The Maserati Ghibli Generations
Since it first appeared in 1966, the Ghibli has been a prime example of Maserati's excellence. There have been several generations of the Ghibli nameplate through the years.
The Maserati Ghibli (1967 - 1974)
The Maserati Ghibli initially appeared at the Turin Motor Show in 1966. Designed by Italian auto designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, the car was tremendously praised. The car shared the same tubular frame as the Quattroporte sedan, and at the time of its showing, Maserati was unsure whether it could be a viable candidate to wear the trident emblem. But with direct competition with the Lamborghini Miura and the reveal of Ferrari’s 365 GTB at the Geneva Motor Show, Maserati green-lighted the car for production.
The first Ghibli was powered by a 4.7L V8 engine, producing 306 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. The engine was a detuned racing engine with dry sump lubrication mated to a five-speed manual transmission (an automatic was also available). The Gran Tourer had a top speed of 155 mph and could fly down the track in a 6.8 second 0 - 60 mph time. With a low coefficient of drag (0.35) and a low ground clearance of less than 5 inches, the car sliced through the air, giving the Lambos and Ferarris a real run for their money.
The Ghibli was more expensive than its competition, but only because it had an ultra-refined interior using only the most premium materials. Maserati felt that its owners didn’t just want a fast car. They wanted a luxurious production model that could also go fast.
The original Ghibli was produced from 1967 - 1974. A couple of variants were produced in the first few years of production. A two-seat Spyder was introduced to the public in 1969. The Ghilbi SS variant was released in 1970, with a new 4.9L V8 engine producing 330 hp and 355 lb-ft of torque. The car had similar times, running 7.4 seconds 0 - 60 mph. 1,170 Ghilbi coupes and 125 Spyders (including 45 Spyder SS models) were produced during the eight years.
The Maserati Ghibli (1992 - 1998)
Maserati revived the Ghibli name in 1992 for a two-door coupe powered by twin-turbo engines. There were two turbocharged engine variants: a 2.0L V6 engine was designed for the domestic (Italian) market and coupled with a six-speed manual transmission. A 2.8L V6 that is built for export to international markets. The export version had a five-speed manual transmission until 1995, when Maserati dropped the five-speed and began using the six-speed it had installed on domestic models. (An automatic was an available option).
The second generation Ghibli engines were an all-aluminum alloy, DOHC 90-degree V6s that were precisely fashioned. But as great as the new powerplants were, the coupe exuded the ultimate luxury with refined leather interiors. Once again, the attention to detail demonstrated Maserati’s commitment to excellence.
During its production cycle, a couple of different variants were produced. The Ghibli Kit Sportivo has wider tires, ungraded springs, and suspension systems. The Ghibli Cup variant had a 2.0L V6 engine and could reach speeds of 168 mph, making it the most potent 2.0L production car.
In 1996, Maserati released the Ghibli GT. While the engines didn’t change, the car featured new seven-spoke 17-inch rims and several transmission and suspension upgrades.
The Maserati Ghibli (2013 - 2017)
After a fifteen-year absence, Maserati revived the Ghibli line to attach to a sport sedan, a smaller version of the Quattroporte model. Designed as a four-door sedan, the new Ghibli offered a host of three engine choices: two gas-powered 3.0L V6 and a 3.0d turbo-diesel offering. The gas-powered engines were turbocharged, produced 330 - 410 hp, and were coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission, standard equipment. An optional all-wheel drive was only available on left-hand drive export models.
The car’s look was far from the Gran Tourer designed in the sixties. This four-door sports sedan had an aggressive front fascia, boomerang-styled headlights, and a sporty look reflecting its Quattroporte big brother.
Maserati produced a quality interior, with a new infotainment system in the center stack, advanced safety systems, and premium stitching throughout the upholstery. In addition, the company gave the Ghibli a sport-tuned suspension component to aid in cornering and handling.
Maserati updated the Ghibli in 2017 with a refreshed look, attempting to capitalize on the growing luxury sport sedan market. The company expanded the trim levels to include Luxury and Sport. An undated infotainment system and interior upgrades were also a part of the refresh. Maserati farmed out the engines to Ferrari, while the diesel engine was outsourced by Fiat.
The Latest Maserati (2020 - Present)
Once again, Maserati undertook a significant upgrade even as the world was reeling from a worldwide pandemic. For 2023, the company offers a new 3.8L V8 engine, producing 580 hp as its most powerful engine ever. The V8 version has a top speed of 204 mph and 0 - 60 mph in 4.0 seconds.
In addition, a 3.0L V6 and V6 hybrid variant are options. The V6 produces 442 hp with a top speed of 178 mph (4.9 seconds in 0 - 60). The Hybrid engine makes 345 hp and has a maximum speed of 166 mph, with a 5.5 second time 0 - 60.
Inside the cabin, the instrument panel was upgraded to feature a new color display, and the infotainment screen size and user interface were improved.
The interior features exquisite stitching and ultra-fine materials embossed with the Maserati trident. The Intelligent Assistant and Connect App can connect to all personal devices and is compatible with Google Assistant, Alexa, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay to the owners' exact specifications. Wireless charging and WiFi are standard features.
The Ghibli is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art driver’s assistance features, including Active Driver Assist, which provides the highest level of autonomous driving features currently allowed.