Today, 30th October 2014, Maserati revealed that it had made more money in the third quarter than its stepsister brand Ferrari, for the first time ever since Fiat bought both brands back in 1993. At the time few were afraid of what would happen to Ferrari, but with Luca di Montezemolo at its head, the tifosi knew the Modenese brand was in good hands. For Maserati though, it was a completely different challenge and yet the brand has been keeping to improve itself since then. Now that Luca di Montezemolo left Ferrari a few weeks ago, the Tridente brand seems to be the new carrying pillar of the group. And numbers speak for themselves : sales have no less than tripled for the first three semesters in 2014, thanks to the new Ghibli. Thanks to Maserati Switzerland and Modena Cars SA, local Ferrari-Maserati dealership in Geneva, and their team, we had the opportunity to test-drive this new successful model for a week-end, in its S Q4 configuration. Text : Mickael B. © Images : Luca W., Mickael B., Thomas Z., All Rights Reserved ©

Part 1 : Maserati’s legend

Looking at Maserati now, few people would imagine it is actually almost one hundred years old. Established on December 1st, 1914 in the italian city of Bologna by the five Maserati brothers, it had the only purpose to build luxury, sports and racing cars. Its emblem, the trident was inspired by Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore’s Neptune Fountain, a homage to the great roman sea god. Maserati managed to survive more or less all the different crisis throughout time, changing owner several times since 1937, when the Orsi family bought the Maserati brother’s shares, and moved its headquarters in Modena. These ownerships resulted in several well-known models, such as the Maserati Bora or the Citroën SM, when the french brand took over the Tridente brand back in 1968 from the Orsi family. Alejandro de Tomaso, founder of the eponymous automotive brand, bought it in 1975 and sold it then to Fiat.


How a brand which sold just over 6000 units in 2012 could possibly arrive to sell over 12 times more units in less than 6 years ?

Maserati started to be profitable for the Fiat group only since 2007, and has always been considered since then as Ferrari’s little brother. Needless to say, considering this week’s revelations, things might change a little bit, especially with the 75’000 units sales target that the brand has fixed itself for 2018, which might even increase its benefits. How, you might ask, a brand which sold just over 6000 units in 2012 could possibly arrive to sell over 12 times more units in less than 6 years ? Well the answer is simple : diversification. Maserati had focused itself only on sports Grand Tourer Coupés since it had been bought by Fiat, such as the 3200, but since the reintroduction of the Maserati Quattroporte in 2004, sales have increased. Maserati have now launched another entry level model, the Ghibli, and are planning to replace their aging GranTurismo Coupé, as well as the introduction of a new SUV, which will supposedly help the Bolognese brand to reach its sales target.


Maserati is a brand with a true automotive heritage it must try to preserve, and looking to its history, it is very closely linked to passion and racing, like very few brands are. In 1926 already, Alfieri Maserati won the Targa Florio building the manufacturer’s reputation in the sport’s car industry. It is still today the only italian manufacturer to have won the Indianapolis 500, consecutively in 1939 and 1940. After the second world war, sucess came thanks to Juan Manuel Fangio and its Maserati 250F in 1957. On the road, the Tridente launched the A6, one of its most beautiful road cars. In fact it was available with an important diversity of bodyworks: Zagato, Frua, Pininfarina, and was as well a thoroughly competed car. The legendary Tipo 61 Birdcage was launched in 1961 and won several races in Argentina and in the United States thanks to its very light tubular chassis which weighed only 30 kilograms.

The Tipo 61 “Birdcage” had one of the lightest chassis ever made in its time : 30 kilograms


In 1963, Maserati launched its first four-door saloon car ever produced, designed by Pietro Frua, the Quattroporte. Available originally with a 4.2 liter V8 engine it was later upgraded with a 4.7 liter displacement motor and 776 units were sold. The second generation Quattroporte was presented over a decade after, in 1974, but didn’t encounter the success of the first model as only 13 units were produced, making it one of the rarest car of the brand. Although it was designed by Marcello Gandini, the same man who draw the lines of the legendary Lamborghini Miura, the 1973 petrol crisis, the fact it had only a front-wheel drive six cylinder engine and that Citroën had just been placed in receivership achieved to ruin the carreer of this car.


