Off to Saalfelden in Austria with Maserati

Maserati´s ICE Drive took place in Saalfelden, a town in the state of Salzburg amid the Austrian Alps.

The ICE driving in a luxury Maserati was a lot of fun. The focus was on the pleasure of driving on slippery surfaces such as a slalom and traction run, a circular drifting orbit and various handling courses. The object was to see how you can control the car and how it reacts in the different Driving Modes…
The entire event took place in the wonderful Hotel Gut Brandlhof which is specialized for car events like this. With it’s own car wash station, presentation rooms, an outdoor ice kart circuit and different snow and ice courses close to the the hotel.
After the checkin at this lovely hotel we where able to choose one of the Maseratis. My choice was the Blue Emozione Ghibli with a 430hp V6 3,0 liter engine. V max ex factory 285 km/h, 0-100 km/h in 5,0 seconds with a combined consumption of  9,6 liters per 100 km. Unfortunately I was not able to check the listed 285 km/h since there are tons of speed traps along the roads of Saalfelden. Hopefully I will do that another time in Germany 🙂
Before I start an engine in whatever car I am sitting, I switch the Driving Mode to the most sportive one to get the best start up sound I can get. The Ghibli definitely deserves to be called a sports car with its 4 exhaust pipes and a really nice deep purring sound.

 

We drove around Saalfelden trying to find a nice road for a real test drive and a great nature spot for pictures. It is absolute amazing how attractive this car is for everyone who sees it. When I say everyone I really mean everyone of every age. Kids were staring, a couple in the sidewalk was pointing at the car, and yet another lady took pictures of the Ghibli sitting in traffic behind us… Crazy how people react seeing the aggressive front of the car with its trademark the all known trident logo.

The evening program was highlighted with an outdoor Ice Kart-Race. The Karts were prepared with little tire spikes since the circuit was slippery as hell.

We had two groups driving a race to qualify for the final event. During the beginning of qualifying almost everyone was sliding and turning around their own axis wherever you were looking. What a fun challenge! After getting the feel of the kart and realizing that the actual braking control in racing is overvalued on the ice, I began to control my kart pretty well and finished the qualifine with the fastest lap and was able to start the finale in the pole position.

Being fully motivated after discovering the “right” driving way on ice I was able to lead the first 4-5 laps until I lost control in a curve and spun myself around and fell back to the 5th position. Not feeling a tiny bone in my fingers with a temperature of -20 degrees celsius I somehow managed to get back into the lead and finished first, winning the 20 lap race!

The next morning started the actual „driving experience“ with a selection of the Maserati Ghibli S Q4, the Quattroporte S Q4 and the Levante S. All petrol driven Maserati´s with their renowned Q4 all-wheel drive system.

Maserati Tour SaalfeldenMaserati Ghibli S, @dpersy wearing a Belstaff Parka, Levi´s Jeans and Boots from TOMS © @felixfr98

Maserati Levante S, @dpersy wearing a Parajumper Parka, J.Crew Jeans and Boots from Timberland © @felixfr98

Maserati Levante S © @felixfr98

Maserati Ghibli S Q4:

3,0 Liter V6 Twin Turbo charged

316 kW (430hp) with 5500 U/min and 550 Nm

Transmission: 8-Gear Sporttransmission

Weight: 1880 kilogram

0-100 km/h in 4,8 s

Maserati Quattroporte S Q4:

3,0 Liter V6 Twin Turbo charged

316 kW (430hp) with 5750 U/min and 580 Nm

Transmission: 8-Gear Sporttransmission

Weight: 1920 kilogram

0-100 km/h in 4,8 s

Maserati Levante S:

3,0 Liter V6 Twin Turbo charged

316 kW (430hp) with 5750 U/min and 580 Nm

Transmission: 8-Gear Sporttransmission

Weight: 2109 kilogram

0-100 km/h in 5,2 s

Ready for drifting!

The cars were off the street, up onto the ice and snow. Brand new fallen snow now covered the test circuit filled with slippery handling courses, slaloms and curves. We started driving in ICE Mode (Increased Control and Efficiency).

This ICE Mode keeps the car really safe and smooth on the field. The automatic control switches very early and doesn’t allow any unwanted movement of the car. We performed several different maneuver tests in the ICE Mode. No problem at all for every model, even the 5,20 m long Quattroporte. It takes the circuit very comfortably with brilliant performance.

If you want more fun with the rear breaking out a little, go in Sport Mode. In addition to the changed sound and faster gear changes, the ESP reacts a little later. But the anti-skid keeps the rear under control even if you hit the pedal to the metal a little too hard!

Too safe and not enough freedom and adrenalin?! You want to drift like DK from Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift, go in Sport Mode and keep your finger 3 seconds on the ESP button which is placed right in the center of the middle console. ESP off = total freedom. This allowed nice drifts in the circular drifting orbit where we tried to hold the drift as long as possible.

 

How fast can you completely stop your car if you drive 30km/h on snow?! On ICE Mode the car stops quiet fast after hitting and holding the brake 100%. The second round was in Sport Modedriving 60 km/h. If there is something hazardous on the road such as ice, there is not a single chance of stopping with this speed in time if you are not 100% on the brake more than 50 meters before. The car slides straight ahead like you are not even braking at all.

The whole snow and ice experience was a lot of fun, especially testing the variety of the quattro all-wheel driven Maseratis. A drift training like this equips you to controll your own vehicle more skillfully when driving during winter on icy roads.

 

Maserati Ghibli S Q4, me wearing a Parajumper Parka and Timberland Boots © srcreativity

Maserati Ghibli S Q4, me wearing an American Vintage Bomber, J.Crew Jeans and a Hugo Boss watch © srcreativity

Maserati Ghibli S Q4, me wearing a Parajumper Parka © srcreativity

Maserati – a striking statement, in an upper-class format.

Since Maserati stepped out of the selected niche of the Gran Turismo and Gran Cabrio into the suitability for daily use with it´s models like the Ghibli, Levante and Quattroporte it became a more interesting brand and rival for the market and clients from BMW, Audi, Mercedes etc…

My personal favorite is the Ghibli S Q4. Tight but not too hard – it shows a coordinated adaptive suspension and a trimmed 4 all-wheel drive, which even allows it to drift.