They flew out of the window like proverbial hotcakes. Maserati North America yesterday sold out all 60 Neiman Marcus Limited-Edition 2005 Quattroporte luxury sedans in just 36 minutes. The cars went on sale via telephone on October 14, 2004 at noon EDT. Calls began immediately at noon, with requests for 60 cars completed within three minutes. In 36 minutes, all orders were finalised.

Maserati North America notes that the impressive sounding result is not too surprising given the Quattroporte's waiting list of 18 months through Maserati dealers.

The Quattroporte's 4.2-liter 400-HP V8 engine means 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds with a top speed of 170 mph. Maserati says that the car is the only luxury sedan in its class to place the engine behind the front axle, which it says is a 'race-proven technique that provides superior harmony between car and driver'.

According to Maurizio Parlato, president and CEO of Ferrari Maserati North America, the synergy between Maserati and Neiman Marcus goes well beyond the sale of its newest luxury item. "We are extremely pleased with the response of the NM Quattroporte." said Parlato. "Based on our experience with the Neiman Marcus 'In Circle Rewards Program' we felt confident the car would be well received, but the overwhelming demand emphasizes the bond between the Neiman Marcus customer and the Maserati driver."

The all-new Neiman Marcus Maserati Quattroporte is (or should we say was) priced at $125,000 each.

Maserati claims the car is the most luxurious vehicle ever to be featured within the Neiman Marcus Annual Christmas Book (under, appropriately enough, a section headed 'fantasy gifts'). Maybe next year...

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