Although Marcello Gandini designed the Series 2 Quattroporte, only 13 units were ever produced, making it one of the rarest Maserati

The third generation Quattroporte was launched during the de Tomaso era, was designed by Giorgietto Giugiaro, and was proposed with three different level of power : 260, 290 or 300 horsepower, from a 4.2 and then 5 liter V8. Although the next four-door saloon car from the Tridente manufacturer was never called Quattroporte, the 4 Biturbo has always been considered amongst experts as an intermediary generation and was proposed from 1985 to 1994. The fourth official Quattroporte generation appeared at the production end of the 4 Biturbo and was a four-door version of the second generation Ghibli designed by Marcello Gandini. Called from 1998 the Quattroporte Evoluzione, it included several parts and manufacturing improvements imposed after Ferrari’s takeover.

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The first Quattroporte designed by Pininfarina was a true success

In 2004, Maserati presented its first Quattroporte ever designed by Pininfarina, which was facelifted later in 2009. Available in three different versions: standard, S, and Sport GTS, it was the car which brought back Maserati to profit. It was a well the first Quattroporte I saw as a kid, and followed its retirement in 2012. A year later, the italian brand launched its sixth generation Quattroporte which rather different in my opinion from what Maserati had used us to. Let me explain: the old Quattroporte V was very italian in is design, very baroque, extravagant and yet beautiful. The sixth generation had a much more chastened – not to say german – full aluminum bodywork, less exuberant. Actually, the first time I saw it I was disappointed because it looked too much like one of these typical four-door german saloon cars like the Mercedes-Benz S Class, the BMW 7 Series or the Audi A8. Looking further under the bonnet, there weren’t no more naturally aspirated engines. The italian brand had yielded to the bad downsizing trend, providing even for the first time ever in its history a four-wheel drive version of its four-door flagship. Therefore when Maserati announced a smaller version of the Quattroporte in the second 2013 semester, I waited with great anxiety for what was going to be the Ghibli.

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The original Maserati Ghibli was born in 1966 at the Turin Motorshow, where Ferrucio Lamborghini presented his revolutionnary Miura and de Tomaso his Mangusta. It was designed as a two seater Grand Tourer berlinetta by Giorgietto Giugiaro who had joined italian coachworker Ghia. Powered in the first time by a full aluminum racing derived four Weber carburettors 4.7 liter V8 developping 310 horsepower and 390 Nm, it was later upgraded in the SS specification with an upgraded 4.9 liter displacement engine with 335 horsepower and 480 Nm. Although having four cylinder less than its two competitors, the Ghibli was just as fast as both the Daytona or the Miura and had more torque which allowed it to be more supple to drive. With its amazing design, its amazing performances, it even managed to outsell its competitor’s sales, with 1150 Coupés and 125 Spyder produced.

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Often forgotten, the original Ghibli competed with the top notch supercars of its time : the Lamborghini Miura and the Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona

The second Ghibli generation appeared in 1992 and was available with two twin-turbocharged six cylinder engines, from 2 and 2.8 liter displacement respectively. Their biggest engine was the less powerful, with 284 horsepower while the smallest engine’s power could rise up to 330 horsepower, a record at the time. So when Maserati announced the third generation Ghibli, I had some quite high expectations, imagining that the italians would provide us with a beautiful Gran Tourer coupé. A car inheriting the true Ghibli genetics, the sheer brutal and savage character from its elders. When the actual Ghibli was presented at the 2013 Shanghai Motorshow, you can imagine how surprised I was.

