by Tony West
The new Maserati Ghibli is a force to be reckoned with. Two Ghibli models roll out for 2014, both with beastly engines and a first ever diesel option. The 65k Ghibli is the most affordable option from Maserati that helped to increased 2013 sales figures 300%. All of the premium luxury and performance the Quattraporte offers is now available in a smaller more affordable sedan.
The Maserati emanates sex appeal truck to hood and the Ghibli is no exception. Drivers will still have high-end luxury inside and out. The sleek design of the Ghibli is characterized by a swage line that runs from the grille vents to the tail lights. The satin chrome accented grilled and gloss black c-pillar give the Ghibli unique athletism. The rigid Ghibli is made of steel and aluminum alloys that aid a low drag coefficient. LED daytime running lights, bi-xenon headlights, and LED tail lights are expected in this lux whip.
The Ghibli is designed for sporty driving. It has 4 models available for 2014, the Ghibli, the Ghibli S, the Ghibli S Q4, and the first ever Ghibli Diesel for European markets. The base Ghibli will have a standard 3 liter V6 engine. Gas engines for these whips are designed by Maserati and manufactured by Ferrari at Maranello. The base Ghibli is available with two V6 options, the 3 liter gas engine and the 3 liter diesel engine. The V6 gas engine has an impressive 330 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. While the diesel V6 engine can reach 62 mph in 6.3 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph, yet it uses only 5.9 liters / 62 miles. The V6 gas engine uses 9.6 liters/ 62 miles and accelerates to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds.The ultra-luxurious rear-wheel-drive Ghibli S is fitted with a powerful V6 engine with 410 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. The all-wheel-drive Ghibli S Q4 uses the same V6 with a top speed of 176 mph. All of the V6 engines are equipped with a ZF AT8 HP70 eight speed transmission. And each V6 gas engine has V8 characteristics, direct fuel injection, twin turbochargers, and four continuous phase variators. Sportier handling is achieved through a 50:50 weight balance, double wishbone front suspension and multilink rear suspension, and limited slip differential.
The Ghibli models all have unique technology that increases fuel efficiency and road effectiveness at the same time. The single turbocharged diesel engine uses Start Stop technology that lowers emissions up to 6% by turning off the engine when the car comes to a stop and turning it back on when the gas is pressed. And the Increased Control & Efficiency strategy delivers a softer pedal response in low grip conditions and reduces torque at each gear’s take-up point.
Premium is as powertrain does for the Ghibli that has 5 shift modes: Auto Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport, and Ice. Shift modes are selected with buttons by the gearshift. Auto Normal is for everyday driving and minimized fuel use while Auto Sport creates seamless gearshifts. With paddle shifters at the steering wheel (boooo) the Ghibli’s Manual Normal gears can be adjusted. But the Ghibli will auto shift up or down if the engine revs are too high or low respectively. In Manual Sport mode the driver has near full control of the gearshifts.
The new Ghibli is not only efficient and intelligent, but typically striking inside and out. The interior has standard Poltrona Frau Leather finish with optional Alcantra headliner. The driver-focused interior has a 7 inch TFT display, heated and ventilated seats, dual zone climate control, an SD card reader, 3-device Wi-Fi hotspot, and an 8-speaker sound system. Maserati Touch Control employs an 8” touch screen for audio, navigation, Bluetooth, infotainment, and a backup camera. The SD card reader allows for music and movies. Optional features include a 10-speaker sound system or a 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Premium Surround Sound System. Also available are customizable interior materials Alcantra, carbon fiber, and wood. And the 2014 Ghibli sits on standard 18-inch wheels with available 20-inch or 21-inch rims and Pirelli Tires. Brembro brakes are standard.