New Maserati Ghibli revealed

Four-door executive saloon rivals the likes of the BMW 5-series and is the first Maser to get a diesel option

Wasn't a Ghibli always a coupe?

It was, if you look at past models made in the 1970s and 1990s. However, Maserati has resurrected the Ghibli nameplate for its new four-door saloon sitting beneath the Quattroporte.

In fact, Maserati freely admits that the Ghibli is essentially the sporty version of the Quattroporte aimed at upper models in the BMW 5-series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-class ranges.

The Ghibli uses the truncated platform of the Quattroporte and shares a similar design language with its bigger brother, which is pointing its gun toward the 7-series, XJ and S-class.

The Ghibli's interior also looks remarkably similar to the Quattroporte's. While the upper bit of the dashboard has been redesigned, the Ghibli shares the same steering wheel, gear lever and central monitor as the Quattroporte.

In a bid to lift its premium appeal, the leather upholstery will come from Italian specialist Poltrona Frau and audio system from Bowers & Wilkins.

Superbo. Has it really got a diesel engine?

Interior has fancy leather and audio system.

It really has, and it is the first Maser in the brand's history to do so. The Ghibli's entry-level model will come with a 3.0-litre V6 diesel-turbo. Also confirmed is a petrol variation of the same size. Maserati isn't discussing exact specifications yet. However, European media reports suggest at least 300hp for the diesel and two states of tune for the petrol head: 330hp and 410hp.

Also planned at a later stage is the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, as used in the Quattroporte, developing some 500hp.

Eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel-drive are standard, while Q4 all-wheel-drive will be available in powerful versions albeit in left-hand-drive form only.

When can I get one?

The Ghibli makes its world premiere at the Shanghai motor show later this month before seeing right-hand-drive cars delivered to customers in October.

Maserati says the Ghibli will be a crucial car in helping global sales to grow to 50,000 per year by 2015.

In Thailand, the Ghibli's prices are expected to kick out at some 7-8 million baht, making it the most affordable Maser in the brand's entire model range.

It will be launched after the Quattroporte, itself set to arrive on Thai shores by mid-year. Maserati's product offensive is set to continue next year with another important model: the Porsche Cayenne-chasing Levante SUV.

Ghibli is essentially a truncated Quattroporte.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor