Maserati’s new Ghibli sedan made its official world debut at the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show in China over the weekend and is now on its way to showrooms, scheduled to arrive before the year is out.
As previously reported, the Ghibli will launch as a 2014 model and be available with two turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engines in the U.S., while overseas markets will also receive a diesel option.
This diesel won’t be the VM Motori 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel already offered by the Fiat Chrysler Group but a brand new unit from Ferrari. Not only will this be the first diesel engine offered in a Maserati but it will also be the first to be built by Ferrari.
Like the VM Motori unit, the Ghibli’s diesel will also be a 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, but it will produce the performance and sound one would expect from a Maserati, the latter via fake sound generators mounted near the exhaust system.
The diesel is said to have been developed by Maserati engineers working closely with former Scuderia Ferrari engineer Paolo Martinelli and should return almost 40 mpg on the European combined cycle. Peak output is 271 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque.
The engines offered in U.S.-spec Ghiblis will burn gasoline, meaning they won’t be quite as efficient although they should return respectable numbers thanks to their relatively small capacities and turbocharging and direct-injection technologies.
One will develop 325 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque, returning on average 24 mpg and capable of sending the Ghibli to 62 mph from rest in 5.6 seconds. The other, which will power a ‘Ghibli S’ model, will develop 404 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque and rocket the car from 0-62 mph in 5.0 seconds and onto a top speed of 177 mph.
All of the Ghiblis engines will be built by Ferrari and all of them will come matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
To speed up development, the Ghibli shares most of its underpinnings with the latest 2014 Maserati Quattroporte, including its double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear setup with available Skyhook air suspension. The Ghibli also gets a standard limited-slip differential across the range.
Maserati’s new Q4 all-wheel-drive system will also be available on the Ghibli, though only on those models with the 404-horsepower rating and with a left-hand-drive configuration. The system leaves the front wheels passive until they are needed, whereby an electronically controlled multi-plate wet clutch brings them online in just 150 milliseconds. In normal driving 100 percent of torque is sent to the rear wheels, with up to 50 percent capable of being delivered to the front wheels when conditions demand.
The Ghibli is a five-seater and has an overall length of 16.3 feet, which is about 11.4 inches shorter than the Quattroporte.
Inside, the car sets itself apart with its own dashboard design and feature set.
The standard wheels are an 18-inch set, which gets staggered on the sportier Ghibli S. Wheels measuring up to 21 inches are available. The brakes come from Brembo while the tires are supplied by Pirelli.
In Shanghai this past weekend, Maserati also presented a new version of its Quattroporte powered by a 325-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. This model was developed exclusively for the Chinese market, so the base Quattroporte in the U.S., which features a similar engine, will stick with its higher 404-horsepower output.
For more from the 2013 Shanghai Auto Show, be sure to visit our dedicated show page.