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