The Maserati Ghibli Returns
The legendary Ghibli is headed out West, fast.
Named for a hot Mediterranean wind, the four-door grand tourer from the company of the Trident recently debuted at the Shanghai Motor Show, and Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati should have its floor models in November, with ordered vehicles arriving in December, says J.B. Saunders, Maserati brand manager for the Penske Automotive Dealership, 6825 E. McDowell Road.
The third-generation Ghibli recalls the superb Giorgetto Giugiaro-styled car that the Modena-based company produced from 1967 through 1973 –– one of the great sports cars ever.
The new executive sedan will be sportier than the larger flagship Quattroporte, which Maserati debuted earlier this year. The car gives Maserati two concurrent four-door sedan models for the first time, both produced under the company’s new benchmark standards at the refurbished Torino facility.
In the States, two twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V-6 engines will be available, linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with either rear-wheel drive or the new Q4 all-wheel-drive system. “Both powerplants and transmissions will provide seamless comfort allied with fast gear-shifting for hard acceleration,” Saunders says.
These potent six cylinders incorporate the direct injection technology of the V-8 used in the Quattroporte, two low-inertia parallel turbochargers, each with an intercooler, high-tumble cylinder heads, continuous camshaft phasers for each cylinder for optimal combustion control and an on-the-cusp ECU, whose processors handle the always changing shifting functions in real time.
The more powerful Ghibli S will put down 410 horses and 406 lb./ft. of torque, with 0 to 60 times less than five seconds. Top speed will be 177 mph, while an Active Speed Limiter function will allow the driver to set a maximum speed, which can be overridden by depressing the accelerator pedal.
Maximum engine speed is 6500 rpm, with 90 percent of its torque from 1600 rpm. An overboost function provides the maximum boost between 1750 rpm and 5000 rpm.
“The new Ghibli is edgy and unconventional and distinctive,” he adds. “It’s true Italian style and performance from an exotic Italian brand.” And, it’s a Maserati that will provide this pedigree and panache for a wide range of pocketbooks: MSRP will start around $65,000 for the Ghibli and $75,000 for the Ghibli S Q4, with many options available.
A perfect 50:50 weight distribution has been achieved, and handling is further refined with a double-wishbone front suspension and a state-of-the-art five-link rear suspension.
The Quattroporte was, of course, an excellent starting point to create a great car, Saunders explains. The architecture, chassis, suspension, engines, even the LED headlight technology of the new Ghibli are inspired by the larger car, which is heavier and longer.
“The new Ghibli design team was challenged to produce a sedan that emphasized its more dynamic driving characteristics through a more aggressive visual personality, yet still maintained strong visual links with the Quattroporte,” he says.
At the same time, the designers weren’t slavish in following the lead of the larger sedan. The Ghibli grille, for example, is inspired from the current GranTurismo and, before that, the classic ‘50s A6 GCS.
Inside, the Ghibli is sporty and youthful while also offering spaciousness. “Cabin craftsmanship and detailing is superlative, as expected from Maserati,” Saunders says.
Features include WiFi WLAN hotspot, up to 15 speakers from Bowers & Wilkens, 8.4-inch Maserati Touch Control screen, adjustable pedals, reversing camera, Poltrona Frau leather interior and six airbags.
“The original 1963 Quattroporte invented the concept of the luxury sports sedan, and the new Quattroporte continues to be the genre’s benchmark,” Saunders says. “Now, the all-new Ghibli offers all the Quattroporte’s qualities in a more dynamic, more affordable package.”
Maserati Ghibli, Scottsdale Ferrari-Maserati, 888.964.6056, 480.239.4134 (J.B. Saunders mobile) or firstname.lastname@example.org, www.scottsdalemaserati.com