When it comes to fabled, long-lived, legendary names, few can compete with Maserati. Its 8CTF (for 8 cylinders “Testa Fissa” — fixed head) won the Indianapolis 500 in 1939 and 1940 with Wilbur Shaw behind the wheel.
Similarly, in 1954 and 1957, Juan Manuel Fangio drove Maseratis to Formula One championships. Yet for all the acclaim the brand has garnered, it’s also suffered through bad product decisions, such as the 1981 Maserati Biturbo, a car that saw Maserati’s reputation go up in flames — literally.
However, the brand appears to be on an upswing, with a line of vehicles that tap the finest part of its heritage as its developed into a credible competitor from its earliest iteration as a model cobbled together with help from FCA’s parts bin.
It may not seem like there’s a whole lot that’s new at Maserati, but maybe you haven’t been paying attention. During the 2021 model year, the Ghibli, along with the Quattroporte, were given top-of-the-line Trofeo trim, which until recently was only available on the Levante SUV. In the case of the Ghibli, it makes the biggest difference.
The Trofeo trim includes a Ferrari-derived V-8, and it’s the first time the Ghibli sedan has been fitted with 8 cylinders. The new Trofeo trim level is meant to compete against such performance competitors as BMW’s M models, Mercedes-Benz’s AMG line and Cadillac’s Blackwing models.
The Ghibli’s appearance hasn’t changed significantly since it first appeared in 2013. Yet it manages to remain a fresh, vibrant styling statement thanks to its strong yet supple shape.
Lacking stylistic gimmicks, it received recent updates, including a revised grille and “boomerang” taillights. Designers have also added dual heat extractor vents into the hood and carbon fiber trim, adding a sporting touch to this already muscular-looking sedan.
Open the driver’s door and you’ll find a cabin awash in leather and trimmed in carbon fiber. An elegant analog clock is perched at the top center of the instrument panel, a welcome old-school touch. Below it, however, is a new infotainment system that’s anything but old school.
Other Chrysler pieces, such as the window switches, feel a bit low grade for their mission. Front seat space is generous, although rear seat legroom is somewhat dearer than you’ll find in some of its German competitors. But the seats prove soft yet supportive, a unique combination that many automakers fail to accomplish. Bravo.
Lift the hood and you’ll find a Ferrari-derive 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that routes 580 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. A new Corsa driving mode provides quicker shifts, restrains the programming of the traction control and electronic stability control, and allows for use of Launch Control.
Most Ghibli models are powered by a Ferrari-assembled 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 good for 345 hp in GT trim or 424 hp in Modena trim. All-wheel drive is available with the V-6, but not the V-8.
Safety and Technology
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has not crash-tested a Maserati Ghibli. Ever. However, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has, rating its crashworthiness as Good. It hasn’t tested its crash-avoidance systems.
The Ghibli’s driver assistance systems include Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Keeping Assist, Surround View Camera, Blind Spot Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Traffic Sign Recognition, Hill Descent Control and the Highway Assist System, a Level 2 autonomous driving system.
The Ghibli’s new 10.1-inch touchscreen is sourced straight from the Chrysler parts bin — thank goodness. It’s one of the best in the business, and its user interface is sufficiently upscale for its role here, and includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
The Ghibli Trofeo has the requisite punch you’d expect of a high-end GT, even if it’s not as quick as some competitors, with a 0-60 mph time of 4 seconds. But the quality of the performance is different from its competition, and more like that of an old Jaguar XJ.
It doesn’t have the extreme punch in your face responsiveness of its German and American competition, but speed still builds quickly. But there’s a polish and refinement here that erases the harshness that accompanies many uber-quick sports sedans. The ride is firm, but not track-oriented firm. Its manners are more suited to everyday driving and the stoplight grand prix.
There’s a comfort to its manners, a grand touring demeanor that suits its overall personality. The tail can get twitchy, but it’s eminently controllable. Punching the Corsa drive mode adds an extra shot of espresso to the proceedings, making a truly fun-to-drive sedan even more so. And the glorious noise that emanates from its V-8 renders the audio system pointless.
2022 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo specifications:
|L: 195.7 inches/W: 76.6 inches/H: 57.5 inches/Wheelbase: 118 inches
|3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive
|13 mpg city/18 mpg highway/16 mpg combined
|580 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $115,795 As tested: $126,640 including $1,495 destination charge.
The 2022 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo is very much the gentleman’s GT. It’s not the quickest, but it may be the most comfortable. Its sporting manners keep it in the hunt, while its overall character makes it an easy car to live with and enjoy on a daily basis. And given the model’s meager sales, it’s the perfect choice for those who appreciate what it delivers, as well as those who appreciate its exclusivity.
2022 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo — Frequently Asked Questions
Does the Maserati Ghibli have a Ferrari engine?
Both the Ghibli’s twin-turbocharged V-6 and the Ghibli Trofeo’s twin-turbocharged V-8 are assembled by Ferrari.
Is the Maserati Ghibli fast?
The Ghibli Trofeo will run 0-60 mph in 4 seconds, according to Maserati. Top speed is 203 mph.
Is Maserati a Chrysler?
Maserati was owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles until the company merged with French automaker PSA Group to become Stellanstis.