Has it really been eight years since this E segment luxury sedan hit the market? Facelifted twice and with multiple powertrain updates and additions during the 2010s, still there’s no hiding the fact that this isn’t a young car. Does that matter?

Real investment at last

Maserati drifted for years under the former owner’s – let’s call it ‘unusual’ – style of managing the business. The same approach appeared to be employed for Chrysler, Dodge, Abarth, Fiat, Fiat Professional, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and even Ferrari. It seemed to consist of spending the least, and for supercars, spinning mechanical updates, a different name and a fresh body as a new model.

Jeep and Ram at least had some proper investment. The former FCA and now Stellantis were lucky that demand for the Grand Cherokee stayed strong during eleven years of production. Jeep in China though? Along with every relevant FCA and PSA brand, this is a case study in how to miss an economic boom. Maserati and all other group divisions remain also-rans in the PRC. Hopefully that will change with some new thinking.

The diminished size of FCA and the lack of big cash reserves as it was merged with PSA showed that the policy of running down brands hadn’t been the way forward.

It’s wonderful to see Carlos Tavares giving publicly stated support for the new group’s historic marques – quite the contrast to how things had been. Even the Chrysler brand finally has some love and its own boss. Or look at Fiat in Brazil which thanks to new models is hammering VW and GM.

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New models

Back to Maserati though. The sports-luxury marque was finally given an SUV in 2016. After that? Nothing until the MC20 supercar arrived at the tail end of 2020.

The result of minimal spending in the past is the present need for lots of cash to be splashed. Another legacy of what went on before is two sedans from the 2010s needing to stick around for a few years yet: you can’t replace every model at once.

Creating new vehicles isn’t an inexpensive or quick process. That’s why – along with the need to meet EC emissions norms – the smaller of Maserati’s two sedans has had its most recent refresh and gained a small capacity engine. We may see this powertrain fitted to the Quattroporte.

A mild hybrid despite the badge

The new Ghibli Hybrid is powered by a mild hybrid system. This comprises a 1,998 cc four-cylinder turbo petrol engine, a 48 volt alternator and an electric supercharger (e-Booster), supported by a battery in the boot.

Outputs are 330 hp and 450 Nm, the top speed is 255 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h takes 5.7 seconds.

Ferrari power

A Ferrari-built petrol 3.8-litre V8 turbo was also announced in the second half of 2020. This is for the Ghibli Trofeo and larger Quattroporte Trofeo. In both cars it produces 433 kW (588 PS or 580 horsepower) and 730 Nm ( 538 lb ft). As with the Hybrid, each has a ZF torque converter automatic gearbox with drive to the back axle only.

Platform and replacement(s)

The Ghibli’s platform is the same RWD-AWD one as the sixth generation Quattroporte’s. Introduced in 2013, this architecture seems destined to disappear by mid-decade. That’s because Stellantis says the brand’s biggest four-door will become a three-motor EV for the seventh generation in “2023/2024”.

At the moment, we don’t know what the future holds for the Ghibli. The electric Quattroporte’s sub-5m long E-segment companion may go the same way. Or maybe there won’t be a direct successor: Maserati might try to cover this size class with the next Levante. We know the replacement for today’s SUV will be available with petrol power and as an EV.

How to identify a Ghibli Hybrid

The MH is set apart from other Ghiblis by a blue theme inside and out. That includes the three air ducts in each of the front wings/fenders as well as the brake calipers. It also applies to the thunderbolt within the oval which encloses the Trident on the rear pillars. The same shade appears in the car on the embroidered seams of the seats.


What to say about how it feels to drive a RWD Maserati sedan? It certainly delivers smiles aplenty and people seem to like how it looks too. I was asked several times – buying petrol, neighbours, etc – what it costs. Nobody seemed to think that “sixty four thousand before options” was too much.

The chassis doesn’t really show its age although understeer can eventually be provoked by the determined. Normally the Hybrid will default to a merry slide at the back end should the safety systems be deactivated, and that’s easily caught. Assisting with grip, a mechanical LSD is standard.

Don’t think that the four-cylinder engine doesn’t sound fantastic either. There is zero artificial assistance, the burble and roar being produced by resonators within the exhaust system.

The inside story

The interior has accidentally become more appealing too: in an era where digital is the default, the inside of this luxury sedan is a pleasing mix of old and new. The big screen is there as well as many physical controls. It’s possible for example to choose either real buttons or virtual ones should the driver or passenger wish to adjust the HVAC system. Bravo!

The left-hand stalk we used to know well from Chrysler vehicles remains. Once you’re used to it, wiper and headlight controls in the one place even becomes something you wish other cars had. Likewise the beautiful analogue clock, along with a real tachometer and speedometer. It’s silly that such things are rapidly becoming rare.

Produced at AGAP (Officine Maserati Grugliasco, Giovanni Agnelli)

The Ghibli might no longer be young but it remains a handsome car, the two rounds of styling adjustments helping to keep it looking good. The Covid hiatus aside, production has been continuous at the former Bertone works in suburban Turin works since June 2013.


It’s all too easy to think that PHEVs and EVs must be the only way for high performance sedans to go. Giant, rich Toyota doesn’t believe that but of course it has its own reasons, namely substantial investments in HEVs and Hydrogen ICEs and FCEVs.

Stellantis/Maserati should be able to keep a fair level of demand for the Ghibli (and its big brother) going for a few more years. The mild hybrid shows that the internal combustion engine can still compete and has much appeal for many customers.

The new Maserati Ghibli (mild) Hybrid is priced from GBP63,700. CO2 averages between 192 and 216 g/km with official Combined consumption being 33.2 mpg.