Maserati Ghibli Hybrid: keeping up with the Joneses
Everyone’s going green, but can Maserati really manage it with the Ghibli Hybrid? Chris Carter reports
The Ghibli Hybrid 2021 is Maserati’s first-ever electrified vehicle and “I’m sitting here like a Spurs fan after a dreadful first half, hoping against expectation for a change in fortune”, says Andrew English in The Daily Telegraph. “Somehow you want this car, named after the dusty Libyan wind which blows down from the highlands to the Mediterranean, to actually live up to the promise of the marque. Yet few modern Maseratis have managed this. Is this Ghibli saloon the one to break a series of ducks?”.
Well, it’s certainly fast enough. The electric motor only really “adds a shoulder to the wheel” to the two-litre, turbo-charged petrol engine, meaning the Ghibli’s sonorous V6 has given way to a horrible-sounding if clever and “surprisingly adept” engine that should keep the EU’s emissions bureaucrats happy, if not fans of Maserati’s racing heritage and “ultra-cool” name. But the performance is respectable – the near two-tonne saloon can go from rest to 62mph in just 5.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 158mph. And the car looks as great as ever, with “sleek and flowing lines” outside and an interior that showcases “the artisan craft of leather trim”. Still, it’s doubtful this will be enough to please buyers shelling out £63,700 and seeking the genuine Maserati experience.
You can’t blame Maserati for wanting to “keep up with the Joneses” in the industry’s “frantic rush towards a greener future”, says Steve Sutcliffe in Auto Express. Italy’s answer to Tesla this is not, but there has at least been an attempt to hold on to Maserati’s “core values”, with “strong styling, an elegantly classy interior and keen if not quite ground-breaking performance”. This is a “good-looking mild-hybrid saloon with a large hit of brand desirability whose owner will definitely want to drive rather than be driven in”.
On the whole, it is a “splendid electrified executive ride to spend time with”, says Tim Barnes-Clay on Drive.co.uk, with “fulfilling, hard-hitting performance” and decent fuel consumption, considering its size. But the main draw is that Maserati remains a low-volume producer. “If you drive a conventional vehicle, you’ll park up, and nobody will give you a lingering look. If you drive an electrified Ghibli, many people will do a double-take. What value you put on that reaction is entirely down to you.”