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Part 2 : Maserati Ghibli III

I still don’t understand today why this third generation does wear the Ghibli badge, and I am not sure it should, actually. Almost the same problem when Ferrari resurrected the GTO badge on the 599. For the brand’s aficionados, Ghibli is intrinsically related to the first generation model, to the Grand Tourer that showed both Ferrari and Lamborghini that you could do better with less. It is related to a legendary design, which has even enhanced with time, it is affiliated with record-breaking machines, for speed and power. Therefore, for people who know and love the Tridente brand, this was a bit of a sacrilege to put the Ghibli badge on a four-door saloon car. That impression was even increased when we learned that the Ghibli was going to be the first ever Maserati production car to have a diesel engine. I remember wondering… Where is Maserati going ? What is the next step : a Ferrari diesel engine ? I am still persuaded today that Maserati and diesel are two very different things, and that they shouldn’t be mixed together, and here’s why.

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The Ghibli is the first ever Maserati production car proposed with a diesel engine. A fact bearly imaginable only a few years ago.

The diesel engine, although it can show some equal or better performances and efficiency than a petrol engine, is an element which cannot be associated with sports cars. The reason for that is simple. Sound. Sound is, as our dear member Luca says, 50% responsible for the driving pleasure, and I do not recall anyone telling me that a diesel engine makes a nice sound. It is more hoarse, more agricultural, quieter, and cannot reach the incredible regimes that will put our pleasure level to 11. Thus, for sports cars, like all Maserati should be, it is not appropriate. It is the same matter for turbocharged engines, which are less noisy than naturally aspirated engines, because turbos mostly choke the real engine sound. Simply compare the sound of the old E60 V10 BMW M5 and the new twin-turbocharged V8 from the F10 BMW M5 and you will understand what I am talking about. Of course a diesel engine is a good idea in certain cases, when you seek low fuel consumption and a very supple – almost linear – engine, but I doubt that it would be the case for any Maserati consumer.

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Understanding Maserati’s choice arrived when I looked to the choice the italian brand had made to present the Ghibli. They didn’t chose to reveal it in their Modena headquarters, neither in one of Europe’s biggest motorshows, Geneva or Frankfurt, neither in the United States for the Detroit Auto Show but at the Shanghai motorshow. Suddenly everything became clear for me ! Of course ! Who are the new main customer targets where the Tridente brand could realize record sales to achieve its sales objective ? China ! And most Chinese people haven’t heard of the original Ghibli, and wouldn’t bother with a four-door saloon car wearing the Ghibli badge, neither a four-wheel drive transmission or a diesel six cylinder engine. They aren’t as much emotionally connected to the brand’s history as we are in Europe or in the United States, where we have seen our movie stars or legendary racing drivers in Maseratis. Chinese are very fond of four-door saloon cars, especially with long wheel base which allow space for rear passenger, and considering how situation is evolving, with more and more people that can afford high-end sports cars, it is normal that Maserati has been trying to conquer this very strategic market.

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Our V12 Vantage is a nice Beethoven concerto, but a Maserati is a Verdi opera.

So when this opportunity to test drive this latest Maserati Ghibli, my opinion was split between great joy that our first official test drive for Automobili Eleganza was going to be a Maserati, and the fear to be disappointed by the car I was going to test. Still, I didn’t hesitate for long and wondered how this brand new car was going to be, and especially if it was going to be a proper Maserati. For me, the Tridente manufacturer’s cars have always been associated to one very special element : sound. In fact if there was going to be actually on the market one car that I would buy for its sound, it would be the Gran Turismo Sport. Our V12 Vantage is a nice Beethoven concerto, but the Gran Turismo is a Verdi opera. Just on a complete different scale. Therefore, knowing that we were going to have the most powerful version, called S Q4, equipped with a twin turbocharged 3 liter V6 developping 410 horsepower, I was hoping that the sound was still going to be one of the key elements of the Ghibli. The Q4 is to designate the four-wheel drive transmission, which is actually the same as BMW’s xDrive. So I was supposing that the true behaviour car wasn’t going to be like a proper rear-drive Maserati but knowing how useful an all wheel drive transmission is useful in winter in Switzerland, and how easy it makes car to drive, I was impatient to discover it.

