Maserati’s new 2014 Ghibli is priced from just $65,600, putting it in direct competition with higher-specced versions of Germany’s popular mid-size luxury sedans such as the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The entry-level pricing gets you a rear-wheel-drive Ghibli with 345 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque on tap. At the top end, the more powerful Ghibli S equipped with Maserati’s Q4 all-wheel-drive system will set you back $75,700.

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Both are powered by a Ferrari-built 3.0-liter V-6 engine with twin-turbocharging and direct-injection technologies, and feature a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and limited-slip differential. The Ghibli S generates a more potent 404 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, however.

Overseas, buyers also have the option of a 271-horsepower V-6 turbodiesel.

The 2014 Ghibli will sprint to 60 mph from rest in just 5.5 seconds while the Ghibli S Q4 needs just 4.7 seconds to achieve the same feat. Despite this sports car-like performance, the car features five seats and is just 11.4 inches shorter than Maserati’s Quattroporte flagship sedan (the wheelbase is about 8 inches shorter).

Like the Quattroporte, its bodyshell is built around a rigid and secure steel safety cell that employs an array of different steel and aluminum alloys. The front section of the bodyshell is obtained from an aluminum casting with a reinforced cross-strut while the rear section is made from rolled steel.

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Standard features on the base Ghibli include leather trim, six-way power adjustable front seats, keyless entry, dual-zone climate control and a large LCD screen mounted in the dash. One option worth ticking is the brilliant Bowers & Wilkins audio system. It features 15 speakers and 1,280 watts of juice.

The base Ghibli is fitted with 18-inch wheels and tires while the Ghibli S variants have 18-inch wheels with tires of different widths at the front and rear. Larger 19-, 20- and 21-inch wheels are available. The brakes come from Brembo while the tires are supplied by Pirelli.