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Drive

The Maserati Ghibli

If the Ghibli diesel is your first Maserati experience, it will still be a genuine and exciting one


Takes none of that Maserati magic away

At just a cinch over £49,000 you can be the owner of a Maserati. Most people think that entry-level Maserati buying starts at over the twice the price, and whilst some of course do, the Ghibli doesn’t. In fact the Ghibli starts at £49,160.

The recent introduction of the Ghibli was part of Maserati’s brand expansion programme, attacking the mid-size luxury saloon segment for the first time, thus taking on the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and the like.


 

For the UK we are blessed with three engines; a 3.0 litre 272 bhp v6 turbodiesel, and single and twin turbocharged 3.0 litre v6 petrol engines with 325 bhp and 404bhp respectively. For the petrol heads among us there’s a bit of Kudos in knowing that the petrol engines are developed and produced by Ferrari.

The Ghibli diesel is the first diesel powered Maserati ever made. Thankfully, its sporting exhaust note and credible class performance takes none of that Maserati magic away. Hence, if the Ghibli diesel is your first Maserati experience, it will still be a genuine and exciting one. From a design point of view, the passive eye will have no idea if you’re driving a diesel or petrol engined ‘Maser’ for externally they are near-on identical.

In typical Maserati fashion, there is a quality look and feel to the interior. It is very ‘classic Italian’ inside; an 8.5 inch multimedia screen is located dead centre of the dash console, whilst speedo, rev-counter and subsidiary gauges dominate the straight ahead. These are surrounded by a choice of leather finishes, and as always, the traditional analogue clock sits in the middle above the big screen. Cabin comfort is a given, and there’s plenty of room for four to settle for long, fast, comfortable long distance journeys.

The Sporting executive

Behind the wheel the Ghibli feels very much ‘sporting executive’, yet the prominent floor mounted gear selector powering an eight speed automatic box, combined with that bold Trident logo on the dash are subtle reminders that you are behind the wheel of a Maserati. And there’s a proud feel-good factor about that!

Maserati themselves are feeling proud too, as the Ghibli is boosting the company’s financial performance. Maserati’s third quarter results show 158 new registrations in September alone, with a total of nearly 1000 units registered since the start of the year – an increase of a staggering 285% over last year, much of this attributable to this new diesel engine, which is now also offered in the bigger Quattroporte saloon as well.

As if to show what can be done with this increasingly popular ‘Maser’, the company presented a very special concept version of the Ghibli at the recent Paris motor show in October 2014, the ‘Ghibli Ermenegildo Zagna Edition’. Whilst not available in 4-wheel drive in the UK, this Maserati Ghibli S Q4 is painted in a new tri-layer colour, and has special colour coded 20 inch wheels, whilst on the inside there’s a combination of leather and Zegna yarns. The concept is the latest product of a collaboration partnership with the Ermenegildo design group, preceded by a limited edition of the Quattroporte launched a year ago.

In the meanwhile it would appear that British buyers continue to show interest in the Ghibli where it counts, with their wallets! Proving that style, practicality and pedigree sells alongside attractive price packaging. Not least, you own ‘a Maserati’.

- Kevin Haggarthy