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Part 3 : First experience

I had never driven a Maserati before, so it was with a little anxiety that I took the way to Modena Cars, in Plan-Les-Ouates. The Ferrari-Maserati dealership is an amazing building, and you should really go and check it out. Their team is highly passionate, and offer always a warm welcome as well as dedicated services for their customers. After a few minutes, I discovered the car we were going to have for a week-end. It was a beautiful configuration, with Grigio Maratea exterior paint over standard black leather interior, with the beautiful 20 inches Urano rims. It looked beautiful being stand still along the other Ferraris and Maseratis of the garage. I have always been impressed each time I saw a Ghibli since the IAA 2013 of how it looks similar to the Quattroporte, how the front looks aggressive while the rear is almost standard and rather discrete apart from the four exhausts pipes. After a few recommendations and advices, I was left alone in this almost 5 meters four-door saloon. First impression was just in fact : “Oh my god… In what d*** sh** have I put myself in ?”. Once the adrenalin decreased, I was just left with my apprehension of driving such a big, powerful and valuable car. So I applied what I know.

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My first impression ? “Oh my god… In what d*** sh** have I put myself in ?”

Trying to build self confidence is in such situation very important, not to be destabilized, or too excited. It can be done very simply by putting yourself in a comfortable situation. Adjust the seats, the mirrors, and have a look where are all the key elements you need to drive, commodos, flappy paddles, or gear lever for instance. I turned myself around to observe the interior and already it felt very spacious, very illuminated thanks to the big windscreens and glasses, while trying to master the car’s dimensions. Finally it was time to press the Start Engine button and fire up the V6. The sound it emits is grave, hoarse, almost a V8’s sound. At least it is very nice. No need to put the Sport’s mode for the moment. I don’t want to scare myself, especially as I don’t know how the car reacts. Gear Lever in Drive, and off I am. I have to get out of the parking and the long bonnet in front of me doesn’t ease me this task. Still the V6’s character is very supple at slow speed, and the direction is direct and precise enough to get me on the road peacefully. I headed directly towards the highway. First attempt to touch the brake pedal at a stop and yet already nothing to compare with the old italian cars where the pedal used to do nothing until you pressed on it like a maniac. Confidence is already building up, and at least juste before entering the highway I am starting to drive it as a normal car.

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First acceleration and all I can hear is air sucked in by the turbos

Finally an open space to see what the V6 has really in the guts. The Ghibli has a variety of very interesting settings : Sport Mode, Sport Suspension, Manual mode, Ice mode, and ESP off. The Sport Mode increases throttle response, accelerates gear change speed, and open the exhaust valves, whereas the Sport suspension mode only firms up the suspensions to decrease body roll. The Manual mode gives you full control over the gear changes, with the Ghibli never changing gear until you order it too. The Ice mode provides better control traction over wet or icy roads, and the ESP off just turns off the ESP, as its name suggest. You can combine different modes together, but for the moment I decided to just turn the car in Sport and Manual modes on in order to push the engine to its limits on the acceleration zone before the highway. It gave everything it had, and surely I was impressed by the acceleration, but I was very disappointed by the V6’s sound of this first flat out acceleration. I only heard the turbos ! Almost like a Porsche 911 Turbo 997, the real engine sound had completely disappeared under the noise of… air. Air being sucked in and ejected. That’s all what I got.

