|This Italian stallion is a sporty executive sedan that appeals to the heart, head and soul.
When you think about Italy, it’s likely you envision fantastic food, stunning scenery and marvellous motors … and you’d be right in doing so.
The Italians have an effortless yet refined sense of style that is perhaps exemplified best by their sports cars. When you combine that style with sophistication and performance you not only have a recipe for success, you have the pillars of Maserati.
I’ve been lucky enough to drive several of the iconic marque’s models, but that privilege put me in a precarious situation when I learned I’d be taking the 2015 Ghibli for a spin. Make no bones about it, this is a phenomenal car but, once you’ve driven the Maserati GranTurismo, the bar is set pretty high.
The GranTurismo is not only a sportier-looking model, it also boasts a 4.2-litre V8 engine which develops more than 400 ponies. On paper, when you compare that with the Ghibli’s 3-litre Twin Turbo V6 (with 330bhp), it’s easy to cast aspersions.
However, I was wrong … I admit it, you hear me, I was wrong! Comparing the two models is like comparing siblings; each has their own strengths and weaknesses but the DNA is intrinsically the same.
The Ghibli not only looks incredibly sharp, it handles beautifully and has more than enough horsepower to satiate most drivers. And, as an added bonus, there is an S version that knocks the horsepower up to 410 and races to 100kmph in 5.0 seconds.
This model also shares parts of its core architecture; namely its chassis, suspension, V6 engine and ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, with the flagship limousine Quattroporte.
The outline of the body reflects a coupé-like philosophy for the four-door sedan, while there are noticeable feline hints around the Ghibli’s grille and headlights. The pronounced grille draws a line back to the iconic A6 GCS of the 1950s.
Inside is a sight to behold. The cockpit-inspired cabin boasts the highest level of refinement and sophistication. Key elements such as the 8.4-inch Maserati Touch Control and the Poltrona Frau leather finish underline the cabin’s sporting character. Optional features include the 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system, WLAN based Wi-Fi and a wide range of customisation options that cater for the most demanding individuals.
The drive is everything you’d expect from a car of this calibre; tap the push button ignition and the quintessential roar of the engine lets you know this model means business. There is also a sport mode, which holds the revs higher for longer and sharpens the throttle to produce an even beastlier sound.
Off the mark, it makes the dash from 0-100kmph in a respectable 5.6 seconds and leaves a trail of jealous motorists in its wake. And, trust me, there were plenty of jealous looks in my direction while I was cruising in this mean machine.
In my humble opinion, the Ghibli is the perfect model for anyone looking to buy their first Maserati. Not only is it a brilliant way to get to know the brand before you dive into the deep end, it is an introduction to a world of performance you never knew existed.
Call 17 750-750.