Maserati has finally entered the world of electrification with the Ghibli Hybrid, the first electrified vehicle in its history. And it retains the unmistakable sound that has always distinguished every Maserati.
The new Ghibli Hybrid represents the first step in a plan that will lead to the electrification of all new Maserati models. The brand's first all-electric cars will be the new GranTurismo and GranCabrio, scheduled for 2021.
The new Ghibli Hybrid represents one of the most ambitious projects for Maserati, which after the announcement of the new engine for the MC20 super sports car now sets the seal on another step forward towards the brand's new era.
The choice to introduce the hybrid technology on the Ghibli sedan was because this model, with over 100,000 units produced since its launch in 2013, embodies the Modena-based manufacturer’s DNA.
The Ghibli Hybrid is immediately recognisable, thanks in part to the new design of both exterior and interior. The common denominator of the restyling, developed by the Centro Stile Maserati, is the blue colour, chosen to identify all cars with hybrid technology and the new world they represent.
On the exterior, the blue colour characterises the three iconic side air ducts, the brake calipers and the thunderbolt in the oval that encloses the Trident on the rear pillar. The same blue reappears inside the car, in particular on the embroidered seams of the seats. The new Ghibli Hybrid also introduces new stylistic contents, starting from the new front grille, with bars redesigned to represent a tuning fork, a musical device that emits a sound of extreme purity, and which also evokes the Trident symbol itself. There are significant changes at the rear of the car, where the light clusters have been completely restyled, with a boomerang-like profile inspired by the 3200 GT and the Alfieri concept car.
Mild hybrid treatment
Maserati has chosen a hybrid solution focused primarily on improving performance, while also reducing fuel consumption and cutting emissions. The hybrid technology exploits the kinetic energy the car accumulates when in motion, recovering it and transforming it into electricity during deceleration and braking, and storing it in a battery.
The innovative powertrain, the outcome of in-depth engineering development work by the technicians and engineers of the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena, combines an internal combustion engine (4 cylinders, turbo, displacement of 2.0 litres) with a 48 volt alternator and an additional electric supercharger (e-Booster), supported by a battery.
The Ghibli Hybrid, which weighs about 80kg less than the Diesel, develops maximum power output of 330 hp and torque of 450 Nm delivered from just 1,500 rpm. It has a top whack of of 255kph and acceleration from 0 to 100kph in 5.7 seconds.
Ghibli Hybrid occupants will still revel in the unmistakable sound that characterises all Maserati models, thanks to the optimised exhaust, which includes specially designed resonators.
Ghibli Hybrid also marks the debut of the new Maserati Connect programme, which enables a constant connection with the car. The Maserati Intelligent Assistant multimedia system is latest-generation, based on digital inputs from Android Automotive, software that delivers an innovative User Experience fully customisable to the driver's personal preferences. The multimedia system's HD screen, with new graphics, more user-friendly and without surrounds, is increased in size from 8”4 to 10”1. A new instrument panel with digital devices and new graphics is also introduced.
Ghibli Hybrid is India-bound
Maserati intends to use its global revival plan to also increase its business operations in India. Responding to a question by Autocar India at a virtual press conference, Luca Delfino - Head of Asia Pacific, Maserati S.p.A. said, “We know that the network in India has room for improvement in terms of presence in the main cities and I can confirm that our idea is to use the expansion of the product range to complete the footprint in India and be present in more strategic locations”.
The ambitious global revival plan kicks off with the newly unveiled Ghibli Hybrid. This will be followed by a new super sports car – the MC20 – and a new SUV that will sit below the Levante. The MC20 will have a right-hand drive version and will likely see an India launch.
Alluding to this Valentina Boarini, sedans project manager Maserati S.p.A. said “We will have a bigger range, and we will also have a sports car and this is a good opportunity to grow the network in India”. Thus with the updated range and new models, including a sports car and a smaller SUV, Maserati India operations may finally get a much-needed shot in the arm.