NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2014 Maserati Ghibli Preview

4/24/2013
Fast Facts:
  • Smaller than Quattroporte
  • Competes with midsize luxury sport sedans
  • First Maserati to have a diesel engine
  • Available Maserati Q4 all-wheel-drive (AWD) system

Introduction
Introduced at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, the new 2014 Maserati Ghibli is a midsize luxury sport sedan that slots into the Italian automaker's lineup beneath the redesigned Quattroporte.

Exterior Features
The 2014 Maserati Ghibli is 7.9 inches shorter in wheelbase than the Quattroporte, and is 11.4 inches shorter in overall length. The automaker is positioning the Ghibli as the more aggressively designed of its two sedans, giving it a "couple-like" profile, vents in the front fenders, "strong feline hints" in the front styling, and a grille inspired by the existing GranTurismo model. Like the Quattroporte, the Ghibli's rear roof pillars retain the classic Saetta Maserati logo, a tradition dating to 1963.

Interior Features
Maserati characterizes the 2014 Ghibli's cabin as sporty, youthful, and luxurious. An analog clock sits atop the center of the dashboard, above a large color touch-screen infotainment display. A 2-tone leather interior with aluminum and carbon fiber trim is available.

Optional Features
Other than noting optional wheel choices up to 21 inches in diameter, Maserati did not enumerate specific options for the new 2014 Ghibli.

Under the Hood
The new 2014 Ghibli is offered with three engine choices, all engineered by Maserati under Ferrari oversight (both Maserati and Ferrari are owned by Italian automaker Fiat). The standard engine is a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 producing 330 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission equipped with a manual shift gate and paddle shifters feeds power to the Ghibli's rear wheels. Maserati says the standard Ghibli accelerates to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while returning more than 28 mpg in official European fuel-economy testing.

The 2014 Maserati Ghibli S is fitted with a twin-turbocharged V-6 engine generating 410 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 406 lb.-ft. of torque starting at just 1,750 rpm. It has the same 8-speed automatic as the standard Ghibli, but the Ghibli S accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 177 mph, according to Maserati.

The 2014 Maserati Ghibli Diesel is equipped with a 3.0-liter, turbo-diesel V-6 engine featuring common-rail direct fuel injection. It delivers 275 horsepower and 443 lb.-ft. of torque, and the Ghibli Diesel accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds, while returning 47 mpg on the European cycle, Maserati says. The automaker promises that the Ghibli Diesel will provide a traditional Maserati exhaust sound, thanks to its Maserati Active Sound system.

Additional hardware details include a firmly tuned double wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension, a powerful braking system, mechanical limited-slip differential, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The Ghibli S is equipped with larger brakes, ventilated discs that are cross-drilled in front and clamped by 6-piston Brembo front brake calipers. Maserati says the Ghibli S stops from 60 mph in less than 120 feet.

Maserati's Q4 part-time all-wheel-drive system is offered for the 2014 Ghibli S. The Q4 AWD operates as a rear-wheel-drive vehicle until traction conditions warrant transfer of power to the front wheels. This can result when cornering at excessive speed, when accelerating hard, or when traveling on a slippery road surface. The system can deliver up to half of the engine's power to the front wheels, but Maserati says that under most conditions, only 35% of total output transfers forward when conditions warrant. The idea here is to provide the added traction and grip only when necessary in order to conserve fuel and retain the sporting feel of rear-wheel drive.

Technology
To ensure that the 2014 Ghibli Diesel sounds like a proper Maserati, a Maserati Active Sound system is standard. This system employs sound actuators affixed near the car's exhaust outlets to accentuate specific engine notes and sounds, and to modulate them to reflect the way the car is being driven. When Sport mode is engaged, Maserati says they are louder and more resonant compared with non-Sport mode.

Additionally, the Ghibli is offered with a dual-zone automatic climate control system, a touch-screen infotainment system, center information display nestled between the gauges, and an electronic parking brake.

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