Maserati Ghibli S Q4 2014

It’s a whole new Maserati, with high aspirations of selling 50,000 units a year within the next two years. The champion of its cause is the Maserati Ghibli. It’s the manufacturer’s first foray into the mid-sized sedan market, and more impor­tantly, it moves the brand downmarket and gives the (once) small niche manufac­turer a way to compete directly with the high-volume Germans.

The Ghibli shares a platform and a similar look with the new Quattroporte. Despite the literally visible link, the Ghibli’s wheelbase is almost eight inches shorter than the Quattroporte’s, with an overall length that is 11 1/2 inches shy of its brethren. They share a new Ferrari-derived powertrain, a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that produces a stout 404 horsepower in the Ghibli S. The powerful engine nets all-wheel drive, thus the Q4 designation. The engineers obviously had rear-wheel intentions, keeping 100 percent of the torque at the back in normal driving, but an electronically controlled multi-plate wet clutch in the transfer case can divert up to 50 percent to the front. Thanks to a standard limited-slip differ­ential, an optional adaptive suspension and staggered 18-inch tires, it rarely needs to transfer more than 35 percent. With the rip-roaring engine, all-wheel drive system and ventilated, cross-drilled front rotors, any set of switchback turns will make for some lively fun. Six thousand units is a far cry from 50,000, but the Ghibli puts Maserati on the right path.Maserati Ghibli S Q4 2014 photoMaserati Ghibli S Q4 2014 photo1Maserati Ghibli S Q4 2014 photo2Maserati Ghibli S Q4 2014 photo3Maserati Ghibli S Q4 2014 interior

Price: $70,000 (Estimated)
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6
Horsepower: 404
0-60: 4.8 seconds
Top Speed: 177 mph
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Torque: 406 foot-pounds