It may sound like a confusing mashup between an Italian sports car and a Japanese cartoon but there’s nothing particularly mystifying about the Maserati Ghibli. The trident-bearing Italian brand wants to hit 50,000 sales a year and it hopes to achieve this with the help of the mass market-friendly Ghibli, unveiled at the Shanghai motor show.
The Maserati Ghibli is designed to be sportier than the Quattroporte, thanks to a 29-cm shorter body and 20cm shorter wheelbase. It will be powered by a choice of twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engines, but it’s the new fleet-friendly diesel V6 that should really get businessmen’s bums on seats. The engine, Maserati’s first oil burner, boasts 275bhp and 442lb/ft of torque, giving it a 0 to 62mph time of 6.3 seconds. An impressive first attempt, it must be said, but then it was designed by ex-Ferrari F1 engine head honcho Paulo Martinelli.
Although an exact mpg figure is yet to be released, the V6 diesel is said to kick out less than 160g/km of CO2 emissions, making it more tax friendly than your average Mazzy. It should also make a decent-ish noise (we sincerely hope) thanks to sound generators mounted near the exhaust system.
The petrol lumps aren’t too shabby, either. The standard 3.0-litre tuned to 330bhp delivers peak torque from as low as 1,750rpm, helping to fire the car to 62mph in 5.6 seconds. The S model uses the same engine but a bit of fettling takes the power up to 410bhp and torque to 550Nm ─ bringing the 0 to 62mph time down to 5 seconds flat. The Ghibli can go on to hit a top speed of 177mph.
Whether you go diesel or petrol, expect an 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Our European cousins can choose a Q4 four-wheel drive version but in the UK we’ll only have the option of rear-wheel drive.
Full and final specs are still locked away on a Maserati hard drive somewhere in Italy, but we do know the Ghibli will be equipped with all the luxury you would expect from the marque, including sizable alloy wheels, beautiful leather upholstery and an interior you would be happy to make your home.
Without exact prices it’s difficult to say where the Ghibli will sit in the market. We know it’s 29cm shorter than the Quattroporte so it’s less about the ferrying around rich businessman and more about going fast while looking beautiful. To that end, more accessible pricing around the £50,000-mark for diesel, £55,000 for the petrol V6 and £60,000 for the S variant would make sense ─ think BMW 6 Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes CLS territory.
Deliveries of the Maserati Ghibli will begin in September. No doubt we will have full specs way before then so stay tuned.