Published on November 11th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Maserati Ghibli Is 55 Years Old And It Started With This Car
Maserati is celebrating the 55th anniversary of the Ghibli.
This name just rolls off your tongue if you say it slowly and it has been around since the dawn of the English language. Exactly 55 years ago a sports car manufacturer decide that it would be the name for its new car and so the Maserati Ghibli was born.
Then in late 2013 it was decided that the Ghibli will become a sports ‘sedan’ and so a new Ghibli was born.
By May 2014, this all new Ghibli sedan was launched in Malaysia for RM538,800 and it was an instant success.
As the automotive world changes to meet emission restrictions, the Ghibli has turned to a hybrid powertrain and the Ghibli Hybrid has just arrived in Malaysia for RM427,800 (this price is before local taxes and its almost RM940,000 with all taxes included).
No twin-turbo V6 under the bonnet, sadly. Instead, you will find a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 48-volt alternator and an electric supercharger called e-Booster.
The latter is powered by a battery that is mounted in the rear of the car to improve weight distribution. Energy is recovered during deceleration and braking, and stored in the battery for later use.
PRESS RELEASE: On 3 November 1966, the Maserati Ghibli made its debut on the world stage, at the Ghia stand at the Turin Motor Show. A new interpretation of the concept of a gran turismo car, the two-seater coupé was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. The name recalled a wind, a tradition that continues to this day with the Grecale, part of the Trident brand’s new era.
The Ghibli is a powerful, warm wind in North Africa that carries with it a great deal of sand; the decision to take its name was no coincidence, given the car’s speed and the ‘warmth’ of its technical and stylistic specifications.
In its presentation of the Ghibli, Maserati proposed a car with a sporty yet unostentatious impression: the engine was newly designed, based on the experience of the well-known 8-cylinder used in the Mexico. It could deliver an output of 330 hp in the 4,700-cc version, and was followed by an even more powerful 4,900-cc version.
To leave more room for style by lowering the height of the hood, the engine was equipped with a dry sump – a solution used solely in racing, and was mounted on the tubular chassis, very low down. This solution gave the car its typically assertive and slender appearance, one of the cornerstones of its success.
The design was entrusted to Ghia, which then had Giorgetto Giugiaro on its creative design team. The most significant design cue – the marker of a decisive change from the Ghibli’s predecessors – was the integration of the volumes: there was no distinction between the car’s body and the passenger compartment; they were neither separate nor overlapping, rather they were joined together as a single surface. While the lines were geometric and taut, Giugiaro’s hand ensured that the sense of stiffness could be smoothed out.
The most obvious new stylistic feature was the front, definitely an original for Maserati: the headlights were retractable and the very slim grille occupied the car’s entire front. The Trident logo remained in the middle, albeit smaller than before.
The side view enhanced the slender line of the Ghibli: a long, low bonnet, a heavily inclined windscreen, perfect proportions with no superfluous decoration. The triangular rear pillar took on its own identity, becoming an iconic component later taken up in other successful models from the Trident brand.
The changes from the past could also be seen in the conception of the two-seater interior, where the instruments were built into an overall design that prevailed over the individual components.
The result was a gran turismo car that remained true to the exclusive, luxury style, power and comfort – yet with an over-arching theme of racing – for which Maserati cars have always stood out.
After it was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show on 3 November 1966, the Ghibli was launched onto the market in 1967. The following year, its interior was restyled and could also be fitted on demand with automatic transmission, as well as a 5-speed manual gearbox.
From 1969, the Spyder version also became available, which could be equipped with a hard top; one year later, both models were also offered with a 4,900-cc engine, taking the name Ghibli SS. In this configuration, the car further strengthened its solid market position.
In all, between 1967 and 1972, 128 Ghibli Spyder and over 1,200 Ghibli coupé models were produced: one was purchased by Henry Ford (the founder’s grandson), who would place it in the lobby of the Ford Product Development Center in Detroit, as an example to follow and a source of inspiration.