Until Ferrari starts building its own luxury sport sedans, corporate cousin Maserati’s Ferrari-powered Ghibli – a name pronounced “gibb-lee” and last found on a model produced between 1967 and 1972 – is there to fill the void. It may not wear a prancing horse badge, but its start-up bark, engine wail, sharp handling, and aggressive styling make it clear the 2018 Maserati Ghibli belongs on the most Ferrari-adjacent branch of the automaker's modern family tree.
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2018 Maserati Ghibli Overview
What's New for 2018
While many thought there was nothing else the Ghibli could possibly “steal” from the flagship Quattroporte upon which it's based – it already apes its styling (just in 7/8ths size), uses its 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine, and shares its basic equipment – Maserati’s decision makers weren't among them. Both now also share chrome grille “ribs,” more horsepower and torque for last year’s 404-hp V6, and GranLusso and GranSport sub-trims.
Other changes include new bumpers, including ones specific for each “Gran,” electric power steering, and the once optional Premium Package's contents (blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and remote start) are now standard. Some new options have also come on the scene while the contents of existing packages have been revised. All of that comes at a cost, of course, and in the case of any Ghibli’s MSRP, it’s around $2,000 more than 2017’s prices.
Choosing Your Maserati Ghibli
While Maserati has done a great deal to differentiate between trim elements and options in its recently trebled list of available models, at the literal heart of every Ghibli is a Ferrari-sourced 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 hooked to an eight-speed automatic transmission with a manual mode and available column-mounted shift paddles.
That engine is available in regular and extra-strength forms. While any base Ghibli – a stretch of the term if ever there was one – gets 345 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque, both S trims benefit from a boost to 424 hp and 428 lb-ft. Making the jump to an Ghibli S is a stout $5,760, and those who prefer all-wheel drive must upgrade to the Ghibli S Q4, which is an $8,280 premium over the base.
As for the GranLusso and GranSport sub-trims, they're essentially just a renaming of standard Ghibli models that include variations on either the formerly-optional Luxury (Lusso) and Sport (self-explanatory) packages. Either sub-trim is equally-priced within each trim level, though that price differs trim-to-trim. Base Ghibli buyers, for instance, can have either Gran sub-trim for an extra $6,060, while the upcharges for S and S Q4 buyers are $5,550 and $5,560, respectively.
Base GranLussos get full Ermenegildo Zegna silk or premium natural leather interiors with “drilled-leather” upholstery, 12-way comfort seats with heating and ventilation, “Radica Wood Mirror Trim,” a heated wooden steering wheel, black brake calipers, a Harmon Kardon premium audio system, a power trunk with “kick sensor,” adaptive full-LED headlights, and GranLusso-specific bodywork, 19-inch wheels, and badging, while both S models also come with soft-close doors.
All GranSports get premium leather everything, the premium audio system, and adaptive full-LED headlights as well, plus unique 12-way Sport seats with available heating and ventilation, “Black Mirror Trim,” a Sport steering wheel with shifter paddles, red brake calipers, Inox Sport aluminum pedals, Maserati’s Skyhook adaptive suspension system, unique 20-inch wheels, and GranSport-specific badging and bodywork. GranSport buyers can also opt for black grille bars in place of the chrome ones at no extra charge.
Budget-minded Maserati shopping is an oxymoron, even when it comes to the most basic version of its base model, the Ghibli. Thanks to its new pricing structure, not only is it necessary to pay up for an entire sub-trim to get specific items, when you add up the prices of the features that can be had individually, it amounts to more than Maserati asks for their pre-packaged “Grans”. As advancing up the trim ladder brings little change, shopping for a 2018 Maserati Ghibli basically amounts to picking the sub-trim from the tier that suits buyers best.