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Headline:Maserati QuattroporteDate:12/09/2003
Source:FastSaloons.com   (Click Here for more details).News
   
Review:New saloon delivers sporty-drive and sumptuous four-seater comfort  

  • New saloon delivers sporty-drive and sumptuous four-seater comfort
  • 5 metre limousine offers unrivalled luxury, style and elegance
  • Perfect handling balance with 47%-53% front-rear weight split
  • 400 bhp V8 engine generates massive torque from 2,500 rpm
  • Maserati DuoSelect six-speed gearbox with automatic and manual modes
  • Unique Skyhook electronic multi-mode adaptive suspension
  • Right-hand drive, 170 mph saloon on sale in UK from late spring 2004
  • Italy is renowned throughout the world for certain qualities: artistic creativity, appreciation of beauty, innovative engineering talent, love of sophisticated luxury, culture and music, a passionate love of life. Maserati’s long history in the exclusive luxury executive saloon sector is part of that great culture too. The ingenuity and technology, honed by decades of success on the track, are seamlessly married with sophisticated styling and materials as well as functional yet alluring forms and solutions. The new Maserati Quattroporte continues that cultural odyssey and will write a fresh and entirely Italian chapter in the history of unique cars.

    The Concept

    Inspired by the building of the new motorways in the late 1950s, Maserati unveiled the first ever Quattroporte model in 1963. This unique car combined all of the luxury of a sophisticated, exclusive executive saloon with the performance of a clearly sports-inspired chassis and an engine borrowed from the world’s most powerful barchetta, the 450 S.

    The majestic new Pininfarina-designed Maserati Quattroporte now takes that same concept and gives it a contemporary twist to suit the needs of today’s drivers. This luxury saloon is the perfect continuation of the superb Maserati flagship tradition that ranged from the unveiling of the first Frua-bodied Quattroporte to the 1976 Giugiaro model – the car of choice for Italian President Sandro Pertini. The Quattroportes were spacious comfortable limousines that effortlessly and safely ate up the miles on long journeys whilst still delivering the blistering performance of a thoroughbred, racer-bred sportscar, whenever required.

    The new Quattroporte makes its debut into a very different world, but it is every bit as audacious and exclusive as its predecessors in terms of its concept. This completely innovative newcomer brings an exciting breath of fresh air to the large luxury saloon market segment. That breath of fresh air comes from the fact that the curvaceous yet aggressive-looking, 5 metre long Quattroporte marks the rebirth of the Italian flagship car, the ultimate embodiment of qualities for which Italy is renowned throughout the world.

    Styling & Design

    The new Quattroporte is the first Maserati that Pininfarina has designed in 50 years. The late great Pinin himself created some extraordinary sportscars for the Trident marque in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the last of which was the 1953 A6GCS Berlinetta Sport. From 1955, the Turin-based coach builder devoted itself to Ferrari, then the Trident’s fiercest rival. Nonetheless, it was thanks to that ancient history and Pininfarina’s long-held ambition to one day design a big high performance Italian saloon, that we now have the new Maserati Quattroporte – a car that combines strength and power in a stunningly sensual package, in which every last detail has been carefully finished and the Trident’s trademark styling cues highlight its legendary heritage.

    The Quattroporte was designed over a long wheelbase with a stance that highlights the length of the bonnet. The bonnet, combined with the imposing grille and distinctive C-pillar, are all part of the Trident tradition – three styling cues that mark the Quattroporte as a real Maserati at first glance and serve to accentuate its authoritative personality. The legendary Trident badge takes pride of place on the nose, framed by the chromed grille. Three air intakes lighten the look of the lower part of the front bumper, while the headlights are set slightly back from the grille and delineate the top of the car’s nose.

    The side profile is truly dynamic, thanks to the very short front overhang and the low front wing line, while the rear wheels are set in a muscular volume beneath the triangular C-pillar that frames the famous Maserati trident and arrow symbol, as previously featured on the Quattroporte Frua and the Mistral. Appropriately, the inimitable Pininfarina signature adds an extra flourish to each flank.

    The clean sweep of the sides, is offset by three small rectangular air vents (a clear reference to the A6 1500 Berlinetta Speciale), and accentuated by the ample greenhouse area. The uninterrupted expanse of glass is enhanced by the absence of a quarterlight on the front doors, a glazing solution often associated with GT cars.

