As much of Italy was gearing up for a virtual fashion week, luxury engineering was preparing for its own great unveiling this past week from Modena. Maserati has always been known for its sophistication and forward thinking design, but now, the trident brand has entered into a brave new world of electric technology. And revealed to the globe via live stream from Italy, Maserati has launched its first ever hybrid car.
Dubbed as the Ghibli Hybrid, the choice to introduce this technology into the iconic sedan was by no coincidence. With over 100,000 units produced since its inception in 2013, the car perfectly embodies the DNA of Maserati and provides just the beginning of what can be expected as a long future in the electric game. But make no mistake, the same rev you’ve come to know and love is still engrained in the car’s engine.
As any Maserati displays, each design is recognisable from the inside, out. But the common denominator of restyling for the forthcoming Ghibli Hybrid is its subtle blue accents, chosen to identify all cars with hybrid technology and the new world they represent. The concept expertly developed by the Centro Stile Maserati.
On the exterior, the blue colour characterises the three iconic side air ducts, the brake calipers and the thunderbolt in the oval that encloses the Trident on the rear pillar. The same blue colour reappears inside the car, best seen on the embroidered seams of the seats. The new Ghibli Hybrid also introduces new stylistic contents, starting from the new front grille, with bars redesigned to represent a tuning fork, a musical device that emits a sound of extreme purity, and which also evokes the Trident symbol itself. There are significant changes at the rear of the car, where the light clusters have been completely restyled, with a boomerang-like profile inspired by the 3200 GT and the Alfieri concept car.
In a bid to improve on performance while reducing fuel consumption and cutting emissions, the hybrid technology exploits kinetic energy the car accumulates when in motion, recovering it and transforming it into electricity during deceleration and braking, and storing it in a battery. The innovative powertrain combines an internal combustion engine (4 cylinders, turbo, displacement of 2.0 l) with a 48 volt alternator and an additional electric supercharger (e-Booster), supported by a battery. Thanks to maximum power output of 330 hp and torque of 450 Nm delivered from just 1,500 rpm, the new Ghibli Hybrid’s performance data are very impressive: top speed of 255 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. Ghibli Hybrid occupants will still revel in the unmistakable sound that characterises all Maserati models, thanks to the optimised exhaust, which includes specially designed resonators.
And for tech heads with an interest in connectivity inside the car, the forthcoming design also boasts the Maserati Intelligent Assistant multimedia system. It is the latest-generation in multimedia, and based on digital inputs from Android Automotive, software delivers an innovative User Experience fully customisable to the driver’s personal preferences. The multimedia system’s HD screen, with new graphics, more user- friendly and without surrounds, is increased in size from 8”4 to 10”1. A new instrument panel with digital devices and new graphics is also introduced.
The Ghibli Hybrid will be available in the European market from September. An Australian date still to be announced.