Maserati Takes The Wraps Off New Ghibli

With the Shanghai Motor Show drawing close at the end of the month, Maserati have taken the opportunity to release images of their new Ghibli saloon car.

Promising a smaller, sportier car than the company's Quattroporte model, the Ghibli will be pitched up against the cream of the executive crop, with the Mercedes E-class, Jaguar XF and the BMW 5 series ranges firmly in their sights.

Maserati are expected to reveal a pair of three-litre, turbocharged V6 engines for the Ghibli, one of which - in a first for the company - will be a diesel.

Rumours abound of a Ferrari-sourced, twin-turbo V8 to slot into a hot version with designs on the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, but there is no official word either way. An 8 speed gearbox will drive either the rear wheels or all four through the Q4 4WD system.

No prices or trims have been announced yet, but expect them to be refreshingly expensive and opulent - though with Maserati aiming for 50,000 global sales a year and the Ghibli as the entry level car, it'll need to be competitively priced.

Conclusion

Everyone (except their financiers) loves a new Maserati and though this new Ghibli is styled a little on the conservative side, it's no exception. Platform-sharing ought to make the Ghibli more appealing to the accountants though - the underpinnings are expected to form the basis of other FIAT and Chrysler group vehicles in the same sector, including a new Alfa Romeo and the next generation of Chrysler 300C.

The diesel engined model may upset the purists, but a strong diesel performer is almost a must-have in the target sector. If the Ghibli can leech sales from the BMW M550d, Mercedes E350 and Audi A6 3.0 TDI, it'll go a long way towards achieving the targets.

Maserati fans may be a little peeved by the use of the Ghibli name for a four door saloon too as previous cars with that name were two door coupes, but a four door, V8 M5-slayer (if true) might go some way towards stifling those complaints. Either way, the Maserati trident is a badge to keep an eye on at Shanghai.

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