New & Used Maserati Ghibli : In Depth
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The Maserati Ghibli is a four-door, mid-size sport sedan from Italy. The newest model in the automaker's global lineup, the Ghibli was added for the 2014 model year in the U.S. and is sold alongside an equally new and related Quattroporte sedan. The Ghibli is a rival for vehicles like the Jaguar XF, Audi A6/A7, BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, and Cadillac CTS.
While the car may be completely new, its badge has a long history with the automaker. The name itself is derived from an Arabic word meaning "hot wind from the Sahara Desert."
MORE: Read our 2014 Maserati Ghibli preview
Maserati's first Ghibli was a two-door grand touring car with a V-8 engine wrapped in styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro. It was small and low to the ground, with up to 350 horsepower for the SS model, which made it very popular among sports-car enthusiasts when it came out.
In 1969, a convertible, or spider, was added to the Ghibli range, but by 1973 the Ghibli ceased production.
The name came back in 1992, this time on an angular, modern two-door coupe powered by a pair of small (2.0-liter and 2.8-liter) but potent twin-turbo V-6 engines. Known as the Ghibli II, this car was less popular and less successful than the original, with production lasting just five years. Nevertheless, the car saw several special editions produced, including a racing version, the Ghibli Cup. In its day, the 330-horsepower, 2.0-liter Cup claimed the specific-horsepower crown, beating out exotic supercars like the Jaguar XJ220 and Bugatti EB110.
Fast forward to 2013—and this current version that made its debut at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show—and another Ghibli is upon us, but this one is vastly different. No longer a coupe, but a four-door sedan with a somewhat coupe-like profile, the new Ghibli does have some ties to the past. Power, for example, comes from a twin-turbo V-6, though displacement has risen to 3.0 liters. The 410-horsepower output of U.S. models makes it the strongest Ghibli to date.
Today's Ghibli has a lot in common with the larger Quattroporte sedan. The basic structure is shared, along with some powertrain components. The two also have similar styling—for example, the portals along the front fenders as well as the overall silhouette. The Ghibli's interior is luxurious but not overly styled, offering nice wood and leather from Poltrona Frau.
High-tech features are also available, including audio by Bowers & Wilkins, a WLAN-based WiFi hot spot, a backup camera, and Maserati's Touch Control center-stack interface.
This Ghibli is the first Maserati model to be powered by a diesel engine, with a 271-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 diesel available in Europe and other markets. That model has not yet been selected for U.S. sale and likely will not be.
The Ghibli is 11 inches shorter than its Quattroporte cousin, offering five seats and a much tighter back seat. It's the entry-level Maserati, the smallest offered, but still includes the same equipment, design and overall passion of the other models in the range. Its similarity to the Quattroporte may help or hurt it, depending on whether buyers are looking for the best the brand has or the least-expensive Maser.
Like the Quattroporte before it, the Ghibli is being offered in a special edition that is a collaboration with famous Italian design house Ermenegildo Zegna. The fashion experts offered their input on colors, trim, and materials, creating an even more exclusive rendition of the sporty Maserati sedan. Maserati gave the Ghibli a handful of updates for 2015, but it is otherwise the same as the model that debuted last year.