TRI­DENT TRUE

Maserati’s $200K ‘‘base’’ Ghi­bli has badge ex­clu­siv­ity its likely Ger­man ri­vals can’t match. And a diesel’s com­ing

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - CRAIG DUFF craig.duff@cars­guide.com.au

THE Ghi­bli will put the wind up Maserati’s ri­vals when it lands in Aus­tralia late this year.

Most of us can but dream of own­ing a $200,000 car but as the en­try model for the range the Ghi­bli is ex­pected to ac­count for an­nual global sales of 25,000 by 2015— four times the com­pany’s cur­rent tally. It has the lux­ury and per­for­mance to sat­isfy own­ers, even if it isn’t (yet) fit­ted with a V8. Just as im­por­tantly, it looks dif­fer­ent to the in­evitable Ger­man cars.

VALUE

The num­bers game puts the Ghi­bli up against the Mercedes-Benz CLS and BMW’s 6 Se­ries Gran Coupe. It will be more ex­pen­sive than ei­ther but brings badge ex­clu­siv­ity its ri­vals can’t match.

Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes an eight-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion, bixenon head­lamps, eight-- speaker sound sys­tem, re­vers­ing cam­era and pow­ered leather seats with in­built heaters and fans. A 3.0-litre turbo diesel will be the starter engine, with a pair of twin­turbo petrol V6s turn­ing up the wick on price and per­for­mance.

DE­SIGN

A smaller, tauter ver­sion of the Qu­at­tro­porte can’t be a bad thing. It looks more ag­gres­sive, too, with the curved bon­net and pro­nounced wheel arches giv­ing it a preda­tory stance.

Boot space and rear leg room are down on the QP but will still ac­com­mo­date enough lug­gage to carry four adults, pro­vid­ing they aren’t all bas­ket­ballers. Scal­lop­ing the back of the front seats would help here. De­spite shar­ing the Qu­at­tro­porte’s chas­sis and driv­e­train, the Ghi­bli’s track is wider and the re­duced length — it is al­most 30cm shorter— makes it more en­gag­ing to look at and drive.

The 8.4-inch touch screen ef­fec­tively di­vides the dash into driver and pas­sen­ger zones and the smell of Ital­ian leather per­vades the cabin.

SAFETY

Seven airbags and enough struc­tural al­loys to build an of­fice block should en­sure the Ghi­bli stands firm if it is in­volved in a col­li­sion.

The car is also built with­out any elec­tronic aids. Only when

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.