    The rear door when opened, continues to sinuously and harmoniously follow the line of the bodywork: a particularly attractive design detail. This soft, clean overall look is picked up again in the Quattroporte’s rear section which is high and compact and seems to be actively pushing the car forward. A slender lip has been incorporated into the tail to aid airflow and generate downforce. Just like the aerodynamic line, it is the result of long hours in the wind tunnel aimed at optimising the car’s aerodynamic efficiency (Cd 0.35) to guarantee improved performance, safety and stability without having to sacrifice any of its alluring styling.

    The two elegant rear light clusters, with their chrome-framed reflectors, give the tail a sophisticated flourish. The bold diagonals between the red glass, clear glass and metal bodywork, echo the shape of the classic Maserati Trident. Both sets of twin exhausts are oval in cross-section.

    Structure, Refinement & Production

    The Quattroporte boasts an all-new platform, specifically designed to optimise the in-house engineering talents of the marque that is synonymous with performance and cutting edge technology. The Quattroporte’s architecture is typical of a luxury flagship model – a ‘three-box’, four-door design, with longitudinally-mounted front engine driving the rear wheels. It has an unusually long (3064 mm) wheelbase for superlative ride comfort and an ideal weight distribution to achieve perfectly balanced, responsive handling.

    Weight distribution is 47% front and 53% rear – an extraordinary result in the traditional large executive saloon segment. This set-up maximises traction and gives the car exceptional stability and dynamic balance. This distribution is achieved by setting the engine behind the front axle, and by moving the gearbox to the rear and mounting it in unit with the differential. This layout is normally reserved for high performance sportscars and the Quattroporte is its first application to a luxury saloon.

    The bodyshell has excellent torsional rigidity (3200 kgm/degree) and flexural rigidity (1300 kg/mm) which provides a firm foundation for the precise location and operation of the suspension – which is enormously beneficial to the car’s handling dynamics – and facilitates significant reductions in the transmission of vibrations.

    The Quattroporte is manufactured in the world’s most advanced small series production facility, in Modena. The Ferrari Maserati Group has invested heavily in Maserati to guarantee that it delivers the quality cars to match the highest production standards in the automotive world. The Maserati factory combines avant-garde electronic engineering control systems with the traditional experience of a skilled workforce schooled in the culture of Italian craftsmanship.

    A brand-new dedicated Quattroporte production line has been added to the two existing lines for the Coupe and Spyder. That dedicated line is divided into two areas: one for engineering and electronic components, and one for interiors and finishes. Specially trained teams work at quality control positions where every element of the car is checked. Assembly of each car must be ‘approved’ at various intermediate stages, before it can move down the line, and this approach is part of the Maserati philosophy which inspires incredible concentration by its employees.

    Every Quattroporte undergoes electronic checking of its engine, transmission, suspension and chassis set-up. After passing the water seal tests, cars are driven on the rolling-road to measure various systems, including the ABS. Once this electronic and human scrutiny is successfully passed, every car is put through a 100 km road test by a highly experienced expert test driver.

    Following the road test, a final examination is conducted in the finishing department. With the new Quattroporte, Maserati is taking on one of the most difficult and highly competitive sectors of the world market and the achievement of overall excellence is a point of honour for the marque.

    Luxury, Comfort & Convenience

    The design of the Quattroporte’s interior is the perfect extension of the exterior styling, its luxurious functionality encompassing the Quattroporte’s twin souls. The cabin is warm and bright, its clear-cut forms beautifully crafted out of luxury woods and leathers. The interior is over 2 metres in length, allowing its occupants generous space in which to stretch out and enjoy the journey.

    The Quattroporte comes with electronically adjustable seats both front and rear. The front seats have 14 different settings as standard, while the driver’s seat also has three memory settings and a special feature that slides the seat back and raises the steering column to make entry and exit even more convenient. The two electric rear seats are independently adjustable for reach over a 10 cm range, and for tilt. The passenger occupying the rear passenger-side seat can also move the front passenger seat forward (by up to 22 cm) using a button on the rear central armrest.

