1 Aug 2014
By TUNG NGUYEN
AIMED at up-spec versions of the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF, the all-new Ghibli is also Maserati’s answer to BMW’s 6 Series Gran Coupe, the Mercedes CLS, Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera.
Taking almost five years to develop, the Ghibli underwent over six million kilometres of testing involving more than 90 prototypes.
The ‘base’ engine is a VM Motori-supplied 2987cc 3.0-litre single-turbo common-rail direct-injection twin-cam 24-valve V6 diesel pumping out 202kW of power and 600Nm of torque, to launch the Diesel to 100km from standstill in 6.3 seconds and hit 250km/h.
Meanwhile the cheapest petrol engine at launch is a 3.0L direct-injection twin-cam bi-turbo V6 with continuous variable valve timing, producing 243kW and 500Nm, for a 5.6s 0-100km/h run and 263km/h top speed.
The reigning range topper is the Ghibli S, featuring different software and a few other changes such as altered cam lobes, ECU and fuel injectors, to up the 3.0L’s outputs to 301kW and 550Nm, for a 0-100km/h time of 5.0s and a 285km/h V-max.
The Ghibli shares a high degree of its architecture (mostly from the B-pillar forward) with big-brother Quattroporte, including its rear-wheel drive chassis (all-wheel drive is available in cold-climate left-hand drive-only markets), double wishbone front and five-link rear suspension, crash safety systems and LED headlight technology.
Keeping weight down was a goal, prompting Maserati’s engineers to employ a combination of steel (guards, roof, bootlid), aluminium (for most suspension components, the doors and bonnet) and even magnesium (dashboard cross strut) in the car.
Note that speed-sensitive hydraulically rather than electrically assisted rack and pinion steering system (for “uncorrupted feel”) is employed.
Standard on all cars is a limited slip differential, as well as a host of luxury car items such as satellite navigation as part of an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, leather upholstery, electric driver’s seat adjustment, a seven-inch TFT instrument cluster display screen for car functionality, Bluetooth connectivity for audio and phone, cruise control with speed limiter, and a keyless entry and start system.
The boot can hold up to 500 litres of luggage, and is aided by a split/fold rear backrest.