Sometimes in life we come across a person who simply gets us. They know us for who we are, they've seen us at our extremes, and they know all too well the inner child within us. So when I received word from such a friend to cancel my plans for something 'simply unmissable', I trusted to fate and cleared my schedule.
The brief was simple. Be at the Perth's Barbagallo Maserati dealership at 0930, wearing something casual - suitable for driving Maseratis and sipping rose. And whilst the rose never quite eventuated, the Italian high performance vehicles were far from lacking.
Hosted by Barbagallo, WA's luxury car dealer, a few fortunate others and I were gathered for the 2015 Maserati Drive Day - eight hours of Italian luxury, Western Australian countryside and Swan Valley hospitality, courtesy of Mandoon Estate.
On offer were a number of Modena and Grugliasco's finest exports: the Ghibli, the Quattroporte S, the quicker and louder Quattroporte GTS, and the Granturismo Sport Automic. Despite having an eye for the alluringly sleek coupe, with its aggressive streamlining and perfect engine noise, there was no disappointment in my heart when handed the keys to an Quattroporte S, equipped with a V6 pumping out 301kW and a 0-100 sprint time of 5.1s.
And we were off, convoying through the city and winding our way into Perth's hills. Engines screamed, tyres held and the modern Italian art couldn't have felt more at home on the forested roads. A brief stop at Mundaring Weir saw an impressive array of Trident-stamped bonnets, before sweeping country roads delivered our ensemble into the heart of the Swan Valley wine region.
The afternoon's interlude came at the gracious invitation of the incredible Mandoon Estate, where we lucky few were treated to an underground private tasting and an elegant six-course degustation. Decadence, it seemed, was the order of the day.
But like all things, there was an end. As we inexorably returned to the dealership, I set my mind to finer details of the Quattroporte's performance, and only one word seemed to encapsulate it: effortless. The acceleration, ride, handling and braking - all were as if the car knew my intentions before I'd finishing forming each thought.
A dream to drive, beautiful to look upon and producing one of the most beautiful exhaust notes ever heard, the Quattroporte stands as evidence of the unquestionable role Maserati has played in the history of luxury and performance motoring. Just don't ask me how they drive without sports mode on.