    The sportier side of the Quattroporte’s dual soul shows in the design of the facia, and the simple, ergonomically optimised layout of the blue & white instruments which are clustered under a single cowling behind the steering wheel, while the major controls are very easy to locate and use. Throughout the design of the facia and centre console, a policy was adopted that each control should be easy to operate and should control a single function.

    The comfort and convenience controls are housed in a wood-trimmed, centre console layout, divided into four horizontal bands. The topmost band holds twin air-vents and an oval analogue clock. The second band is for the Multi Media System, incorporating the satellite navigation display. The bottom band operates the automatic climate control and clear display for the separate front and rear zones.

    The drive and chassis controls – for the transmission, suspension, and stability programme – are located in a separate, handy, driver-dedicated area on the transmission tunnel.

    The Quattroporte’s interior provides the occupants with a sense of tranquillity and security. Even in standard form, Quattroporte has the feel of a bespoke car in which luxury woods and natural materials create an atmosphere of noble elegance. Customers can take the bespoke concept several stages further, either by selecting from the options list or by using the dedicated personalisation programme – Officine Alfieri Maserati.

    Wood, always a classic feature, is used innovatively in Quattroporte to create large surfaces dotted with small decorative strips of inlay. The central console creates a virtual cascade of luxurious wood, surmounted by the classic oval Maserati clock which is dark blue, just like the dials on the rev counter and speedometer.

    Three different woods are available for the Quattroporte: rosewood, mahogany and briarwood, with rosewood offering the richest, clearest finish. The grain – vertical on the central console, horizontal on the door panels – is reminiscent of the kind of splendid craftsmanship normally found aboard luxury yachts. The mahogany has a special vein and the different directions of the grain on the two sides of the cabin are reminiscent of the very best of antique woodworking. The classic walnut root is a symbol of tradition. For drivers who like a more modern ambience, a titanium-style finish is available for some of the interior details.

    Another expression of Italian craftsmanship at its best, is the quality of the Poltrona Frau leather upholstery, a standard feature for the Quattroporte. Hand-picked and traditionally worked, this leather has beautiful, kid-glove softness which is matched by its durability and practicality. The cavernous, rectangular 450 litre boot is elegantly finished and is large enough to stow five large Quattroporte bags – made from the same leather as the seat upholstery and available as an option.

    Engine

    The Quattroporte is powered by a compact, lightweight, normally aspirated, 4244cc, 90 degree V8 engine. Based on the Maserati power unit fitted in the Coupe and Spyder, the all-aluminium engine is modified for its new role in a luxury saloon to produce a maximum of 400 bhp and 75% of maximum torque from just 2,500 rpm. The modifications, primarily to boost torque at lower revolutions, include a new air-filter, new camshaft profiles, a new exhaust system and revised engine mapping.

    Weighing just 183 kg, the engine is fitted with a dry-sump lubrication system – a sports-derived solution which allows it to be mounted lower in the car and in turn, lowers the car’s centre of gravity for improved stability and handling balance.

    Chain-driven twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank operate four valves per cylinder with hydraulic tappets. The intake cams feature continuously variable phase timing, and valve actuation takes less than 0.15 seconds. The integrated ignition and injection systems are by Bosch and allow the detection of operating malfunctions within the engine control system, to help ensure compliance with emissions limits. The engine control unit (ECU) interfaces with the other systems courtesy of the CAN (Controlled Area Network) to optimise engine control.

    Controlled by an electronic drive-by-wire accelerator, the V8 has been developed to ensure the smoothest delivery of power and torque, in a linear fashion, consistently throughout the rev-range. Combined with the dual-mode MDS (Maserati DuoSelect) transmission, the V8 offers maximum driving pleasure, with extraordinary performance parameters.

    Transmission

    The electro-hydraulic, six-speed MDS (Maserati DuoSelect) transmission is one of the most important innovations used in the Quattroporte. The system offers drivers the choice of fully-automatic or clutch-less sequential-manual gear selection.

    Fully-automatic is the normal operating mode for the MDS. The electro-hydraulically actuated gearbox is lighter than a conventional torque-converter automatic and delivers smooth, crisp, rapid, gear changes combined with top class responsiveness.

    At a standstill, it does not ‘creep’ like traditional automatics, but the new transmission has an automatic ‘hill holder’ facility. This keeps the brakes applied for a couple of seconds to give the driver time to move his (or her) foot from the brake to the accelerator – without the car rolling backwards.