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I decided to slow down a bit, open the windows and repeat the experience of a short flat out acceleration but the result was the same, with just more wind noise. Even through the tunnels outside Geneva Airport, it didn’t change anything. So my first driving impression was quite bad, as I was already thinking that we had lost the real Maserati soul somewhere in the past, where the italian madmen kept naturally aspirated V8s in their cars. But, as for humans, never base yourself on the first impression. Let time pass, and try to build a relationship with the car. So I put the cruise control, turned on the radio and started just to enjoy the fact I was driving a Maserati, on this busy friday evening. Back to normal mode, the eight (!) speed automatic gearbox is just perfect for long highway journeys, with the six cylinder engine barely running over 1000 rpm at 120 km/h. The ride is amazingly comfortable of what you would imagine for an italian sports car, and is very well isolated. Ergonomy has been hugely improved since the 2004 Quattroporte, thanks to the huge center touch-screen, which is quite simple to use and groups almost all the useful commands. Climate control works perfectly, and our model was even equipped with the ventilated and heated seats, a very practical option for this end of september week-end, with summer temperatures.

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To hear the proper engine sound, you have to restrain from being a maniac, not flooring the accelerator to the ground. Finally I had found the Maserati in the Ghibli.

Getting out of the highway, to my home, I went back to sport mode, and after the UNIL roundabout near Dorigny, decided not to go straight-forward to flat-out, but just simply letting speed build softly, and suddenly things were completely different… There was literally no turbo sound, and I had to pinch myself to believe what I had just lived. It was almost like if the turbos had disappeared ! So I repeated the experience throughout my university campus, at the EPFL, and the result was the same. I parked the car, and waited for my two colleagues Luca and Thomas to come and see the car, and started thinking how this had happened, and I came up with an explanation. Under a certain acceleration level, the turbos do not need to charge and build pressure, therefore they let simply the six cylinder engine do almost all the work by itself. If you start to require too much power, the turbos kick in, and will thus start to hide the natural engine sound. So the trick to hear the real sound is not to have the right foot too heavy, a bad habit I have… We decided with Luca and Thomas to meet up next morning around 6.30 AM, in order to go to the Lavaux region and make a nice photoshoot of the car with the sun rising.

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Part 4 : Morning photoshoot

There is something very special about a morning ride. Something indescribable. A magical moment, when you step out of your home and head out to your garage. You take a look at the car, and even though it’s been tough to wake up, you just don’t care. A smile starts to appear on your face, and you know you won’t lose it until you get back. The curves, the morning dew on the bodywork already reminds you what design elements you loved so much in this car. You grasp the handle, open the door, feel this typical fine leather smell, and listen to its rustling while you seat comfortably. Then you look around at this great binnacle, fire up the engine and feel the adrenalin building up. Driving is freedom. It’s a soothering effort, a demanding remedy, and a rewarding drug. And there shall be no better reward than admiring the sunrise over a beautiful landscape with your best freedom companion, your car. And although I hadn’t spent much time with the Ghibli, I still had a beginning of a connection… I knew perfectly why I was starting to love this car. Firstly, there is its exterior design, which in my opinion was starting to make all its sense. Its dimensions, much smaller than the Quattroporte, makes it more practical. The front looks just perfect for a Maserati, and however one might regret the too discrete rear, it gives the car a certain elegance. The resulting effect is a more dynamic and young car, than its stepsister.

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Morning rides are very special moments, so enjoyable for car passionates

Secondly, the interior, which I found too common when I discovered it at the 2013 IAA in Frankfurt, was revealing its charm. Devil is in the details, and the Maserati’s baroque character had been hiding in them. Experiencing it live had given me another opinion of it. The badge on the seat’s headrest, the fine wood inserts, the two big aluminum flappy paddles, and the global interior disposition surely makes it more serious and more usual to your 3 Series BMW, but it has still some exotic elements to remind you that you are not sitting in an usual sedan. So we started our journey to Chexbres, a little village on top of Vevey, over all the Lavaux region. On the way we had to cross Lausanne along the lake border, and the V6’s flexibility with all the red lights truely impressed me. It is amazing to see how technological progress and modern electronic assistances can soften and change the road use of big and powerful engines. We finally arrived in our favorite spot and patiently waited for the sun to rise, enjoying the incredible sight over the mountains, the vines, and the lake, which were only spoiled, or improved – depending on your opinion – by the galbs of our italian four-door saloon.

