Recently we were invited by Maserati to take part in a bespoke VIP Chauffeur Masterclass at the Baglioni Hotel in Kensington, and drive the new Maserati Quattroporte MY17 that has just arrived in the UK.
Upon arrival at the hotel we were greeted by chauffeuring expert Andy Dubberley, who has driven the likes of Madonna, Sting, and Dame Shirley Bassey over his long career as a private driver and close protection professional. In a quick chat over coffee, Andy revealed that there is much more to being a chauffeur than we thought.
We found out that a professional chauffeur needs to be informed about his passenger’s interests, religion, medical condition, route preferences and, crucially, the passengers’ status and security requirements. Simple car preparation details such as what newspaper to choose – one that has a neutral political standing, or what type of bottled water – never a glass bottle, as although it looks more expensive, it could be dangerous in case of an accident, and why you would have a black sharpie handy – for autographs, in case you are driving a celebrity, were revealed to us before heading out to the Maserati Quattroporte S waiting outside the Baglioni.
Once inside the car, we got a real feel of the vehicle: a beautiful interior that reflected discreet luxury and comfort, balanced by advanced technology and driver aids that made for a smooth and pleasurable drive in the heart of London.
The Maserati Quattroporte luxury saloon is a unique and exclusive car that appeals to driving enthusiasts as well as busy entrepreneurs who enjoy being chauffeured around London. With a history that reflects excellence (the Quattroporte was the fastest saloon in the world when launched in 1963 at the Turin Motor Show), the new Quattroporte aims to offer its highly demanding clientele a combination of stylish design and powerful engines. Despite its impressive size, the Quattroporte felt light on the road. The newly designed front and rear bumpers create an imposing look, while the frameless doors give the appearance of a coupe.
While driving, Andy tasked us with some interesting challenges such as a quick detour to a shop and restaurant for our VIP passenger.
The chauffeur lesson ended back at the Baglioni Hotel where we reluctantly handed back the keys and left with exciting insights into the chauffeuring world and a desire for the Maserati Quattroporte.