Ghibli Hybrid is instantly recognisable with a differently styled front bumper, blue accents and brake calipers. Picture: SUPPLIED
Ghibli Hybrid is instantly recognisable with a differently styled front bumper, blue accents and brake calipers. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Maserati Ghibli — the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 competitor from the Italian stable — has gone mildly electric.

The Ghibli tag is iconic and Maserati’s most exploratory nameplate. During the 1960s the name belonged to a V8 grand tourer, and then in 1992 it was a sports coupe. In the new millennium Ghibli became a luxury sedan, and was the company’s first diesel car in Maserati’s 105-year history.

Now the Ghibli is again breaking boundaries with the launch of the first-ever hybrid vehicle from the trident brand.

The powertrain pairs a turbocharger, a supercharger and 48V alternator to a four-cylinder 2.0l internal combustion engine. There’s a battery too, mounted at the rear of the car where the kinetic energy the car accumulates whether in motion or recovered through regenerative braking is stored.

Early indicators say the Ghibli Hybrid will sip 9.6l/100 urban kilometres and just 8.5l/100km during highway driving.

The performance potential from the total system output of 246kW and 450Nm is claimed as 5.7 seconds from 0-100km/h and a top speed of 255km/h.

Despite being equipped with a four-cylinder motor, Maserati promises glorious noises coming out of the quartet of pipes. Picture: SUPPLIED
Despite being equipped with a four-cylinder motor, Maserati promises glorious noises coming out of the quartet of pipes. Picture: SUPPLIED

Maserati says the Ghibli Hybrid weighs about 80kg less than the diesel variant and it promises customers the car will retain the unmistakable musicality of the engine and exhaust it’s known for, by means of specially designed resonators inside the car.

Exterior differentiators from its conventional petrol and diesel cousins are a newly designed front grille and completely restyled rear light clusters, their profile inspired by the 3200 GT of 1998.

Blue accents on the signature trio of side air ducts, brake calipers and on the trident badges on its rear pillar and the same colour, which Maserati has chosen to signify its electrified models, also appears inside the car as embroidery on the seats.

Inside, the Ghibli Hybrid gets a new instrument panel with different graphics, a new Maserati Intelligent Assistant, Android Auto, and a fully customisable interface, all controlled through an HD screen that’s increased in size from 21.3cm to 25.6cm.

In a busy period for Maserati, the new Ghibli Hybrid will be followed by the new and all-electric GranTurismo and GranCabrio models scheduled for 2021, as well as the MC20 mid-engine twin-turbo 3.0l V6 sports car the company has been drip-feeding us over the past year.

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