The Maserati Quattroporte, introduced in 1994, is the Italian car manufacturer's attempt to gain a foothold in the luxury saloon market dominated by Mercedes, BMW, Toyota and Nissan. It is not the first time the company has used the term Quattroporte as the name first adorned a Maserati in 1963 when it was used on the Trident luxury saloon that combined performance with comfort. As with its predecessor, the Quattroporte is a combination of performance, comfort, elegance and class. At 2,650 mm, the wheelbase of the vehicle is significantly smaller than similar luxury cars in its class. Designer Marcello Gandini has emphasised the car's sporty appeal by going for a wedge-like profile. The result is an aerodynamic, aggressive shape accentuated by sleek continental-style lines. The rear-wheel-drive vehicle is powered by a 2.8-litre 2,790-cc twin-turbo V6 engine capable of 260 kilometres per hour. Each of the cylinders has four valves and each row of cylinders has two overhead camshafts. Additional engine features include two liquid-cooled turbochargers, two air-to-air inter-coolers, dual catalytic converters, light alloy crankcase and cylinder heads and electronic injection and ignition. It is available in a four-speed automatic or with a six-speed manual transmission. Like its exterior, the interior of the Quattroporte exudes elegance. The wooden trim of burr elm provides a beautiful accompaniment to the Connolly leather seats. The interior comes equipped with automatic ventilation and air-conditioning, adjustable steering wheel, electronic mirrors, central door locking and power seats. As a high performance vehicle, Maserati has placed safety at the forefront in installing several precautionary measures. The Quattroporte costs $964,500 with registration tax and automatic climate control and is available at Auto Italia.