THERE are some car names that really stand out from the crowd like Bentley, Porsche and Ferrari.
But if you can tell people you drive a Maserati, the cachet is just as special. These are cars that exude history and heritage, from a manufacturer that competed successfully in Formula 1 within living memory.
Its latest sports saloon is the luxurious and fascinating Ghibli, which comes with whisper quiet 3.0-litre V6 petrol or diesel engines driving the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
I drove the most important model as far as this country is concerned - the 271bhp diesel - and was hugely impressed with its immense acceleration, silky gearchanges and excellent grip through a tortuous handling course.
The ride might not be quite as smooth as some competitors but to be honest, most drivers would hardly notice the difference when they had such a wonderful machine to drive.
This is a business driver's dream, with performance plus economy and low emissions.
Sumptuous hardly comes close to the luxurious ambiance of the cabin, with electrically adjusted, beautifully-shaped leather armchairs front and rear, more dials than a Eurofighter, and almost every conceivable extra as standard.
These include a multi-function leather covered steering wheel, active cruise control for long motorway journeys, and a big, easy-to-use touch screen for climate, audio, phone and sat nav.