Maserati Won’t Go any Smaller Than the Ghibli
Maserati’s masterplan to sell 75,000 vehicles per year by 2018 won’t include a model smaller than the Ghibli or a less powerful version of said sedan, Australian outlet Motoring reports, adding that the Italian brand aims to remain exclusive, albeit not exotic.
Speaking at the Ghibli launch in the Land Down Under, Maserati’s Australian general manager Glen Sealey said the Italians are ruling out a compact sedan to slot under the Ghibli, currently the company’s cheapest model ever. "In terms of model strategy, there are no plans to go below Ghibli or Levante," he said.
In an effort to increase global sales, Maserati revived the Ghibli nameplate to take on the BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Going lower would enable the brand to field a competitor for the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class, and their high-performance derivatives, but, as things stand, Maserati is more concerned about retaining its exclusivity.
"Maserati will certainly remain exclusive, but not exotic. A year ago it was exotic," he added.
As far as a less powerful, and consequently cheaper, version of the Ghibli is concerned, Sealey stressed that the entry-level diesel model won’t account for a large proportion of sales, with the more expensive gasoline models to move more units globally.
Note: Maserati Ghibli pictured here.
Click past the jump to read more about Maserati Ghibli.
Why It Matters
With the Levante SUV right around the corner, it’s not at all surprising that Maserati is not willing to produce a cheaper model, be it a new entry-level Ghibli or a smaller sedan. The Levante will open new opportunities for the Italians in the ever-growing SUV market, which should help increase company sales to a greater extent than the Ghibli will. For the time being, Maserati is obviously not interested in expanding its lineup below the Ghibli, but we expect that to change if the midsize sedan fares better than expected.
Named after an iconic grand tourer built between 1967 and 1973, the current Maserati Ghibli is a midsize sedan aimed at luxury four-doors such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class or Jaguar XF. Slotted right under the Quattroporte, the Ghibli is available with both gasoline and diesel engines, becoming the first ever Maserati to pack an oil burner.
The base U.S. model is powered by a turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 that generates 345 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. It sends the sedan from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.5 seconds, while returning 19 mpg combined. The more powerful Ghibli S features the same 3.0-liter V-6, but with two turbochargers attached to it. Output increases to 404 ponies and 406 pound-feet, while 0-to-60 times drop to 4.7 seconds.
The Ghibli Diesel, currently unavailable in the States, uses a 3.0-liter, V-6 turbo-diesel that cranks out 275 horses and a massive 420 pound-feet of twist. As expected, the diesel is the slowest of the pack, needing 6.2 seconds to sprint from naught to 60 mph.
The 2014 Ghibli retails from $65,500.