2014 Maserati Ghibli front 3/4 view

2014 Maserati Ghibli is a Mid-Size Stunner

2014 Maserati Ghibli front 3/4 view

The previous generation Maserati Quattroporte was the child of compromise. The early ones were stuck with a herky-jerky single-clutch paddle shift transaxle shared with Maserati’s two-door models, but even after a mid-cycle refresh that replaced that rear-mounted gearbox with a conventional torque converter automatic bolted directly to the engine, the Quattroporte still had another, arguably more damning mark against it: Its size. Specifically, its proportions were about halfway between those of the competition’s mid-size and full-size sedans. This odd size probably wasn’t the only thing holding sales back, but we’d be surprised if it wasn’t a factor.

Maserati has remedied this with the new sixth generation Quattroporte, which is now a proper S-Class/7 Series/A8/XJ fighter in terms of dimensions. Naturally, this now leaves room for a genuine mid-size sedan to do battle with the likes of the E-Class, 5 Series, A6, XF and the upcoming third-gen CTS. And the car the boffins in Modena have created to carry out that mission wears a hallowed name from the trident brand’s past: Ghibli.

2014 Maserati Ghibli rear 3/4 view

Although it borrows some stylistic elements from its big brother, the third generation Ghibli has detailing all its own, with narrower, more sinister headlights, a lack of rear quarter windows behind the back doors, and more complex sculpting on the doors and quarter panels. Inside, the materials are just as ritzy as they are on the Quattroporte; the difference is, there are fewer of them. The only official photo of the interior that has been released so far shows a sportier, more aggressive center stack design and carbon fiber trim rather than wood.

2014 Maserati Ghibli interior view

Unsurprisingly, the Ghibli promises performances to back up its handsome looks. The standard powerplant will be the Quattroporte’s standard powerplant, a 3.0L twin-turbo V6. The optional engine will be a first for Maserati: A 3.0L turbodiesel V6, presumably the same one that will be offered in two of the Ghibli’s corporate cousins – the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 – later this year (No word if it will be available to U.S. Ghibli buyers, but our fingers and toes are crossed.). Both engines will be married to an 8-speed automatic transmission, and a choice of rear- or all-wheel-drive (the latter dubbed “Q4”).

Pricing and performance figures haven’t been released yet, but might be during the Shanghai Motor Show in a few weeks’ time. We have every expectation that most or all the stats will be comparable to those of the German stalwarts. After all, a pretty face and snappy engines won’t be enough to move the number of Ghiblis needed to reach the brand’s goal of reaching 50,000 global sales per year by 2015.

Source: Maserati