Maserati is taking its baby steps into electrification. For the first time in the Italian automaker's storied history, they're putting a hybrid system in one of their cars. They have added a gas-electric powertrain to the Ghibli and, with that, becomes Maserati's first foray into electrically-assisted engines.
But why was the Ghibli chosen to serve as Maserati's first hybrid? With over 100,000 units sold, the executive sedan is one of the marque's best-selling products. The company believes integrating a hybrid powertrain will further expand its appeal. So what powers the Ghibli Hybrid?
There's no high-revving V6 under the hood. Instead, the Ghibli Hybrid uses a four-cylinder, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. It is then paired to a 48-volt alternator along with an electric supercharger. Maserati classifies the car as a mild hybrid meaning the car cannot run on pure electric mode. Still, the automaker claims that the sport sedan can strike a balance between performance and economy.
They're aiming for 12.5 kilometers per liter at the most in mixed driving conditions, which is a high target for a performance car. Maserati also wants the Ghibli Hybrid to be that efficient while delivering 330 PS and 450 Nm of torque to the rear wheels. According to factory estimates, the Ghibli Hybrid can do 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds while its top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h. As for its transmission, it shifts with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission.
As for the Ghibli Hybrid's design, it looks much like the standard variants. The differences are subtle, and one will need a closer look to differentiate the Hybrid from other models. What Maserati did was add blue trim pieces around the fender vents and it further sets itself apart from other Ghibli variants with blue brake calipers. But the most telling bit of the Ghibli Hybrid is its C-pillar badge. The Maserati trident has a blue lightning bolt that strikes through the bottom.
Maserati also gave the 2021 Ghibli Hybrid a new grille with more prominent slats. At the rear, the tail light clusters have been redesigned to resemble the 'Boomerang' lights of the 3200 GT. Inside, the infotainment system has been overhauled and its screen now measures 10.1 inches. The same blue highlights outside can also be found in the cabin.
With the introduction of the Ghibli Hybrid, it effectively serves as the replacement for the diesel models offered in the past. This model won't be the last electrified car from the brand either, as the automaker is preparing a pair of all-electric grand tourers, the next-generation GranTurismo and GranCabriolet. These two luxury electric vehicles are slated to debut in 2021.