    The ‘M/A Shift’ button on the central console also allows drivers to shift to sequential-manual, at any time, even when the car is moving. Finger-tip operated, steering-wheel mounted paddles control gear selection – drivers pull on the right paddle to go up the gears, the left to go down.

    Two additional modes can be selected to cope with changing driving conditions or to reflect personal driving style. Low Grip (for slippery surfaces) allows the car to move off in second gear, avoiding wheelspin. Sport (for faster gear changes, higher up the rev-range) is linked to the settings for suspension, traction and stability controls, which are all adjusted to make the Quattroporte an even more sporty drive.

    To make parking easier there is also a switch on the central tunnel to select either reverse or first gear (Drive in automatic mode or first gear in manual) without any need to touch the paddles. The Quattroporte also has a small (8.46 inch, 215 mm diameter) dry twin-plate clutch, a feature unique in the luxury saloon sector.

    Suspension & Steering

    Like its Coupe and Spyder siblings, the Quattroporte suspension employs forged aluminium double-wishbones front and rear, with aluminium uprights, but the geometry is tailored specifically to suit the longer car. Anti-dive and anti-squat characteristics are incorporated and Maserati’s unique electronic Skyhook adaptive damping system is fitted as standard. The control software has been re-configured to offer optimum in-car comfort for the occupants.

    Maserati’s fast-reacting Skyhook is renowned for its ability to absorb every bump in the road for an incredibly comfortable ride, without undermining the marque’s reputation for sporty handling. Acceleration sensors monitor the movements of the wheels and the car’s body, instantly adapting the damper settings. Drivers can also choose between two modes: Normal and Sport, to suit their driving style.

    The Quattroporte’s electronic power steering has variable assistance, offering maximum assistance while parking, minimum assistance when cruising at high speeds and a crisp response, with appropriate assistance, when maneuvering on full lock. The 5 metre long Maserati has a 12.3 metre turning circle.

    Brakes, Wheels & Tyres

    The Quattroporte’s all-disc power-assisted braking system is manufactured by Brembo. The ventilated 330 mm x 32 mm front discs are fitted with four-pot callipers, the 316 mm x 28 mm rear discs with two-pot callipers. The system has Bosch VDC 5.7 ABS and electronic braking force distribution (EBD) which spreads the braking effort more evenly between front and rear wheels. Both the ABS and EBD systems are integrated with the MSP stability control system. Braking hard from 100 km/h [62 mph] on a dry surface, the Quattroporte comes to a complete stop in 36.9 metres.

    The standard Pininfarina-styled alloy wheels on Quattroporte are 11-spoke designs, 18 inches in diameter. At the front, these 8.5J wide wheels are fitted with 245/45 ZR18 tyres. At the rear, the wheels are 10.5J wide, with 285/40 ZR18 tyres. As an option, 19 inch diameter, 9-spoke wheels (in similar widths) are available.

    Performance & Economy

    The Quattroporte accelerates from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds. Maximum speed is 275 km/h (171 mph). Fuel consumption on the official combined cycle is 18.9 l / 100 km (14.9 mpg) and the 90 litre (19.75 gallon) petrol tank gives a touring range of 450 kilometres (280 miles).

    Safety & Security

    Quattroporte comes with the Maserati Stability Programme as standard. Developed by Maserati, the highly advanced MSP offers drivers extra assistance during unexpected and difficult driving situations.

    MSP compares the course being steered by the driver and the actual path of the car. It interfaces with the ABS, EBD and ASR functions and acts on the brakes and engine to guarantee the driver stays in control of the car even at critical moments. A series of sensors pick up any anomaly in the car’s ideal dynamic behaviour. Just like Skyhook, the MSP operates using two different logics which the driver can choose by touching the Sport button on the central console. Selecting Sport raises the threshold at which the MSP will begin to ‘assist’.

    Active safety is enhanced by the Quattroporte’s twin xenon headlights – which offer a beam that is far superior to traditional halogen lights (maximum visibility, greater durability and lower energy consumption) – cruise control; light and rain sensors; and a light-sensitive, auto-dipping rear view mirror.

