Here it is, the new Maserati Ghibli, a car I have been looking forward to for quite some time.
So what, you may be asking, is so special about this Ghibli? Well, this is meant to be Maserati’s more aggressive and sportier saloon in their line up. While the Quattroporte has become more of a luxury barge designed to ferry executives from one meeting to another in comfort, the Ghibli is designed for the driver. It uses a shortened version of the new Quattroporte’s platform and will be built alongside its bigger brother in the Grugliasco plant in Turin. Both cars were designed under the watchful eye of Lorenzo Ramaciotti, a man who designed the previous generation Quattroporte, the current GranTourismo, the Ferrari 550 Maranello and the Enzo. Suffice to say, this man knows his way around a pen and paper.
Another key point about the new Ghibli is that this will be priced in the same territory as a BMW 5-Series and Audi A6. That means that it will be the cheapest way to own a Maserati. There will be three engines on offer, a 3 litre V6 turbodiesel, a twin-turbo V6 petrol and a twin-turbo V8 petrol. Now the reason why Maserati has put a diesel engine in this car is simple, the want to reach 50,000 units by 2015. The majority of 5-series sold are diesels, so the only way to tap into this market successfully is by offering a diesel option.
All cars will have an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission with wheel mounted paddles, as is the norm with these big cars nowadays. The car will also be offered with the option of four-wheel-drive, only in left hand drive though.
The interior will be offered with Italian leather as standard and among the options available, buyers have the option of speccing a Bowers and Wilkins stereo. I say leave that option out, get the V8 and listen to that all day long. But that is just me. The design of the interior is maybe not as refined as the Quattroporte, but is more driver focussed.
Deliveries will start in late summer for left-hand drive and in October for right-hand drive.