Driven: Maserati Ghibli | The Italian way of doing a four-door

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Maserati is the epitome of understated distinctiveness; it is the perfect blend of luxury, performance, craftsmanship and style. We can’t help get over my deep-seated love for Italian cars, whose design emphasizes passion and perfection. You’ll never find an ugly looking Italian car. Maseratis have always been showstoppers right from the Bi-Turbo to the Quattroporte to the Menacing Gran Tourismo. The Ghibli too retains the same oomph factor and oozes a sex appeal like no other.

The Ghibli is a shrunken Quattroporte, but still a big car, ready to challenge top versions of mainstream, E-segment sedans from Germany, like the BMW 5 series, the Mercedes E Class, Audi A6 and their coupe‘ alternatives like the Audi A7, BMW 6 Series and Mercedes CLS. The Ghibli also challenges full size, premium sedans built by Lexus, and Jaguar.

The Ghibli looks sportier even at a standstill. The four door body is impressively sculpted. It is low, like a coupe, features an imposing  front-end grill and has sinuous lines over the wheel arches and a massive rear end.

On the inside it is pretty much like a luxe fest, you are cocooned in fine Poltrona Frau leather behind an ergonomic steering wheel sporting a big trident and some buttons for audio and trip computer control. The instrument panel is sporty, the same as in the Quattroporte, with a small, central screen where you can see all information, from average consumption to various drive modes and other details. The leather dashboard is driver oriented with a 7” touch screen in the centre plus the iconic Maserati analog clock on top. Quality and selection of materials is superb in every aspect. The fit and finish is top notch and it exudes a sense of luxury you cannot fault. Rear legroom is smaller than in the German competition but who cares? The Ghibli is a Maserati and a Maserati is a driver’s car!

We can say that the Ghibli is a Maserati like no other; it is a completely different breed next to its competitors. A touch of Italian class and racing spirit among premium, mainstream sedans!

Cars these days are all made by robots, there’s no sense of personalization; in the olden days you could buy a car and drive it, enjoy it for a few decades, cars that you would look at parked in your garage for 20 years and would still remain as dear to you as your child.

Behind the wheel, the Ghibli’s 275hp 3.0 turbo V6 doesn’t cease to impress, although acceleration isn’t as brisk as in its rivals. You do eventually ride the wave of torque with the rear squirming all over the place like a pretty belly dancer losing control, but that’s only once you’re foot is deep down in the footwell.  A dab on the Sports button will open up the flaps in the exhausts, putting all your qualms to rest about oil-burners. Mated to the motor is an 8-speed ZF auto transmission.

For me a Maserati is a cut above the rest, never mind the pricing, but as a package on the whole and as an object to make you feel special and stand out from the crowd, the Maserati sure does a splendid job. Come to think of it as a car for your personal collection. Imagine yourself drawing all the accolades say around 20-30 years later when you are participating in a car meet.

Paying Rs 1.1 crore for what seems like a bit too much that isn’t exactly at par with rivaling cars, may seem like a stretch, but I’ve always believed that if you have the money, you can buy the most expensive car, the most powerful car and what not, with the German car brands alongside to choose from, and the British. But one only buys a Maserati if one has a taste of the finer things in life. Even if you look at the Maserati Merchandise which is in partnership with Ermenegildo  Zegna, you’d realize that it prides itself in being good at their fine art of craftsmanship, unlike other manufacturers where it is always about numbers. Of course the cars do pack a punch and do set the sales registers ringing.

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