Maserati's 2014 Ghibli sedan, a so-called "mainstream" model that will slot beneath the Quattroporte as the company's entry-level model, has made its first public debut at the Shanghai Motor Show.
When viewed from the front and from the side, the Ghibli borrows styling cues such as its bulging fenders, its aggressive LED headlights and its sweeping roof line from the recently-unveiled Quattroporte. Around back, it features angular tail lamps and a tall trunk lid, setting it apart from its larger sibling.
The Ghibli utilizes much of the Mercedes-Benz-derived architecture that underpins the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Charger.
Inside, the Ghibli's Quattroporte inspiration is again evident and the two cars share the same center console, steering wheel and instrument cluster. Both models feature an 8.4-inch touch screen that is used to control Maserati's Touch Control infotainment system.
Under the hood
The Ghibli will be available with two turbocharged gasoline-burning 3.0-liter V6 engines and Maserati will offer the car with its first-ever diesel engine, a 3.0L V6 developed by Scuderia Ferrari former Chief Motorist Paolo Martinelli. A performance-minded V8 mill will top out the lineup later in the production run, but it is unclear whether the eight-cylinder engine will be the Ferrari-built 3.8-liter twin-turbo used in the Quattroporte or a Chrysler-derived unit based on the Hemi architecture.
The Ghibli's base engine delivers 330 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque and can propel the sedan from 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. The up-rated version of the turbocharged mill generates 410 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque, dropping the car's 0-60 time to 5 seconds flat.
The diesel-powered version of the Ghibli will offer 275 horsepower, 442 lb-ft of torque and a very respectable 47mpg on the European cycle. Maserati says the Ghibli diesel is capable of completing the sprint from 0-60 in 6.3 seconds.
All engines will be linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission developed by ZF regardless of cylinders and fuel. Both rear- and all-wheel drive models will be offered.
Aimed squarely at the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5-Series and the Audi A6, the baby Quattroporte will be tasked with dramatically increasing Maserati's volume globally, and it is crucial to the firm's success in North America and Asia. In that regard, the Ghibli is undoubtedly one of the most important models in Maserati' s history.
Following its introduction in Shanghai, Maserati's latest sedan will land in showrooms in most global markets before the end of the year.
What's in a name?
Maserati introduced the Ghibli moniker in 1966 and used it again in 1992. It's pronounced jee-blee and it refers to the hot winds that blow through the Sahara. The Italian scouting planes used in World War II were nicknamed Ghiblis.