Published on July 28th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Maserati Ghibli test drive review

The Maserati brand in Malaysia is managed by Naza Italia and they have strong intentions to have Malaysians visually enjoying the sexy looks of a Maserati every day. We flew to Florence Italy to experience this all new car around the hills of Florence at insane speeds. negotiating tight undulating corners with little room to forgive naïve a driving style.

The ‘Ghibli’ nameplate is not new. The 1st Ghibli was a stylish long hood coupe that sold between 1967 to 1973.

The 2nd generation model took its design alongside Ferraris from 1970 to 1973. Maserati sold the last Ghibli model from 1992-1998 and it was a 2-door wedge shaped sport car.

Now comes an all new Ghibli but designed as a 4 door sports sedan. The Maserati Ghibli’s design follows along the lines of the larger Quattroporte with more aggression. The outline of the body reflects a coupe-like philosophy with shoulder borrowed from the classic A6 GCS of the 1950s. 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.

Maserati with this Ghibli has managed to redefine the definition of a 4-door/4-passenger vehicle and come up with a car persona as distinctive as its exterior styling. It carves its own styling theme from its back rear end to its sleek front end treatment. Upon first glance it is definitively a Maserati and with styling that will excite for years to come.

Inside, the Maserati Ghibli sets itself apart from larger sibling, the Quattroporte with its own dashboard design that perfectly meets the buyer’s need for a sportier and youthful experience without losing any of the luxury expected in a Maserati. The Ghibli also delivers a sporty design combined with the typical roominess of an executive saloon.

The Maserati Ghibli is sold with two turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol  variants (there is also a new diesel engine), and an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The most powerful of the V6s will be the twin-turbo unit in the Ghibli S, which produces 410hp of power at 5500rpm and 550Nm of torque from just 1750rpm. The rear-wheel drive Ghibli S will reach 100km/h in 5 seconds flat, and has a quoted top speed of 285km/h.

The second turbo-charged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine available on the Maserati Ghibli not only has an impressive power of 330hp and 500Nm of torque, but delivers a fuel economy figure of just 9.6 litres/100km. It is much more than a fuel saving car, though, because it is capable of accelerating to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.

Both of these engines, with their parallel turbochargers, were developed by Maserati Powertrain in partnership with Ferrari Powertrain and will be built by Ferrari in its world-leading engine construction facility in Maranello.

Sharing much of the technology with the Quattroporte’s 3.8-litre V8 engine, the V6 engines use petrol direct-injection technology along with two low-inertia parallel turbochargers, four continuous camshaft phasers and deliver their fuel at around 200 bar of pressure. This technology means that while the Ghibli S V6 has a rev limiter at 6500rpm, it still delivers 90 percent of its torque from less than 1500rpm.

The Ghibli is also the first Maserati production car in history to be powered by a diesel engine, with an all new 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel. This diesel V6 develops 275hp of power and a mind blowing 600Nm of torque to deliver 0-100km/h acceleration in just 6.3 seconds. Its average fuel economy figure is less than 6.0 litres per 100km. It uses highly advanced Common-Rail direct fuel injection with 2000 bar of injection pressure and it also features reduced-dwell-time injectors. This helps it to deliver sequential multiple injections for highly responsive performance and cleaner emissions with a CO2 output of less than 160g/km on the combined cycle.

Every Maserati is instantly recognisable by its engine note and the Maserati Ghibli Diesel is no different from its petrol ‘sisters’, thanks to the new Maserati Active Sound system. Two sound actuators, fitted near the exhaust tailpipes, accentuate the engine’s most distinctive tones and modulate them precisely to suit the way the car is being driven. When the driver presses the Sport button on the central tunnel, the sound becomes even more resonant and utterly inspiring.

Ignite the all new V6 engine and there is no doubt that its vocal chords are impressive. Grunt and growl is served at all eight gearchange. The delivery across the revolution range is smooth and with no hesitation. In tighter corners, the front end can feel light and flighty, as though it’s going to be shoved off the road, but it quickly corrects itself as it dives into the corner.

The near perfect 50-50 weight distribution does not take into account our heft in the driver seat, but with and equally heavy front passenger, this Ghibli shows us its absolute composure. The trick is to trust the car. Do this and you will find that this Ghibli points into corners with amazing precision and feedback. The rear end weight bias/drive/grip combination also permits high levels of car control with the accelerator.

The front wheels work well with the engine torque when pointing the car into a bend, so steering feel and response is more like sports coupe. Under hard acceleration, and on low grip surfaces along farm roads, the speed and efficiency of the Brembo brakes are impressive.

There are 2 suspension settings to choose from. On the Normal setting, the adaptive dampers in the Ghibli provide a noticeably more comfortable, compliant ride like in a luxury sedan. Sport mode obviously firms up the ride considerably, but is only going to deliver tangible dynamic benefits when the driver feels that he needs to tear up the tarmac. The brakes have exceptional power and improved feel and controllability at the pedal.

The Ghibli uses six-piston Brembo fixed brake callipers on the front and four-piston units at the rear to help it stop quick. The Maserati Ghibli sits on 18-inch wheels and tyres, while the Ghibli S models ride on 18-inch staggered tyres. Now all that is left to decide if this Ghibli is the car to expand your personality.

Maserati Ghibli PETROL V6 Specifications

Engine: V6, DOHC

Capacity: 2979cc

Transmission: 8-speed semi-auto, RWD

Max Power: 330hp @ 5000rpm

Max Torque: 500Nm @ 1750 – 4500rpm

Acceleration: 5.6 seconds

Max Speed: 263km/h

Price: TBC

Maserati Ghibli ‘S’ PETROL V6 Specifications

Engine: V6, DOHC

Capacity: 2979cc

Transmission: 8-speed semi-auto, RWD

Max Power: 410hp @ 5500rpm

Max Torque: 550Nm @ 4500 – 5000rpm

Acceleration: 5.6 seconds

Max Speed: 263km/h

Price: TBC

Maserati Ghibli DIESEL V6 Specifications

Engine: V6, DOHC

Capacity: 2987cc

Transmission: 8-speed semi-auto, RWD

Max Power: 275hp @ 4000rpm

Max Torque: 600Nm @ 2000 – 2600rpm

Acceleration: 6.3 seconds

Max Speed: 250km/h

Price: TBC

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