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Future models - Maserati - Ghibli

Maserati gives Ghibli a 2018 shake-up

Italian job: Maserati’s Ghibli sedan will adopt the Quattroporte’s naming system, including GranLusso (Grand Luxury) and GranSport.

Fresh look, more tech and new line-up for facelifted Maserati Ghibli sports sedan

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Maserati logo30 Aug 2017

By RON HAMMERTON

MASERATI has unveiled a facelift for its entry-level Ghibli sedan for 2018, while simultaneously announcing a revised line-up that brings the luxury sports four-door into line with the naming structure of its larger sibling, the Quattroporte.

The tweaked range was sprung at the Chengdu motor show in the back blocks of China, catching out many pundits who were expecting it to be unveiled at the more prestigious Frankfurt motor show on September 12.

When it arrives in Australian and New Zealand showrooms early next year, the new-look Ghibli will be available in three specifications – Ghibli, Ghibli GranLusso and Ghibli GranSport – which can be mixed and matched with any of three powertrains – the carryover 202kW/600Nm 3.0-litre turbo diesel, the 243kW/500Nm version of the Ferrari-sourced twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol V6 introduced in a Ghibli update late last year, and a newly enhanced 320kW/580Nm version of the twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6, dubbed S.

The latter engine has 19kW more power and 30Nm more torque than its current iteration, slicing the flagship Ghibli’s 0-100km/h sprint time by 0.1 seconds, to 4.7s.

Exterior changes include a fresh grille that mimics the sharper, more rectangular look of the front fascia of Maserati’s new Levante SUV.

The resculpted front bumper gets chrome trims above the air openings, while the rear bumper has been reshaped to envelope the quad exhaust pipe outlets.

Each trim level gets its own specific treatment to reflect its elegance or sportiness.

Mechanically, Maserati has dumped the Ghibli’s hydraulic power steering for a new electric-assisted system, now that the modern systems can deliver the superior levels of “feel” required by such a driver’s car.

The knock-on benefit of that is the Ghibli gains lane-keeping assist, highway assist and active blind spot assist, along with a suite of other safety technologies that were absent the first time around when the car was launched in 2014.

These include a development of ESC called integrated vehicle control, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.

Details of the new specifications are scant, although Maserati has revealed the Ghibli GranLusso (Grand Luxury in Italian) will get “a rich interior with Ermenegildo Zegna silk upholstery”, and that the Ghibli GranSport had been “conceived to reflect Maserati’s sports heritage featuring a more aggressive exterior design and unique interior features”.

Changes made late last year to the interior, including a new infotainment system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, will carry over.

The Ghibli – currently priced from $138,990 and rising to $179,990 plus on-road costs – could do with a lift in Australia where sales have slipped 40 per cent year-on-year, down from 225 units to the end of July in 2016 to 133 this year.

The Ghibli cause has not been helped by the arrival of the similarly priced Levante – Maserati’s first SUV – which has quickly established itself as the Italian brand’s top seller in Australia, with sales reaching 288 units year to date.

Thanks to Levante, Maserati’s overall sales are up a healthy 47 per cent, to 474 sales so far in 2017.

Australian prices and full specifications for the revised Ghibli will be announced closer to the local launch in early 2018.

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