    While Maserati’s philosophy is to build cars with responsive, agile handling that delivers exceptional high standards of active safety, the Quattroporte also offers its occupants the highest levels of passive safety. Its protection systems exceed the toughest European and American crash test standards.

    The car’s basic structure, creates a protective, impact-resistant survival cell, which is further enhanced by the fitting of laminated glass in all windows. This is much stronger than traditional glass, will not shatter and resists penetration. The interior features rounded forms, flush-fit controls and crushable structures in all areas which may make contact with occupants in an accident situation.

    The Quattroporte’s integrated safety belt and airbag system features six airbags – driver, passenger, side (in both front seats) and full side curtains. The degree to which the front airbags inflate is directly proportional to the severity of the impact. Seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters are fitted to both the front and the outside rear seats. ISOFIX anchorage points for child safety-seats are fitted in the rear.

    Standard Equipment

    The automatic, separate front and rear climate control system that comes as standard, guarantees optimal onboard conditions, by automatically adapting the interior temperature and ventilation levels to changes in the exterior temperature, sunlight intensity and humidity. The fully electronic control console allows the driver and passengers to choose separate temperatures with a minimum of 16 degrees C and a maximum of 32 degrees. The separate front and back sunlight sensor also keeps the values constant even when the intensity of the light changes. Laminated glass in all windows not only keeps noise levels to a minimum but also improves the climate control’s efficiency.

    The Multi Media System, developed by Bosch-Blaupunkt, includes (as standard) the onboard computer functions, a satellite navigation system, a Bose Sound System, and a single CD player. These functions can be controlled using the buttons in the centre of the dash and monitored on the 6.5 inch colour screen.

    As an option, customers can also add a GSM phone, CD changer (located under the steering column in the cabin), a front TV module and the Onboard CALL Telematic Service, as well as a Rear Seat Entertainment System which offers a central screen, TV tuner, DVD player, auxiliary input for a video game console or other external equipment (video camera, for example), and a choice of listening through headphones or the main audio system.

    Quattroporte drivers can control the Bose Sound System, the Multi Media System and the GSM phone using ergonomically efficient controls laid out on the sporty three-spoke steering wheel. The Bose Sound System takes the whole bespoke concept around which the Quattroporte was designed to new heights. The Hi-End Bose audio system was designed and manufactured to adapt to the acoustics of the car and become an integral part of those acoustics. This is absolutely essential to creating the kind of superior audio experience that offers concert hall-standard clarity and power. The exclusive system’s many innovative features include neodymium speakers. The compact size of the components also means that the system can offer excellent acoustic performance without any of the clutter or weight of a traditional onboard unit. The digital Bose Audio System delivers a more faithful sound reproduction than most analogue music systems and also allows the use of specialist Bose technologies such as AutoPilot and active electronic equalisers.

    Bespoke Personalisation Programme

    The Officine Alfieri Maserati personalisation programme has been further developed for the Quattroporte, offering owners an unparalleled catalogue of bespoke options. A small, dedicated workshop at Maserati can produce a different Quattroporte for every new owner.

    There are four key personalisation areas: colour choices, interior trim, travel and sporting dynamics. In addition to a selection of 15 exterior paintwork colours and 10 shades of leather trim for the interior, clients can also choose the colour of the dashboard (10 shades), the steering wheel (10), stitching (13 yarns), roof lining (3 variations), and interior mats (4). The choice of luxury woods includes rosewood, briarwood and mahogany. Alternatively, owners can opt for a titanium-coloured finish.

    There is also a Comfort package for the front seats (heating, ventilation, massage, an intelligent system that automatically adapts the seat padding to the occupant’s movements) and for the rear (heating, ventilation and massage).

    Other features aimed at further enhancing the onboard experience include a front TV tuner, Rear Seat Entertainment (including central screen in rear, DVD player and TV tuner), CD changer, GSM telephone, and an electric sunroof. The Sport (with 19 inch wheels) and Executive packages complete the range of multiple choices available.

    Bespoke Customer Services

    One of the unique features of purchasing a Quattroporte is owning a car that is built precisely to a customer’s individual aesthetic and technical specifications. Maserati has now broadened this bespoke approach to car ownership to include a range of services for both potential and existing Maserati owners.

    FINANCIAL SERVICES

    Maserati has its own special in-house service which offers leasing and financing options tailored to meet the needs of each individual client. This very fast service is offered on a case-by-case basis in order to guarantee an immediate response.

