“In developing the new Ghibli, Maserati has drawn on all its considerable experience in automotive design and engineering to create a truly exceptional car, thrilling to drive, stunning to behold, and luxurious to the extreme.”
The all new 2014 Maserati Ghibli debuted at the Shanghai Motor Show April 2013. This is the first mid-sized four door sports luxury saloon in Maserati history. The Ghibli additionally will offer a 3.0 litre V6 turbodiesel which is also a first offering in Maserati’s illustrious heritage. It will also be the first time in Maserati history to have two prestigious sports luxury saloons on sale at the same time.
The Ghibli is based heavily on its sister model, the Quattroporte, so they both share the spotlight with flagship status. They both have 45 to 50 percent parts interchangeability, as they both share brakes, steering, suspension, and interior trim. They even share the new turbocharged V6 engine. It is available in four models; Ghibli, Ghibli S, Ghibli S Q4, and Ghibli Turbodiesel.
The Ghibli design echoes the Quattroporte, but with a more taught and aggressive visual personality all its own. The outline of the body reflects coupe-like architecture sporting four doors. The Ghibli’s triangular “C” pillars display proudly, the iconic Saetta logo.
The all new Maserati Ghibli is a masterpiece of design and a unique fusion of elegance and sportiness. This sports luxury saloon is targeting the growing number of premium executive car buyers that are looking to make an individual statement through a car that is distinctive, elegant and luxurious. Maserati’s goal is to sell 50,000 cars per year. This car is definitely a winner, thumbs-up!
Standard for the Ghibli is a cabin trimmed in sumptuous Poltrona Frau leather, dual zone automatic climate control, bi-xenon headlamps (adaptive headlamps on S Q4), LED exterior illumination, a rear view camera, keyless ignition, seat heating/ventilating, heated steering wheel, and an 8-inch Maserati Touch Control (MTC) infotainment display which includes a Garman based navigation system.
The cabin boasts a youthful sportiness without sacrificing the expected Maserati luxury. The Ghibli combines sports car performance with the typical roominess of an executive saloon. Bespoke options, naturally, are available upon the request and the taste of the owner. The Ghibli’s cabin is also highly inspired by the Quattroporte. It takes an eagle eye to see the difference; some of the trim looks verbatim. Either way, they both make an elegant statement. Two wood finishes are available as an option, your choice of polished ebony or open-pore burr walnut. You can even specify the carbon fibre look.
The Ghibli will offer two turbocharged engines. The most powerful of the V6s will move the Ghibli S. A low inertia twin turbocharged 3.0 litre engine delivers 410 hp @ 5,500 rpm with 550 Nm of torque. The engine is shared by the Ghibli S and the all-wheel drive Ghibli S Q4.
The second engine is a 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 available on base Ghibli models which produces 330 hp and 500 Nm of torque. You most definitely will want to opt for either the Ghibli S or Ghibli S Q4 as they are far more spirited than the base Ghibli. Both of these engines were developed by Maserati Powertrain in partnership with Ferrari Powertrain and are being built by Ferrari at its world class facility in Maranello, Italy. The engines use direct injection technology. Despite its rev limiter at 6,500 rpm, the Ghibli S delivers 90% of its torque from less than 1,500 rpm.
The 3.0 litre V6 turbo diesel produces 275 hp with 600 Nm of torque. It accelerates from 0-62 mph in 6.3 seconds. This is the first use of a diesel engine to power a Maserati. It was developed by Maserati engineers under the direction of former Ferrari Chief Motorist Paolo Martinelli. Per Maserati, the car will deliver traditional performance and sound. It uses an advanced high pressure common-rail direct fuel injection system featuring reduced-dwell-time injectors.
This system delivers sequential multiple injections for highly responsive performance and cleaner emissions. It has reduced combustion noise, and improved cold starting as well as providing higher torque and low rpm. Maserati promises that the exhaust system will emanate the traditional “Maserati style” sound.
Via the Maserati Active Sound system, exhaust sounds are tuned to various engine stages. Two sound actuators fitted near the exhaust pipes accentuate the engines most distinctive tones. The “grumble” is more resonant when the driver selects the “Sport” mode for the transmission. The Ghibli can purr like a kitten or ROAR like the big cats depending on how you are driving it.
