The base setup is a 345-hp, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 and rear-wheel drive; the S performance version has 404 hp and optional all-wheel drive. Both engines have an eight-speed automatic. The interior needs nicer materials, but this desert wind is a breath of fresh air in a world dominated by German sedans.
Sculpted forms and well-defined volumes connected by clean lines that create movement: the Ghibli captures the attention with its emphasis on sporty glamour and, just like the first Ghibli launched back in 1967, captivates with its strong personality. Notable features of the sleek silhouette include the front and rear mudguards, which merge into a single central form for a more dynamic overall line.
When sat in the driving seat of the Ghibli, you’ll feel in total control: the ergonomic three-spoke leather-clad steering-wheel with controls for interacting with the main multimedia functions frames a simple but striking instrument panel. The large speedometer and rpm-counter have elegant white backlighting and are separated by a 7” TFT display that shows the car’s dynamic data. The seats have a wraparound form, underlining the interior’s sporty feel and guarantee top-class comfort. The optional all-electric front seat adjustment system makes it easy to achieve the perfect driving position in terms of height, depth and the angle of the back and seat. The roomy rear bench seat accommodates up to three passengers.
Blasting out of the first hairpin, it's clear that the Ghibli S Q4 has got warp-speed boost deception down pat—it's fast, but feels even faster. Despite falling off some before all 7000 rpm are spent, Maserati's six-pot mill is a tour-de-forced-induction with all the visceral thrills. Prodding the 'Sport' button unleashes a cacophony of burbles, snarls, and growls to transform tunnels into headphones. Along with a punctual sneeze from the turbo, each slick paddle shift kicks off a deliberate overrun-and-backfire routine of F-type proportions. Contrived? Sure, but remember that $76,950 has bought you a little slice of Maranello, not a Dodge Dart.
Much about the Ghibli appears to indicate undue haste, starting with its name, which seems expediently pilfered from Giugiaro’s two-door, two-seat masterpiece of 1967–1973. If anything, the new car should have been named for the later Kyalami, a 2+2 that was also a shortened Quattroporte. But that’s a petty complaint. More important, the styling just isn’t emotional enough. The Ghibli’s lurid cab-rearward proportions nicely evoke the previous-gen Q’porte, but it’s rendered in much heavier and more simplistic terms, especially in the rear third, where the hips need some liposuction. The back is so anonymous that it’ll be confused with any number of Asian pretenders.