    MASERATI WORLD

    Every Quattroporte client automatically earns the right to a whole series of special privileges including: invitations to Maserati events, trade-only days at the world’s leading motor shows, sports events (Maserati organises the Trofeo Maserati races and will also be entering the 2004 GT competitions), and the unveiling of new Ferrari Maserati Group models. Quattroporte clients will also enjoy special privileges if they take part in the Maserati Master GT driving courses. Quattroporte owners will be granted access to the dedicated www.owners.maserati.com website, where they can choose from an exclusive range of products.

    MASERATI QUATTROPORTE

    Technical Specification

    Body

    Four-door, four-seater saloon body, front-mounted longitudinal engine, rear-wheel drive.

    Drag co-efficient: 0.35.

    Chassis

    Stress-bearing steel monocoque bodyshell with aluminium bonnet and boot.

    Suspension

    Front: independent by double wishbones with arms and hubs in forged aluminium, with anti-dive and anti-squat geometry, plus continuously variable aluminium dampers with adaptive damping and acceleration sensors (Skyhook system), co-axial coils and springs.

    Rear: independent by double wishbones with arms and hubs in forged aluminium, with anti-dive and anti-squat geometry, plus continuously variable aluminium dampers with adaptive damping and acceleration sensors (Skyhook system), co-axial coils and springs.

    Wheels & Tyres

    Standard - 11-spoke alloys (9-spoke, 19 inch alloys optional)

    Front 8.5J x 18 with 245/45 ZR18 tyres

    Rear 10.5J x 18 with 285/40 ZR18 tyres

    Brakes

    Brembo braking system with four cross-drilled, ventilated discs. Four piston callipers front, two piston rear. Bosch VDC 5.7 ABS anti-lock system. Electronic braking effort distribution (EBD).

    Front 330 mm x 32 mm

    Rear 316 mm x 28 mm

    Transmission

    Six-speed Maserati DuoSelect electro-hydraulic gearbox with choice of fully-automatic or sequential manual operation, longitudinally mounted in unit with rear differential. Manual operation by steering-wheel mounted paddles.

    ZF asymmetrical limited-slip differential (25% under acceleration, 45% on lift-off), hypoid bevel gear pair. Dry twin-plate clutch, 215 mm diameter.

    Bosch ASR traction control.

    Engine

    The 90º V8 engine’s crankcase and cylinder heads are in tempered aluminium alloy, tempered steel balanced crankshaft running on five main bearings. Chain-driven twin overhead camshafts per cylinder bank command four valves per cylinder with hydraulic tappets. The dry sump engine lubrication system features the oil pumps in unit with the coolant pump.

    Bosch Motronic ME7 integrated ignition and injection; electronic drive-by-wire accelerator.

    Weight:

    183 kg (403 lb)

    Capacity:

    4244 cc

    Bore:

    92 mm

    Stroke:

    79.8 mm

    Compression ratio:

    11.1:1

    Max. power output:

    400 bhp (294 kW) @ 7000 rpm

    Peak torque:

    333 lb ft (451 Nm) @ 4500 rpm

    Max. engine speed:

    7600 rpm

    Dimensions and Weights

    Length:

    5052 mm (201.0 in)

    Width:

    1895 mm (75.8 in)

    Height:

    1438 mm (57.5 in)

    Wheelbase:

    3064 mm (122.5 in)

    Front track:

    1587 mm (63.4 in)

    Rear track:

    1560 mm (62.4 in)

    Front overhang:

    1056 mm (42.2 in)

    Rear overhang:

    932 mm (37.3 in)

    Turning circle:

    12.3 m

    Boot capacity:

    450 litres (88.0 gal)

    Fuel tank:

    90 litres (19.8 gal)

    Dry weight:

    1860 kg (4092 lb)

    Kerb weight:

    1930 kg (4246 lb)

    Performance

    Top speed:

    171 mph (275 km/h)

    0 to 62 mph (0-100 km/h):

    5.2 s

    Braking, 62 mph to 0:

    36.9 metres

    Fuel consumption, combined:

    18.9 l/100km (14.95 mpg)

    CO2:

    440 g/km

    Insurance Group:

    20



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