END OF AUTUMN 1999
Towards the end of 1999, the Technical Management of Maserati involved Stola S.p.A. in a very important project, not only for the house of the Trident itself but for the history of one of its most iconic models.
Attorney Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, in a precise corporate recovery plan, included the fifth generation of the Tipo Quattroporte, an icon in the world of luxury sports sedans.
The chosen style was from Pininfarina with design being entrusted to Stola due in part to the excellent results achieved in terms of quality with the previous M 338 sports project, better known as the 3200 GT.
As in previous model development projects, in this latest one activities started with the scanning of the style model that would enable the definition of the class A surfaces.
This first phase saw the CAD team of Massimo Stola, assisted by Carlo Mantovani and working along with the Pininfarina stylists, to achieve the excellence demanded in the quality of exterior aesthetic body surfaces.
The use of Icemsurf software had become a standard for this type of modeling, with Opticore being used for the evaluation of reflections and curves in the VR rooms at Stola, making it possible to achieve their objectives whilst still validating the surfaces by means of a milled Master model.
Once this first phase was completed, the engineering activity could begin, starting from the feasibility pre-tests of the style model. The technical manager of Stola s.p.a. for the Maserati Quattroporte project, Carmelo Benedetto, was assisted by various team leaders, each of whom were responsible for different areas of the bodywork, chassis, engine compartment, sides, doors, front, hood and trunk, external finishes, dashboard and interior finishes.
The Quattroporte Team brought together around 50 design engineers whose activity was carried out with Catia software, according to the well-established process that involves the creation of: final studies, design and modeling of the individual components and complete and overall design.
Fundamental for the control of project progress was the IBM data storage and sharing system (Virtual Project Management) and the management of the BOM on AS400, also assigned to the Stola Team of Paola Busato, tools that allowed the actors working on the project, Maserati, Stola, co-designers and suppliers to access the latest data.
For around two years, the meetings for the advancement and sharing of design solutions were held in the virtual room of Cinisello.
The possibility of detailed analysis, on a large screen and in 3D, of how the project was progressing contributed to obtaining the excellent result presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2003. As always, the internal "systems" area and its external interface to the customer was co-ordinated by Gianfranco Morlacchi.