There is certainly plenty of power on tap...
A Maserati comes with instant expectation. Even the name of this Italian brand has a sexy and exotic ring to it. The look of the car, with its voluptuous Latin styling and assertive trident badge, has a head-swivelling effect on bystanders. People seem drawn to it like moths to a light.
This particular Maserati is something new, the first car with a diesel engine in the company’s 98 year history. For some, the very idea of a Maserati that drinks from the black pump is anathema, but it is also evidence of just how far diesels have come in recent times. When even a luscious-looking Maserati can have a diesel motor lurking under the bonnet, it speaks volumes for how times have changed.
So here we have a three-litre, 24-valve turbodiesel engine nestling inside the Ghibli’s sleek curves, together with stop-start fuel-saving technology and an eight-speed automatic transmission. This is a powerful car with sumptuous performance to match its exotic looks.
The Ghibli is Italian to its core, built in a factory at Grugliasco, on the outskirts of Turin. Maserati has a trident as its emblem, which features on the badges. The company is owned by Fiat, with Alfa Romeo and Ferrari amongst its sister brands.
There are three models in the Ghibli range, the diesel and two petrol versions. The diesel is the least expensive of the three at £48,830. The petrol cars start with the 3.0 litre V6 at £52,275, and then there is the 177 mph 3.0 V6 S at £63,415. All three Ghibli models have automatic transmission.
This is lavish. The top speed of the Ghibli Diesel is 155 mph, and its 0-62 mph acceleration time is 6.3 seconds. There is certainly plenty of power on tap. The maximum power output is 271 bhp at 4,000 rpm, and the peak torque is 420 lb ft at 2,000 to 2,600 rpm.
It certainly feels a very sprightly car, with a strong surge of acceleration in response to even a light squeeze of the right foot. Mostly the power goes down quite cleanly, but a jab on the accelerator can produce a sudden spurt of performance that makes the car feel just a touch skittish. It is characteristic of rear-wheel-drive cars and something to be wary of if you are heading somewhere in a bit of a hurry.
Considering how much performance is on tap, the fuel economy is not at all unreasonable, with a combined fuel figure of 47.9 mpg. The CO2 output for this version of the Ghibli is 158 g/km, so it is in band G for road tax, with a tax disc costing £180 a year.