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A few hours later, we went back to the EPFL, following the lake, enjoying the sun, cruising happily throughout the swiss riviera. The roads of the Lavaux are certainly beautiful but do not lend to very agressive driving for a few reasons. The overall sight does not encourage you to drive like a maniac, as enjoying the view is far more impressive. Secondly, certain village passages are very narrow and should be taken very slowly and precociously with any wide car. Therefore I didn’t have much the opportunity to exploit the entire performance capacities of the car but didn’t mind for the moment, as we had more time to spend. We decided then to go and do a bit some shopping and the fact is, the Ghibli is just the car you need for that. The boot is huge, and although it is electric for opening, you have to close it manually. Don’t ask me why, it’s the italians. They couldn’t have done it right from the beginning. The other thing I noticed, which might not be relevant for much people, but could have some importance here in Switzerland, is that the Maserati does not have a ski trap. Therefore, you have to fold one of the seats if you want to go to your winter vacation in Gstaad. Still you shouldn’t have any problems at least getting there.

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The Ghibli’s four wheel drive transmission is your best guarantee to arrive safe at your best ski resort, Gstaad, of course

In fact this is one of the true very good points of the Ghibli. Its four wheel drive transmission system. It works just perfectly, and behaves very good whatever the situation you are in. The Tridente brand even provides a little tweak to show you live where all the torque is going between the front and the back. Mostly then the Maserati behaves like you want her, like a pure italian sports car, with everything going to the rear. And only when things start to get tricky, when you bump in the accelerator like an idiot, it will start sending power to the front. This electronic tool is as well pretty fun to watch while taking a curve and looking at the global evolution of the torque repartition throughout the turn. So you won’t have any problems getting the kids to their ski school, but I would still highly recommend some snow tires, as the Pirelli P Zero are surely a very good mount for dry, summer fun, but might not be just as efficient in cold and snowy winter conditions. Talking about little tweaks, I had great fun noticing the Sport Suspension mode has been perfectly translated by the local engineers as “Sport Suspense : Mode on”. This resulted in me laughing stupidly alone in the car on the highway when I was getting back to Lausanne.

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Part 5 : Maserati’s talent

As all Maserati are designed and built to be sports cars, we decided on the afternoon to go on one of our usual road-trips. It is one of these trips that we do regularly, with the V12 Vantage, knowing the roads, the very nice sights when arriving to the Lac de Joux before getting back to Lausanne. Starting from the EPFL, we headed towards L’Isle, one of the most picturesque village of the region, and started our first climb of the day to the Mollendruz pass. Pushing the Ghibli revealed what its true capabilities were, and although I could tell there was more bodyroll than in the V12 Vantage, I have to admit I don’t recall much four-door saloon cars with such a great balance, thanks to its very good weight distribution (51 / 49). Although it wasn’t as impressive as BMW’s latest M4 we had tested a few weeks earlier, it was still outstanding for a car of this size, this weight (1870 kilograms), and with four passengers inside. The M3 would certainly be a little faster, and would claim slightly more driving pleasure but wouldn’t be able to provide the comfort, luxury, exclusivity and elegance of the Maserati. My main regret was again concerning the sound, as the turbos were working almost all the way up, the only thing we could hear was the air they were sucking in.

