Electrification is a big part in Maserati’s future and we’re finally seeing the result of the company’s roadmap. This is the new Ghibli Hybrid, the first hybrid vehicle in Maserati’s history, which was originally supposed to make its debut at this year’s Beijing Motor Show, but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Visually, the car doesn’t look significantly different from a non-hybrid Ghibli, with the main identifiers being blue accents scattered around the exterior, including on the side air ducts, brake calipers as well as the trident logo on the C-pillars.
Elsewhere, the vertical bars on the front grille have been redesigned to represent a tuning fork, a musical device that Maserati says “emits a sound of extreme purity, and which also evokes the Trident symbol itself.” The rear also gets a new lighting signature for the taillights, with a boomerang-like profile inspired by the 3200 GT and the Alfieri concept car.
Like the exterior, the cabin of the Ghibli Hybrid remains instantly familiar, with blue stitching on the seats being one revision to identify the Earth-friendly powertrain under the bonnet. Other changes include a new Android-based infotainment system that is linked to a larger 10.1-inch touchscreen display, along with a digital instrument panel and the Maserati Connect programme.
On the mention of the powertrain, the Ghibli Hybrid sports a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that works with a 48-volt alternator and an additional “eBooster” electric supercharger. The eBooster unit draws power from a battery mounted in the rear of the car and helps to fill in the torque gaps before the turbo spools up, or recover energy during braking and deceleration.
The end result is 330 PS (325 hp) and 450 Nm of torque, which makes it the least powerful offering in the line-up, as the Ghibli GranLusso packs a 3.0 litre twin-turbo petrol V6 with 350 PS (345 hp) and 500 Nm. However, efficiency is the key word here, and Maserati says its new model has a WLTP-rated fuel consumption of as low as 8.5 l/100 km (11.8 km/l), while CO2 emissions of 192 g/km. Along with a ZF eight-speed automatic and limited-slip differential to drive the rear wheels, you’ll still be able to get from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 255 km/h, which isn’t shabby either.
The company says this configuration, with the battery and electrified components, is still 80 kg lighter when compared to a Ghibli with a 3.0 litre turbodiesel V6 engine. Meanwhile, specially designed resonators and an optimised exhaust system ensures that “occupants will still revel in the unmistakable sound that characterises all Maserati models.”
Some of the visual changes should make their way to the rest of the Ghibli range later on as part of a facelift for the model, although the company didn’t reveal when this will happen. The Ghibli Hybrid is just one of several electrified models planned, with 2021 being the year we see its first all-electric cars in the form of the new GranTurismo and GranCabrio.