A ZF HP70 eight-speed transmission mated to a standard bevel-drive asymmetric limited slip differential in the rear. The transmission has five shift modes: Auto Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport, and I.C.E. (Increased Control & Efficiency) which is a low grip mode for inclement weather.
Like the Quattroporte, the Ghibli chassis design is based around a rigid and extremely secure steel safety shell that uses an array of different steel and aluminium alloys to deliver precise strengths with minimal weight. The Ghibli uses a double wishbone front suspension.
The front of its chassis is based around an aluminium casting with a reinforced cross-strut which delivers optimum rigidity in all directions. The rear is made from rolled steel configured with a five bar multi-link system with four aluminium suspension arms. When equipped with the optional Skyhook electronic suspension system, the car is intuitively calibrating the ride changing with both road and weather conditions.This intricate network makes this sophisticated saloon a top performer in any challenge.
The Ghibli S uses a Brembo based brake system with dual-cast discs, combining the properties of cast iron with aluminium’s light weight reduce unsprung mass. Monobloc calipers with six pistons are fitted in the front and four pistons in the rear, with ventilated and slotted discs. The Ghibli rides on 18” wheels and tires while Ghibli S uses 18” wheels with staggered tires. 19’, 20”, and 21” wheels are also available.
The Maserati Q4 all-wheel drive system offers the responsiveness of rear drive combined with the added security of a semi-active front drive system. This ingenious network leaves the front wheels passive until they are needed to help with traction. The front drive wheels are instantly engaged when grip is lost through excessive cornering speeds, hard acceleration or very low grip at the rear axle.
This system takes only 150 milliseconds to adjust from 100% of the drive to the rear wheels to an equal 50/50 split between axles. The system rarely sends more than 35% of the drive to front wheels thanks to the multi-link rear suspension providing more than adequate rear traction. It returns to rear drive status equally as fast ensuring optimum traction. With its semi-active nature, the penalties of added fuel consumption and poor responsiveness associated with active all-wheel drive systems are eliminated.
Maserati developed its own special algorithm using a variable damper whose damper coefficient is changed in real time. It is constantly monitoring and calibrating certain vehicle parameters such as wheel slip, steering & yaw angle, power output, speed & braking, as well as wheel grip versus driving style.
An on board computer detects body movement from sensors located throughout the vehicle, and by using data calculated by opportune control techniques, controls the action which virtually eliminates body roll & pitch variation during cornering, accelerating, and braking. This special data processing provides a dedicated grip profile for each individual wheel, creating optimal vehicle dynamic management for all driving conditions.
With a luxurious saloon, there should be a luxurious sound system tuned to the acoustics of the cabin for optimum sound quality. An optional Bowers & Wilkins Premium Surround Sound system rivals a concert hall with studio quality sound reproduction. Bowers & Wilkins have close to 50 years of experience in the development of drive units and their materials.
They introduced Kevlar as cone material in the 1970s. Their achievement was the result of decades of commitment to acoustic research and development. Instead of using lesser fabric domes, the tweeters use aluminium which offers a combination of lightness and rigidity that is ideal for excellent sound reproduction.
For speed, stiffness and unshakable bass, Rohacel, normally used for aircraft, rockets, and car bodies is used as the perfect cone material. This is the ultimate audio system for this new Maserati. The Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound system feature: 15 speakers, 5 25mm aluminium dome tweeters, 5 100mm Kevlar midrange drivers, 2 165mm Kevlar bass/midrange drivers, 2 165mm Rohacel bass drivers, 1 350 x 200mm racetrack subwoofer, and a 16 channel Class D amplifier producing 1280w. This 15-speaker layout and the perfect configuration of HARMAN’s QuantumLogic Surround Sound processing system integration is the result of countless hours of testing.
The Ghibli saloon is just another example of the Maserati theory of performance, luxury, and technology. Those graceful Italian curves beg to be driven, and like any Maserati, beneath the skin of the Ghibli lives a race car! I wonder how it would perform with a V12 under its bonnet……….