The Quattroporte GTS Tackles the Winter Countryside of Chester County

The car thermometer reads barely into double digits, and the lingering remnants of a major snowstorm heed caution on the roadways. The textbook recommendation is for all-wheel drive or dedicated winter tires. We have neither.

True to the values of a Maserati connoisseur, targeting a perfect balance of sensual luxury and sporty underpinnings, we opted for the rear-wheel drive Quattroporte GT S, even in the dead of winter. The flagship Maserati model comes loaded with subtlety, with any truly discerning distinctions only being visible by the keenest of observers. Ours was fitted with the 20″ forged GT S wheels, carbon fiber interior trim and a small handful of GT S badges that provide the clarity upon second glances.

But we weren’t particularly interested in any of that.

The GT S’ best hidden feature doesn’t hide for long, as the twin-turbo V8 snarls to life with the push of a button. Slotting above the twin-turbo V6, which holds its own at 404 horsepower, the GT S takes the reins and delivers a visceral experience, with 523 horsepower launching it upward to over 190 miles per hour if the tarmac – and laws – allow. It’s the fastest Maserati we’ve seen since the delightfully bonkers MC12.

Although the windy roads of Chester County certainly don’t allow for 191 mph, they present a unique maze of challenges for the GT S. The twisting bends dare the two-ton luxury sedan to be nimble, which it does willfully. The saloon remains planted, even on cold roads with sufficiently-grippy all-season tires lacing the premium wheels. Traction control remains a blessing when you need it.

But as the backroad curls unravel and the countryside through the endless farmland becomes vast, the GT S claims its true identity. It’s a luxury tourer that not only allows you to enjoy the journey, but tempts you along the way with its sinful exhaust note. If you so choose, the “Sport” and “M” buttons allow you to satisfy that craving. If not, it will cradle you comfortably wherever you go.

It’s the choice you get to make when you choose the GT S.