The engines fitted to the new Maserati Quattroporte and GranTurismo are the result of a collaboration between Maserati and Ferrari, and are assembled at Ferrari’s Maranello Headquarters.
The production of the compact and lightweight (184 kg) eight cylinder V90° engines takes place in the Engine Mounting Area where Ferrari engines are also assembled. This means that Maserati engines benefit from the same level of technical excellence as Ferrari ones. The Maserati engines displace 4244 cc or 4691 cc and have peak power outputs between 400 and 433 bhp, depending on the application. To ensure that the highest standards are maintained they are assembled by hand by highly trained personnel who, before they begin work, are put through an extensive training program.
This training period, christened ‘test flying’ by insiders, is designed to familiarize the personnel with the assembly process. It teaches them how to diagnose problems and the basics of how the engine works. At the end of the training they are awarded a certificate to testify that they are ready for the real production process.
Turning to the production cycle, the process begins with the preparation of one of the sub-groups (for example, pistons, air intake manifolds or preparing completed cylinder heads).
Once these subgroups have been finished, it is over to the assembly line for the stage that unites each component. Here, Ferrari and Maserati engines alternate on the same work cycle. This cycle consists of short blocks (piston rods and cylinder blocks) and long blocks (where final engine assembly takes place).
The process includes a series of checks to ensure an excellent end product. The production system combines the advantages of work carried out by hand with precision electronics. Courtesy of a revolutionary bolt tightening certification system, a special driver sends torque data to a central server. The server then compares the tightening values from the car with parameters set by the technical department. The worth of the system is that the process only moves on when the values correspond exactly.
The checks carried out in the testing room involve analysis of each individual engine. The opening phase sees the engine ‘dragged’, when it is run at low speed in order to lubricate the gearing and set up the mechanical parts. This forms the basis for the running in of all the engine’s mechanical components during which the engine is set at 2,000 rpm for around twenty minutes, at 4,500 rpm for another twenty minutes and then at 6,000 rpm for thirty minutes. At the end of this testing cycle it is on to an analysis of the torque curve, the peak power and a final emissions check (another emissions check is carried out during the final test room exam).
Once the final results are known, the engine is ready to be sent to Maserati in Modena to be mounted in a car.