Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati recently introduced the Ghibli as the flagship model for its new marketing plan. The brand’s objective is to increase its volume of sales to 50,000 units per year, in 2015.
Maserati is the brand de rigueur for those who appreciate the style and aggressiveness of Italian sports cars. Owning a vehicle from with the chrome trident logo has been the impossible fetish for many car lovers, mainly because their models were often too radical in sportsmanship, and their prices, very high. In fact, in 2012, Maserati sold a total of 6,000 cars worldwide, and only a third of them were marketed in the United States.
To change that perception, Fiat Automotive Group, which owns Maserati and Ferrari, wants to revitalize the brand by offering more attractive products to those international consumers who prefer luxury cars with characteristic Italian sportsmanship. The new Ghibli is poised to be a challenge to the acclaimed Audi S7, BMW 6 Series and Mercedes Benz CLS Class.
With a new marketing strategy, the Ghibli introduces a sports option, typical of the Italian style, while respecting the German interior design, quality and comfort, plus a very competitive price of around $70,000. Quite a difference from its four-door predecessor, the Quattroporte, which exceeded, by far, the $100,000 figure.
This new model from Maserati offers several engine options, all with 8-speed automatic transmission. Its basic version is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine with 330 horsepower, which accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of over 160 miles per hour. Another version: a 3.0-liter V6 turbo injection engine with 345 horsepower, which accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 5 seconds and has a top speed of 177 miles per hour. And the top of the line model comes with a range-topping V6 turbo injection, 3.0-liter engine with 404 horsepower able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds to a top speed of 177 mph. This powerful engine is exclusive to the Q4 model with all-wheel drive.
To confirm this radical policy change, in Europe, this model is available, for the first time in the brand’s history, with a diesel engine, which in the Old Continent is the typical buyer’s choice of family sports cars.
The interior of the Ghibli is inspired by a careful combination of the elegance and sobriety found in German models (evident in the seats, upholstery and interior door panels), the comfort and amenities of American models (mainly from the Chrysler platform as can be seen in the touchscreen central command), and the radical sportiness of the Italian style (applied to the design of the front, steering wheel and instrument panel).
The Maserati Ghibli is a medium size sports sedan that offers the possibility of selecting drive modes according to the type of response the fortunate driver wants to get: when you press the “S” button for sports function, you will feel the adrenaline of driving a powerful monster in the same car you used, a couple of hours before, to take your children to school.
The Ghibli is Maserati´s new commitment to luxury and places the brand in a different position to face a market eager for new alternatives. ■