Maserati Goes Soon after Audi, BMW, With New Ghibli Sport Sedan

This weekend I drove the new entry degree offering from Maserati, the $ 65,000 Ghibli.

It is a competitively priced sport sedan meant to go up against the Audi S variants and the BMW 5- and 6-Series. All told, it’s not quite as tightly engineered as the German models, and it delivers a significantly less structured, much more free-flowing aesthetic with fewer creature comforts than those machines. But then once again, would you count on any various from a premium Italian brand? The auto is meant to have some flair, and driving close to outer Brooklyn yesterday it delivered on that promise.

Very first issues initial: It is pronounced GIB-lee, like the globe “glibly” but without the further L, and carries the identify of 2 preceding models–one (a 2-door coupe) from the late 1960s and the other a biturbo from 3 decades later. Maserati resurrected the name once again since it has value as a brand and heritage item—it lends image and authority as the company tries to hit 50,000 units sold globally this yr (and 20,000 Ghiblis alone by 2015).

This new iteration comes with your selection of a base V6 or a Ghibli S Q4 (390hp) with all-wheel drive with 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 for much more electrical power. Ultimately we’ll see a V8 (490hp) engine and some diesels in Europe, if I don’t miss my guess. (That engine comes with aid from Ferrari Chrysler provided the platform design and style. It shares about half of the engineering of the Quattroporte.) Ghibli will hit 60mph in roughly 4.5 seconds.

Inside the vehicle, I appreciated the greater-than-regular intuitive nature of the touch-display and center console buttons that managed even items (seat warmers, say) usually adjusted by push-button. They had been easy to navigate and to modify even though driving, even regardless of the lack of tactile suggestions. The back seat was roomy, and the headroom adequate, but the capacity for sound was horrible (the back rattled like a snake when I turned up the speakers).

“This is not for people who give a sh*% about items like window buttons,” the man from Maserati advised me by way of pre-explaining some heretofore criticized lack of plush-ness. “It’s not meant to be a German sedan.”

Okay.

At any fee, the sound of the Ghibli engine, on the other hand, was delightfully musical. As was the truly feel of the steering wheel switching lanes on the BQE out by Red Hook – smooth, rapid, and lean. The automobile feels light but not vapid nimble but company. Even on snow tires.

As its cult of incredibly devoted fan boys (and apparently every single Maserati-enamored garage attendant in New York City) will attest, this automobile has the “X” aspect that some others (911, M3 yes—Karma, no) possess but that can not genuinely be quantified. It’s exciting to drive.

“You’re getting it just so you can say the word ‘Maserati,’” a single astute observer noted as we chatted outside a recording studio in Greenpoint. Yes, very. But it is not half poor to drive, either, specifically for the price tag. And for loads of folks that’s a lot more than sufficient.

View the video over for some action shots.

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