It's unusual for a couple of reasons. One of them is that models from lower-volume performance brands aren't usually tested at all; and even among the top-selling luxury brands, only their most popular models are typically tested.
The Ghibli's test scores could also be seen as increasingly necessary, in light of the top federal five-star score the Tesla Model S received earlier this year. While some luxury shoppers might have been willing to sacrifice safety assurances for exclusivity in the past, with greater safety awareness in general this is likely no longer the case.
The other reason why is that the Ghibli is priced—beginning at just $65,600—far below any other models from the Italian brand. With Maser's famous Trident badge on the front, it could stand as a considerably more exclusive alternative to the likes of the Infiniti Q50, Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, or Cadillac CTS.
With a 345-horsepower twin-turbocharged V-6, rear-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission, a limited-slip differential, and a taut sport suspension, the Ghibli should stand up well as a performance-oriented premium sedan. The top-of-the-line Ghibli S gets a boost to 404 hp and should be able to dash to 60 mph in just 5.0 seconds and to a top speed of 177 mph. All-wheel drive is available, too.
However, the Ghibli hasn't yet been put through the toughest test in the IIHS stable—that's the small overlap frontal test; and acceptable or 'good' results on that would be necessary for the Ghibli to later earn the new Top Safety Pick+ designation.
See our full review on the 2014 Maserati Ghibli for more, and be sure to watch the video here to see an Italian sport sedan sacrificed in the name of safety.