In its centenary year, Maserati are shaking things up.
For a long time, those magicians in Modena believed all they needed to do was build a fantastic car and people would buy it because it was a Maserati, a car that has never really required any hardsell even if you needed deep pockets to afford one.
So imagine the response when the Italian marque decided to introduce a car that is every bit a Maserati, and then put it on the market with an unbelievable price tag, ramp up their service reach and back it up with a snazzy ad campaign.
‘We have prepared. Now we strike’ is the catch-line for Maserati’s all new 2014 Ghibli and Ghibli S.
To make sure it sheds some of the preconceived notions people may have, especially about its price, they launched it with a commercial spot at the Super Bowl earlier this year, and then followed it up with a seven-page spread called ‘Beyond the Swimsuit’ in the Swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated featuring a fully-dressed Heidi Klum.
The response in America has been phenomenal and Maserati have revealed ambitious three-digit growth plans this year.
And there is no doubt that the Ghiblis are the driving force towards achieving that target.
They want to gain a share of the mid-size luxury saloon market dominated by the BMW 5 series, Audi A6 and Mercedes E-class and the Germans should be wary of this serious Trident-wielding Italian invasion.
Starting with the unmistakable engine note of the engine (a Ferrari built V6), to the understated elegance of the exterior and the sheer luxury of the interior, the Ghibli is an object of desire.
And here is the best part – the new Ghibli range starts at an incredible Dh285,000, which includes a fullservice package for three years.
The Ghibli has been around since 1967, the last version was way back in 1992, but those who are not aware of the origin of its name let me explain and you will understand why the car will hold a special place for customers in the region.
Like most Maseratis, Ghibli is named after the wind.
The Maserati brothers were posted in Libya with the Italian army, where they first heard of the ‘quibli’, the hot desert wind originating from the direction of Mecca, and hence the name.
For those obsessed with power, here is the lowdown – both Ghibli and Ghibli S have a new-generation twin turbo-charged Ferrari 3.0-litre V6 engine and an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission.
Ghibli S has a power output of 410bhp, giving it a top-speed of 285km/h and it races from 0-100km/h in just 5 seconds.
The standard Ghibli is no pushover either, achieving the feat in 5.6 seconds with a maximum speed of 263km/h courtesy of its 330bhp engine.
But there is so much more to the Ghibli than its awesome power.
The car handles very well, and is untroubled by tricky corners thanks to its perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution, a sophisticated suspension system and a variety of electronic driver assists like Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Apply Sensor to mention just a few.
The Ghibli has five driving modes – with Sport especially exhilarating as it also opens up the exhaust valves, increasing the already pleasing sound of the engine.
Ghibli’s exterior, complete with the three ever-present air vents (my personal favourite feature), the ferociousness of the headlights and the pronounced grill, and the swooping lines of the bonnet and the boot, is just sensational.
That machoism is well complemented with plush interiors, which includes Poltrona Frau leather finish in various hues, the clean, large and classy dials on the dashboard, an 8.4-inch infotainment system screen (Maserati Touch Control) and the utterly comfortably seats that can be adjusted in six different ways.
This car deserves serious consideration.
Unlike it’s namesake, it is much more than just hot air but just the same it will almost certainly blow you away.
It is one of the best new cars we have seen in the last year.
Why Buy It
Maserati Ghibli – Specifications
Manufacturer : Maserati
Production : 2014
Class : E-class
Body style : 4-door sedan
Layout : All-wheel drive
Engine : Ferrari 3-litre V6
Output : 330 bhp
Torque : 550 nm
0-100km : 5.6 seconds
Transmission : 8-speed automatic
with paddle shifts
Kerb weight : 1,810kgs
Top speed : 263km/h
Price : From Dh285,000
Rating out of 10: 8
Here is the official advert for the Maserati Ghibli
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