Italian luxury car maker Maserati pulled the covers off the newest version of its entry-level Ghibli sedan at the Chengdu Motor Show in China recently, revealing updated tech and styling tweaks to one of brand's most successful models.
Due here next year, the new Ghibli GranLusso and Ghibli GranSport names form part of a revised model order, at once replacing the model's launch nomenclature and expanding the range.
Where previously the Ghibli could be had in Ghibli Diesel, Ghibli and Ghibli S forms, models will now wear Ghibli, Ghibli GranLusso and Ghibli GranSport badging.
And, while both diesel and petrol engines will continue to be offered, the powertrains themselves will be known as Ghibli Turbo Diesel, Ghibli (350bhp) and Ghibli S (430bhp). The petrol engines benefited last year from power boosts, having previously offered 330bhp and 410bhp respectively, while the diesel remains unchanged.
On the styling front, the 2018 Ghibli gets a mild facelift with a redesigned grille that adds chrome vertical bars to match the surround. They’re thicker, for a slightly more aggressive look than the previous treatment.
The lower half of the grille has been reshaped with the outboard intakes sweeping up. The headlights are sleeker, too, introducing some new technologies like adaptive full LED headlamps with glare-free matrix high beams. The new Ghibli also gets narrower LED strips and square projectors lamps.
Along the side, the only changes for the updated Ghibli are the body-coloured side skirts, along with badges below the front guards for the model variants.
Around back, the changes are even more subtle, with a slightly reshaped bumper for a sharper look (and better aerodynamics, so Maserati tell us) compared with the previous version.
Inside, there's more of a focus on ‘luxury’, with the GranLusso boasting the marque’s Ermenegildo Zegna Edition silk fabric accents that were introduced on the Maserati Levante SUV last year.
The dashboard is draped in open-pore Radica wood, and there’s heated rear seats, four-zone climate control and an electric rear blind for more comfort.
Moving to tech changes now, the Ghibli has switched from hydraulic to electric power steering - a necessary change in order to add new Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) which include Highway Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist. Those features join Adaptive Cruise Control and Traffic Sign Recognition in the Driver Assistance package.
There's also Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC), a new function in the ESP system intended to enhance the vehicle's dynamics.
Maserati Australia has told CarAdvice it expects the car to land here early 2018, but has not yet disclosed pricing or specifications.