Hot News: 2014/2015 Maserati Ghibli

What It Is: The new entry-level sedan for iconic Italian sports-car maker Maserati. This four-door is far from being compact, but it will be noticeably smaller than both the current and next-generation Quattroportes. The use of the Ghibli nameplate is more than a bit curious, as it was first used on a two-seater supercar in the late 1960s and early ’70s, and then on an aggressive and powerful two-door derivative of the Biturbo in the ’90s. Now it will migrate to a four-door sedan with considerable Chrysler roots—although not so strong as to evoke memories of the TC.

Why It Matters: The Maserati brand has eternally struggled, but it’s regained its pride and found some success under the recent stewardship of its former competitor, Ferrari. The Ghibli—more compact and much more affordable than the Quattroporte—could considerably broaden the brand's appeal. Maserati wants to get on the shopping lists of many more people, and the Ghibli will make the brand far more accessible than it is today.

Platform: While it's not confirmed, we hear that the Ghibli's architecture will draw heavily from the Chrysler platform that underpins the 300 and Dodge’s Charger. That architecture’s roots can be traced back to the Mercedes-Benz W210 E-class. The rear-wheel-drive platform has proven it can handle power, as it has underpinned several SRT and AMG derivatives.

Powertrains: The entry-level engine will be a turbocharged V-6 that makes around 390 hp, likely with a conventional port fuel-injection system. This V-6 will be little more than a variation of Chrysler's ubiquitous Pentastar mill, and this high-performance version will—in various forms—be available in future Maserati, Alfa Romeo, and Chrysler Group models. The uplevel engine, according to our sources, will be a Ferrari-derived, turbocharged and direct-injected V-8 with a likely displacement of 3.8 liters making roughly 490 hp—which sounds an awful lot like the Ferrari-sourced turbo V-8 we hear will power the next Quattroporte. And since there's so much component-sharing here, we'll mark down the Ghibli as another vehicle to use ZF's capable eight-speed torque-converter automatic.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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