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Not just as well balanced as an M4, the Maserati compensates by its amazing look, better comfort, incredible interior finition, and well … because … it’s a Maserati

I had been hoping the Ghibli would get a dual-clutch gearbox, but the italian brand has simply chosen a simple automated flappy paddle gearbox for its smallest four-door saloon car. I have to admit that I was disappointed from this decision, as I had experienced previously Ferrari’s F1 dual clutch gearbox which is an absolute marvel. The rise up to the Mollendruz was the opportunity we had been waiting for to see what the gearbox was like under important load. It had perfectly worked in the city, on the highway, with a characteristic overshoot after shifting down, a feature which is missing in various other sports cars equipped with similar gearboxes. Another very convenient and practical help is the size of the flappy paddles, which do not turn with the steering wheel, and are the ideal size. Not to big in order not to disturb you whilst trying to reach any of the steering wheel’s command, but not to small to make sure that you can reach them easily, whatever the situation. Gear changes are fast, around 150 milliseconds either up or down but cannot claim performance levels achieved by dual-clutch systems, although it is really one of the first times I didn’t have anything to complain from a simple automated flappy-paddle gearbox.

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We headed towards the Dent de Vaulion, then along the Lac de Joux, where the six cylinder engine settled down before the last tough sinuous part up to the Marchairuz pass. The other important parts which had been behaving amazingly were the brakes that hadn’t suffer from any performance decrease, a true challenge for standard steel brakes on this almost two ton car. The 410 horsepower V6 didn’t suffer as well from any failure, and was even asking for more, giving away its huge 550 Nm of torque. Its claimed performances are impressive, with a 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, and a top speed of 284 km/h. Of course, we didn’t have the opportunity to verify this last assumption, but the acceleration claims seem realistic. Although the thick seats won’t let you feel much from that, they offer at least a very good lateral bearing, and an impressive comfort whatever the situation. Fuel consumption was rather moderate for such a powerful engine, and one shall be able to average around 10 liters per 100 kilometers with the standard 80 liters fuel tank.

The Ghibli is a proper petrolhead’s car, but not only

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Finally we arrived back to our home, after this long journey. Time for us and the car to have a rest. The Ghibli had convinced me. Not as a Ghibli, because I do still think it should have worn another name, but as a four-door saloon car. We had been waiting for years for a proper italian four-door saloon car. The new Quattroporte is now so big that the Ghibli’s dimensions are almost similar to the first Quattroporte generation. We had been waiting for a descendant of the great Lancia Thema 8-32, of the Alfa Romeo 156 GTA, of the original Quattroporte. And I do think that today we have found it. The Ghibli. It’s the pure essence of what italian four-door saloon cars should be, raw, brutal, baroque, yet refined, luxurious and elegant. Cars with character, and for sure, the Ghibli has one hell of a soul. The Tridente brand’s engineers have even had the intelligence to keep their breed, with that amazing six cylinder sound it makes when you don’t drive like a maniac. So grazie Maserati !

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Finally, we have a proper descendant for all these italian sports four-door saloons we loved : The brand new Maserati Ghibli S Q4

Now, the tough question. Would I buy one ? Considering its price, from 95’300 CHF, and the alternatives, there would be 80% chance that I would go to Modena Cars and get myself one. The BMW M3 would be well more expensive, wouldn’t wear the Maserati badge, wouldn’t make such an incredible sound, wouldn’t be just as comfortable and wouldn’t let you go to your ski holidays because it doesn’t have a four wheel drive transmission. An Audi RS4 ? Maybe, and possibly the only true alternative for the Ghibli, but the B8’s never been available in the sedan configuration… A Porsche Macan ? I don’t think so. I don’t want an Audi Q3 with a Porsche badge on it. But the thing is, I’m a purist. So there would be few valuable reasons for me to buy a Maserati Ghibli S Q4, as if I had the opportunity to buy a Maserati, I would seek for a naturally aspirated engine, a rear-wheel drive transmission and why not even a proper manual gearbox. Things like the old Quattroporte 4.7 Sport GTS if I would need a four-door saloon, or a first generation Ghibli SS otherwise…

Automobili Eleganza would like to thank again Modena Cars, local Ferrari-Maserati dealership in Geneva, and their team for their welcome and kindness, for allowing us to test drive this exceptional new Maserati Ghibli S Q4.