The most recent offering from the Maserati stable, the all-new Ghibli, marks a turning point in the Maserati story, as for the first time in its history the Italian company will have two concurrent four-door saloon models. The Ghibli is smaller, shorter, lighter, more dynamic, less expensive and more economical than the flagship Quattroporte and provides a cornerstone in Maserati’s plans to build 50,000 cars a year by 2015.
Its petrol range provides high performance from both of the power outputs from the twin turbo-charged, 3.0L V6 petrol engine and it also offers customers the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive in an E-segment luxury sports saloon. The Ghibli has a more focused, sportier philosophy than the larger Quattroporte and its most powerful model, the Ghibli S, has 410hp and powers the car to62mph in just 5 seconds with a top speed of 176mph (where allowed, obviously).
The Ghibli is also the first Maserati in history to be powered by, of all things, a diesel engine, with a turbo-diesel V6 producing all the sound, refinement and driving pleasure typical of the brand whilst delivering improved fuel consumption. Why, it even has Start-Stop technology yet it remains very much a Maserati. It shares much of its core architecture, including crash safety, chassis, suspension architecture, engines and LED headlight technology with the larger Quattroporte, though it is 50kg lighter, 173mm shorter in the wheel base and 291mm shorter overall.
With an eye firmly fixed on the lucrative prestige sector of the market the Maserati Ghibli’s design team was apparently challenged to produce a car that emphasized its more dynamic driving characteristics through a more aggressive visual personality, yet still maintained discernible visual links with its big brother. The outline of the body, they say, reflects a coupé-like philosophy. The grille takes its inspiration from the current GranTurismo and, crucially, it can draw a line back to the classic 1950s A6 GCS.
It also maintains Maserati’s distinctive C-pillar treatment, which delivers much of the coupe-like stance and carries the classical Saetta Maserati logo, carrying on a tradition dating back to 1963. The side profile is dominated by a swage line that runs from the traditional Maserati grille vents behind the front wheels and finishes in the rear lights themselves.
Inside, the Ghibli sets itself apart from the Quattroporte with a unique dashboard design that perfectly matches its sportier and more youthful character without losing any of the luxury expected from Maserati within a spacious interior. All versions utilize an eight-speed automatic transmission to deliver their performance, providing seamless comfort with fast gear shifting for hard acceleration.
As you would expect from this brand the car offers exquisite handling thanks to perfectly balanced weight distribution, a double-wishbone front suspension and a state-of-the-art five-link rear suspension. It can now deliver the added security and all-weather assurance of all-wheel drive as well.
The Maserati Ghibli has entered the E-segment sports premium market with a marked advantage in cabin craftsmanship and detailing, including luxury features like the Maserati Touch Control screen, adjustable pedals, reversing camera, Poltrona Frau leather interior and the 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkes audio system, as well as WLAN-based WiFi and compatibility with most modern mobile phone systems.
The original 1963 Quattroporte invented the concept of the luxury sports sedan, the new Quattroporte continues to be the genre’s benchmark and now the Ghibli offers all the Quattroporte’s qualities in a more dynamic, more affordable package. And do you know the best thing about it? I’ll tell you – it is coming soon to DriveWrite. Can’t wait.