The first-ever Maserati hybrid – as well as modern-era four-cylinder Maserati – has had its timing for Australia confirmed, with the Italian luxury sports-car brand forging ahead with electrification.
Simply known as the Ghibli Hybrid, the Italian-built answer to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XF and Audi A6 arrives in February, along with the Trofeo range of V8-powered flagship grades for both the Ghibli and its related Quattroporte big brother.
Pricing is expected to be in the region of $150,000 to $175,000 before on-road costs, which is good news for hybrid buyers, since it gives the Ghibli Hybrid clear open space between the circa-$120,000 charge for the Lexus GS450h and Mercedes-Benz E300e, and the $200,000-plus asked for by the BMW 745e.
Revealed globally in July, the Ghibli Hybrid uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine (from the unit found in Alfa Romeo’s Giulia and Stelvio) connected to a 48V mild-hybrid system that consists of a battery, a DC/DC converter, a belt-driven starter generator and an eBooster electric supercharger. The additional electrification equipment actually improves the sedan’s weight distribution.
The upshot is a maximum power output of 246kW at 5750rpm and 450Nm of torque at 4000rpm, sent to the rear axle via a ZF-supplied eight-speed automatic transmission.
European figures state a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.7 seconds on the way to a 255km/h top speed, while on the fuel consumption and emissions front, the Ghibli Hybrid returns between 8.6-9.6 litres per 100km on the WLTP combined cycle and a carbon dioxide rating of 192-216 grams per kilometre respectively.
At the other end of the scale, the Ghibli Trofeo and Quattroporte Trofeo will be powered by a Ferrari-built, 441kW/730Nm 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 first seen in the recently released Levante Trofeo SUV. Like the Hybrid, their rear wheels are also driven via an eight-speed auto.
While unable to match the all-wheel-drive Levante version’s 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.9 seconds, the Ghibli Trofeo still manages a respectable 4.3s, and 0.2s quicker than the Quattroporte Trofeo.
Aided by revised traction systems as well as a new launch control function, both are faster overall than the luxury SUV, with a 326km/h capability versus the latter’s 302km/h V-max. Thus, there’s never been a faster Maserati production sedan in history.
You’ll be able to pick the Trofeo from more humdrum Ghiblis and Quattroportes by their redesigned grilles brandishing twin vertical bars, bumper-sited carbon fibre air ducts, red detailing, boomerang-style tail-light clusters and 21-inch ‘Orione’ alloys.
The Ghibli also scores a different bonnet featuring air ducts, while both sedans offer revised, Trofeo-specific instrumentation, improved driver-assist tech, upgraded leather interiors and a larger touchscreen as part of an updated multimedia system.
Neither will come cheap, though, with the Ghibli Trofeo expected to approach $300,000 and the Quattroporte Trofeo up to $400,000, if the Levante Trofeo’s $150K premium is any indication.