodised red, they contrast strikingly to those 21 inch Titano wheels and add a little fire to this demon.
Peak under the bonnet, and you’ll see the bespoke craftsmanship has continued. Maserati have taken their beloved V8 and added a pair of turbo chargers. It’s 390 kilowatts result in an ominous 0 – 100 time of 4.7 seconds. But more importantly, let’s talk about the torque. The Nerissimo can produce up to 710 Nm, which is colossal to say the least. However, it’s the way in which this torque is delivered that really impressed me on the road. From 2000 to 4000 rpm, this Maserati V8 just pulls. Regardless of gear, passenger load or terrain, the Nerissimo just seemed to swallow the horizon. It was quite deceptive riding on such a plush suspension set-up while accelerating at sports car rates. It’s not a razor-sharp supercar by any means, it’s more luxury car with performance DNA. The Nerissimo manages to blend chauffer levels of ride quality whilst never feeling cumbersome. But unlike most chauffer vehicles, this one begs to be driven and if given the right setting, driven fast. How fast? It’s top speed of 310 km/h is the second fastest in Maserati’s substantial history and only bettered by the MC12 supercar.
Inside the cabin, well, you can guess the colour palette. Premium black leather is used wherever it can be and in most cases, is stylishly enclosed in red stitching. Carbon fibre joins the party for most of the driver-focused items. The steering wheel is a nice contrast of carbon and perforated leather (just in case you sweat at 310 km/h) and the oversized paddle shifts are a full carbon fibre affair. Alcantara rounds off the textile line-up with a full spread covering the Maserati’s headliner. Overall, the cabin feels as bespoke as the centre console plaque suggests “ Nerissimo Edition One of 50 “. It’s a nice mix of old and new with an analogue clock sharing the dashboard real estate with a touchscreen infotainment system. As you’d expect from a car of this size, leg and head room is plentiful and if you happen to find yourself in the back seat, you’ll be lounging in one of the most comfortable seats on the market.
The Maserati Quattroporte GTS Nerissimo truly is a bespoke beast. It’s as if a standard GTS has been possessed by a demon and then handed back to the engineers to tweak the evil. While other cars show boat down the main street looking for attention, the Nerissimo prowls along the back alleys avoiding the crowds. There is a sexiness to its dark soul and that soul seems to awaken at night. It may be presumptuous to already call it a collectable, but with only 5 of the cars coming in to Australia, you wouldn’t be surprised if it was. So if you’re ready to bridge the gap from ‘ special ‘ to ‘ bespoke ‘ I suggest you sell your soul and give in to the darkest Trident in town.