With the last of the big global car shows approaching fast, we’re getting teasers covering a wide range of products set to debut at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show – and one of the more important, certainly from a brand standpoint, is the promised debut of the 2014 Maserati Ghibli.
Basically a “Baby Quattroporte,” the Ghibli is promised to become the highest-volume model in the Italian maker’s line-up and is expected to be the car of choice for those who want four-door functionality without the performance and handling trade-offs of the bigger sedan.
Laying it out in simple form, Maserati says, “The Ghibli will have a sportier character compared to the larger Quattroporte, launched at the beginning of this year. The Ghibli will be available with two turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engines, an eight-speed automatic transmission and both rear-wheel drive and the new “Q4” all-wheel drive system.
The Ghibli also will become the first-ever Maserati model offered with a diesel option, in this case a 3.0-liter V-6 TDI. It is uncertain whether that high-performance oil-burner will eventually make it to the States but considering the growing interest in luxury diesels among American motorists that just might happen.
The Ghibli is part of a strategy aimed at repositioning Maserati and broadening its appeal. Clearly, the explosive growth of four-door sports sedans, such as the Porsche Panamera, Mercedes-Benz CLS and BMW 6-Series Gran Coupe, have had a strong influence on Maserati planning.
But the maker also recognized that the old Quattroporte was too much of a “tweener” model that was neither small enough to compete in this segment, nor big enough to truly appeal to those wanting a functional and roomy four-seater.
The Ghibli name, incidentally, should ring bells for long-time Maserati fans. The badge was originally used on both a two-door coupe and a spider between 1967 and 1973.
We got a look at the larger, redesigned Maserati Quattroporte some months ago.
Together with the maker’s more traditional coupes and specialty vehicles, Maserati is betting Ghibli can help boost its global sales to a more profitable 50,000 annually.
“We want to have real volume as a company,” explained Harald Wester, Maserati’s Chief Executive Officer during an interview at the Detroit Auto Show following the 2014 Quattroporte’s launch.