Ghibli winds up

Maserati sales

Maserati Ghibli, 2018, front, night
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, side, night
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, interior, night
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, front, action
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, nose
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, side, action
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, rear, action
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, trim
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, seats
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, rear seats
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, interior
Maserati Ghibli, 2018, boot

MASERATI is very much a modern day automotive success story having enjoyed several years of soaring sales.

It might still be a niche car maker but it's one which is increasingly verging on volume, having gone from selling 6,000 cars in 2012 to a target of 75,000 in 2018.

The car that's spearheading that growth so far is the Ghibli, currently Maserati's best-seller, with more than 70,000 sold since its launch four years ago.

It shares its name with a classic launched in 1966 designed by the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro.

That was a two-door 2+2 whereas the 21st century version is a four-door executive saloon competing with the likes of the BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes E-Class.

Okay, with a starting price of more than £50,000 it isn't cheap but a lot of people are clearly prepared to invest in a bit of exclusive and very different Italian style defined by that famous trident badge.

Around since 2014, the third incarnation Ghibli has been updated along the way and the range gets a refresh for 2018.

Maserati says it has a new ‘range strategy', there are exterior styling enhancements, a power increase for one model and new advanced driving assistance systems.

The Ghibli also now offers integrated vehicle control, electric power steering and adaptive full LED headlights.

There are essentially three versions of the Ghibli when it comes to what's under the bonnet and they include a diesel - which is by far and away the biggest seller.

There's a standard Ghibli twin-turbo 350bhp 3.0-litre V6 petrol variant, a more powerful Ghibli S with a twin-turbo V6, which produces 430bhp. It's this model which has benefitted form a 2018 power upgrade to make it more potent than ever.

The Ghibli Diesel is powered by a 275bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre engine.

For 2018 Ghibli trims comprise standard models for all three powertrains or the option of upgrading to GranLusso and GranSport, with GranLusso erring more towards luxury and opulence and GranSport characterised by sporty styling.

The Ghibli is a scaled-down Quattroporte. It shares its chassis, suspension layout, V6 engines and eight-speed ZF automatic transmission but is 293 mm shorter and 50 kg lighter.

It means rear seat passengers don't get the limo-like legroom offered in the Quattroporte but they are still pretty comfortably catered for.

It also means the Ghibli has a handling edge over the larger Quattroporte.

Both V6 petrols are great fun to drive and have the feel of a genuine sports saloon with the requisite level of razor sharp handling.

Both also have a super sweet engine note, which gets sweeter still with the sport mode engaged.

Maserati's engineers have worked hard to make the diesel sound distinctly un-diesel-like and they've done a good job.

Sure the diesel is slower but it's still got plenty of sporting character and given the wildly contrasting fuel efficiency it offers (47.9mpg on the combined cycle) it's easy to see why so many buyers have opted for it.

Despite its agility and handling prowess comfort levels have not been compromised and the Ghibli rides nicely too.

A new ADAS package is also optionally available.

In addition to the existing features, it includes functions like Highway Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition.

The range starts at £51,165 for a standard Ghibli Diesel, with standard petrol models starting at £55,410.

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