Culture > Roam

Maserati and the good life that comes with it

Ownership of the Italian marque equals an exclusive lifestyle

How do you say no to this road trip? PHOTO BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

Some folks just don’t like waking up early. But others do, especially when it involves getting behind the wheel of a luxury sports car. I definitely belong to the latter group.

Recently, Maserati Philippines took a small group of motoring journalists on a trip like no other, which involved living the life of a Maserati owner for a day. The event allowed us to experience the marque’s Philippine-market product lineup for 2018, driving the cars all the way to picturesque Pico de Loro in Batangas, and then going on a yacht cruise back to Manila. Just my kind of day.

The Levante is for those who want a go-anywhere but still stylish crossover SUV. PHOTO BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

We rallied up at the Manila Yacht Club for some coffee and were briefed on the event itinerary as our sleek Italian steeds were being prepped in the parking lot. Among these were a couple of Levantes, a Ghibli GranLusso, a Ghibli GranSport and a Quattroporte with a poshly styled Ermenegildo Zegna interior.

Imagine someone inviting you to a joyride and throwing you the key to this. PHOTO BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

When everything was set, I was given the key to the Ghibli GranSport with a tantalizing black finish. After starting our engines, our convoy was off. A line of Maseratis rumbling through the open road was a sight to behold. Bystanders couldn’t help but notice and admire our presence as we passed populated areas along the way.

If only this was our daily ride to work. PHOTOS BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

From my saddle, the drive was nothing short of invigorating. The 430hp top-of-the-line Ghibli S Q4 performed just as impressive as it looked thanks to a new array of driver-assist technologies. The exhilarating sensation of piloting this fine all-wheel-drive beast made my dark coffee seem like plain water as I stayed locked in Sport mode the whole time. Later on, I found myself at the helm of the Levante and was very pleased with its sports car-like handling while possessing the comfort and the confidence of a luxury SUV. The Quattroporte, meanwhile, exuded the character of executive-class refinement and the spirit of the brand’s racing heritage—a perfect balance of intentions, if I may say.

The Kaybiang Tunnel is an aural treat. PHOTO BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

One highlight of the run was when we hit the Kaybiang Tunnel and rolled down our windows to hear the cathartic symphony of the engines. Another memorable moment occurred after we passed the tunnel as we maneuvered through a winding stretch of highway, chasing the lead car with the open sea to our right, contrasted by mountains and cliffs to our left. It truly felt like a scene pulled out of a James Bond flick.

Life doesn't get much better than this. PHOTO BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

We arrived at Pico de Loro with our pulses still on overdrive, but the natural beauty of the cove immediately mellowed everyone down as we dined and relaxed within the confines of this exclusive getaway. Of course, no jet-setting journey would be complete without a yacht cruise. So our contingent was shuttled to the pier after our much-needed break and found ourselves indulging in a more laid-back atmosphere as we headed back to the big city in seafaring fashion.

Autostrada Motore executive director Marc Soong knows how to kick back. PHOTOS BY MANSKEE NASCIMENTO

This is the life, I told myself as the salty wind kissed my face at 28 knots. Very inspirational, to be honest. That’s the essence of owning a Maserati. It’s not just about the acquisition of an expensive automobile, but rather embracing an exclusive lifestyle your success deserves, with added thrills to boot. “Mundane” doesn’t exist in the Maserati vocabulary.

That boat ride gave me some uplifting thoughts to ponder upon. For what it’s worth, this opulent adventure is one for the books.

Manskee Nascimento

Manskee is a music-loving petrolhead who specializes in car care. He finds peace in long drives to and from his home in La Union.