New & Used Maserati Ghibli : In Depth
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The Maserati Ghibli is a new four-door, mid-size sedan in the Italian automaker's global lineup. New for the 2014 model year in the U.S., the Ghibli is a rival for vehicles like the Jaguar XF, Audi A6, and Cadillac CTS.
The car may be completely new, but the name has a long history. The name itself is derived from an Arabic word meaning "hot wind from the Sahara Desert."
MORE: Read our 2014 Maserati Ghibli preview
First launched in 1966, the first Ghibli was a V-8-powered grand tourer with a two-door layout and styling by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Its low-slung proportions and powerful engine (up to 350 horsepower in SS models) made it a favorite of sports car aficionados of the time.
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 small (2.0-liter and 2.8-liter) but potent twin-turbo V-6s. Known as the Ghibli II, this car was less popular and less successful than the original, lasting only five years in production. Nevertheless, the car saw several special editions produced, including a racing version, the Ghibli Cup. The 330-horsepower, 2.0-liter Ghibli Cup claimed the highest horsepower output per liter of its day, beating even 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 shares a lot with the larger Quattroporte sedan. The basic structure is shared, along with some powertrain components, and the two 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 display.
Though it hasn't yet been selected for sale in the U.S., the Ghibli will also be the first Maserati model to be powered by a diesel engine, with a 271-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 diesel slated for use in Europe and other markets.
With seating for five despite an overall length more than 11 inches shorter than the Quattroporte, the Ghibli offers an entry point to the Maserati four-door range without sacrificing the passion, design, or equipment of its bigger stablemate.