Wonderful noises

maserati ghibli rear quarter

The car you're looking at is the Ghibli S Q4. That means it has a more powerful version of the base model's 3.0-liter V6. This one puts out 404 horsepower and it has all-wheel-drive. It's a quick car. Maserati claims it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.7 seconds but if someone told me it was faster yet, I might believe it.

Then there's the sound... As it revs up, the high-pitched engine sounds almost like it's trying to claw its way through the grill. Then there's this other sound...

As the 8-speed transmission shifts up the next gear, and the engine winds back down, there's what can be best be described as a metallic ripping sound, kind of like a circular saw chewing into a steel spike. If a very calm Maserati executive hadn't been in the car with me the first time I heard it, I'd have sworn something had gone horribly wrong. As it was, I quickly learned to love that strange, frightening noise.

Passengers, on the other hand, didn't love the sounds so much. The V6, frankly, just never shut up. Every change in pressure on the gas pedal was translated into noise, a hum, a shake, something. Even steady gas pedal pressure turned out a constant, even drone that permeated the cabin. From the driver's seat I barely noticed it, but I couldn't help noticing the carping from the seat to my right.

First published November 11, 2013: 7:08 AM ET

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