Sitting below its larger Quattroporte sibling, the Maserati Ghibli – Maserati’s first-ever mid-size four-door luxury sports car – will offer a range of three turbocharged six-cylinder engines as the Italian manufacturer targets luxury Germans like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Due in Australia in early 2014 with an anticipated starting price of around $175,000, the Ghibli will be available with either a 243kW/500Nm turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine,
a 301kW/550Nm twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol – found in the rear-wheel drive Ghibli S – or
a 202kW/600Nm 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine.
Maserati claims a 0-100km/h time of 5.6 seconds and fuel economy of 9.6 litres per 100km for the entry petrol, while the Ghibli S will be capable of hitting 100km/h in 5.0 seconds and reaching a top speed of 285km/h. Far from slow, the Ghibli diesel brings up triple figures in 6.3 seconds and returns claimed consumption figures of less than 6.0L/100km and fewer than 160 grams of CO2
All powerplants will be tied to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission with Maserati ensuring all models, including the diesel, will be instantly recognisable as one of its cars with engine notes enhanced by a new Active Sound system.
The system incorporates two sound actuators fitted near the exhaust pipes to accentuate the engine’s tones and modulate them according to how the car is being driven. This can be increased even further with a Sport button on the centre tunnel allowing the exhaust note to become even more resonant.
While all variants come standard with double-wishbone front and multilink rear suspension, and a mechanical limited slip differential, right-hand-drive models will miss out on Maserati’s ‘Q4’ part-time all-wheel-drive system offered as an option in left-hand-drive markets.
Sitting on a wheelbase that’s around 200mm shorter than the Quattroporte, the Maserati Ghibli is 290mm shorter than its bigger brother and comes with 18-inch wheels with 19-, 20- and 21-inch wheels available as options. The high performing Ghibli S variant also gains 360mm ventilated and cross-drilled front brake discs with six-piston Brembo calipers up front and 350mm ventilated rear discs with four-piston units at the rear.
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