A Class Apart – The Maserati Ghibli 2018
The newest Maserati Ghibli 2018 edition launched this year amidst much fanfare has an interesting three-model line-up comprising an entry model, the GranLusso – a luxury model and the GranSport – the sports model. This comes in after the launch of the Maserati Ghibli Nerissimo last summer, the black limited edition Ghibli vehicles with an edgier design based on the Italian expression for ‘extremely black.’
Maserati, the famed Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer from Bologna has been living up to its brand essence of amalgamating luxury, sport and style, since its inception in 1914. The Maserati Ghibli is the culmination of this vision – to build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with a timeless Italian style, accommodating bespoke interiors, and effortless, signature sounding power.The car has been attracting attention like no Maserati in history even though there have been three distinct Ghiblis since 1966. The first of which still remains one of Maserati’s greatest ever road cars. It was designed to compete against the Miura by Lamborghini. The second Ghibli was based on the unloved Biturbo platform built in 1992. Since then, Maserati has been enjoying a resurgence in interest with the Maserati Ghibli cementing its presence in the sports sedan segment, which was reintroduced in its current form in 2014.
Globally, the Maserati Ghibli is the company’s best-selling vehicle, and is credited with driving Maserati’s sales success over the past few years. With the Maserati Ghibli price in India pegged at a little over Rs 1.3 crore for the entry diesel variant, it’s competing with a lot of big, brand names. Keeping the tradition of continuous updation since its introduction, the Ghibli line-up now features the same three engine options as in the larger Maserati Quattroporte, with a 3.0 litre turbo-diesel V6 generating 202kW and 600Nm, and two variants of the Ferrari-built 3.0-litre twin-turbo petrol V6.
All Maserati Ghibli 2018 vehicles are equipped with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, extenuating the dear Maserati Ghibli price tags. Available in two new model designations, the GranLusso and GranSport, they playing quite manifestly to Maserati’s key brand identifiers of luxury and sport.The Maserati GranLusso features detailed touches including a high-end Ermenegildo Zegna-engineered silk upholstery, which is unique to Maserati. Its soft doors and comfort seating with 12-way power adjustment, a high-spec Bowers and Wilkins Stereo and 19-inch alloy wheels, add to the charm.
The Maserati GranSport – the sports sedan has been lightly updated with a refreshed exterior, some now-obligatory technology updates and a power boost for the top model. It is differentiated from the GranLusso with several distinct features, from the more overtly sporty styling, like the larger 21-inch alloy wheels, sports seating and steering wheel and the gorgeous red brake calipers, all making this Maserati car, classy in the traditional sense of the word. With Maserati Ghibli top speed touching 176 mph (284 km/h) for the Twin turbo petrol version and up to 155 mph (250 km/h) for the Turbo diesel variants with the typical Maserati Ghibli mileage veering at 16.94 kmpl, these are built as mean performance machines.
The cars certainly look the part, designed akin to a four-door coupé letting them command a more glamorous look and a higher Maserati car price tag, stealing the show from the more conventional cars, being as it is, a low-slung slice of Italian exotica marauding amid a sea of sit-up-and-beg saloons. The interior of the Ghibli is just what you have come to expect from the brand – it is gorgeous! There’s an excellent cabin design accentuated by fine-grain leather at some extra cost. Perfectly proportioned steering wheels, with a thick and firm rim, and analog dials living alongside a digital display. Other standard equipment includes dual-zone climate control and rain-sensing wipers, and two audio systems with a 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins set-up.
All Ghiblis come with an eight-speed paddle-shift ZF transmission, multi-link rear suspension and double wishbones up front. Maserati’s electronically-controlled Skyhook dampers, a limited-slip differential, Brembo brakes and hydraulically assisted steering are great too! They all benefit from 50 percent front, 50 percent rear weight distribution, a model-for-model kerb weight 50 kg lighter than a Maserati Quattroporte.The Maserati Ghibli has ride and handling credentials as expected from a Maserati saloon; the handling feels taut, the steering flooded with feel, accurate and linear in its responses, and the Ghibli’s fluently-controlled body movements. The grip is such that you’re never going to accidentally overwhelm it with the torque of the available engines. The Maserati Ghibli is fun and poised to drive! Less demure though is the encouraging engine burble on firing up the engines and the outrageous baritone noises in sports mode with the ride stiffening up, though Ghibli’s steering effort feels nicely weighted at normal cruising.
The Maserati Ghibli is not flawless for a segment where the standards are through the roof. Conservatives will go with a German premium saloon where the last of the details are thought through. It’s only the discerning who will appreciate the power of looking out of the window and seeing a Maserati on the drive. The Maserati Ghibli is charming and perhaps the most-rounded Maserati ever created, with its distinctive, understated styling compared to some of its sporty contemporaries. The Ghibli is intended to be chosen by driver-connoisseurs who want something distinctive, not run-of-the-mill. And the Ghibli as the luxury sports sedan is designed to do just that – meet the needs of even more discerning drivers!