The Maserati Ghibli is set to define new boundaries in the trident brand. It is the first Maserati saloon in the Premium Executive E segment and is also the first Maserati in history to feature a diesel engine, designed by former Scuderia Ferrari F1 Head of Engines Paolo Martinelli. The Ghibli will have a sportier character compared to the Quattroporte: it will be equipped with two Twin Turbo V6 petrol engines of 330 hp (Ghibli) and 410 hp (Ghibli S). Completing the range will be a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel delivering 275 hp (Ghibli Diesel). All versions are equipped with an eight-speed automatic ZF transmission.
Sculpted forms and well-defined volumes connected by clean lines that create movement: the Ghibli’s design is a delight to the eyes with its emphasis on sporty glamour and, just like the first Ghibli launched back in 1967, designed by the young Giorgetto Giugiaro, it will captivate with its strong personality.
The front is dominated by the distinctive Maserati radiator grille with concave vertical fillets inspired by the GranTurismo and the A6 GCS Berlinetta, a famous icon from the past. The grille’s traditional oval shape becomes more rectangular and narrows at the top, where it meets the aggressive front headlights, which make skilful use of LEDs to underline the car’s strong character.
The side of the car is defined by two curvy lines that converge before giving way to the muscular rear mudguards, while the tapered design of the boot is the natural continuation of the cabin, with the two LED lights providing continuity with the mudguards. Last but not least, the traditional triangular C-pillar and the frameless door windows help to give the car the look of a sleek coupé, even though its length and wheelbase are amongst the longest in the class.
The Ghibli combines its striking appearance and unmistakable Italian style with significant levels of comfort. The long wheelbase provides passengers with one of the roomiest interiors in the sports sedan category without compromising the car’s sleek design.
Immense care has gone into the seats: with their wraparound form, they enhance the interior’s sporty feel while delivering top-class comfort. The soft leather of the upholstery has a natural grain, sumptuous to the touch, and can also be used on the dashboard and doors, plain surfaces on which original two-tone combinations can be created for a more sporty or elegant interior. Not to mention the exquisite stitching, the epitome of traditional craftsmanship.
The smooth lines of the dashboard create an ambience of unique luxury: two side panels converge in the centre, also drawing in the top section, which is adorned with the traditional Maserati clock with blue face and aluminium details. In the middle, the large 8.4” Maserati Touch Control display provides user-friendly control of most of the on-board devices, while the car’s driver-oriented settings are controlled by a cluster of push-buttons on the central tunnel, beside the gear lever.
Available on request, the new-generation premium HiFi system, developed in association with the specialists at Bowers & Wilkins, guarantees unparalleled sound. With 15 speakers distributed across the dashboard, doors and rear shelf, the system has a 1,280 Watt amplifier and sets new standards in terms of in-car entertainment. The in-depth study on sound source layout and the configuration of the Quantum Logic Surround system have made it possible to deliver a level of sound realism never previously experienced inside a car.
The Ghibli is powered by an innovative 3 litre Twin Turbo V6 engine: designed by the Maserati Powertrain engineers and built with passion at the Ferrari plant in Maranello, it is a highly efficient unit, capable of achieving even lower fuel consumption and emissions, while still delivering stunningly sporty performance. The peak torque and power values are extremely impressive: the engine pumps out 330 HP (243 kW) at 5000 rpm. When the driver presses the Sport button on the main tunnel to activate the overboost function, the already mighty 450 Nm of torque available at engine speeds from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm soars to 500 Nm. From a standstill, the Maserati Ghibli springs to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds; top speed is 263 km/h.
With aluminium alloy crankcase and cylinder heads, the Ghibli’s six-cylinder engine is also extremely compact and lightweight to guarantee even better handling. Compared to the more powerful unit installed on the Ghibli S, this unit has specifically designed camshafts and injectors, combined with different turbine mapping and a customised electronic control system. These modifications have cut consumption even further, increasing the car’s versatility without compromising its response to the throttle. Other features are unchanged, including the turbocharger system: it has two intercoolers, both mounted low down and some distance away from the main radiators to ensure a constant flow of fresh air.
The mechanical components of the Ghibli are the product of in-depth research intended to recreate the typical driving sensation of the marque’s GT cars, the powerful engine supplemented by innovative engineering solutions throughout the car. From the frame to the transmission, through to the suspension and brakes, every component plays its role in delivering the unmistakable combination of comfort and performance that can only be enjoyed when driving a Maserati.
The new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, mounted at the front in unit with the engine, is lightweight, high-performing and precise in gear shifting and is controlled by auto-adaptive software able to recognise the driving style and road conditions and adapt the gear changing mode accordingly There are five operating modes, selected using the buttons on the left-hand side of the gear lever: Auto Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport and I.C.E. (Increased Control & Efficiency).
In line with the Maserati tradition, the fundamental task of managing the Ghibli’s handling is entrusted to the extremely sophisticated suspension. The aluminium arms of the double-wishbone front suspension are higher up for precise handling, while the five-arm multilink system used at the rear is ideal for reconciling ride comfort with sporty performance. The suspension can be equipped on request with the latest version of the Skyhook electronic system, with new shocks featuring continuous damping variation.
The servo assisted hydraulic steering system ensures optimum “feel” at the wheel, with no annoying impression of artificial assistance when cornering at high speed. Specifically designed to make driving as fun as possible, it is light and smooth at all times, even when parking. This effectiveness in all situations is further enhanced by a new aluminium steering box, specifically developed on the basis of the front suspension layout.
Production is slated to begin towards the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014.