Maserati Ghibli S Q4
For the past eleven years spent in Kuwait, I had experienced some crazy climate changes and variations in weather: high temperatures and surprisingly low temperatures too; dust storms; sand storms; humidity; blue skies and grey skies; a couple of earth tremors; some occasional lightning and thunder; some light rain showers and even a few hail showers; but the last few weeks have been quite the most extraordinary. The incessant storms, with such strong winds and heavy rain, have been harsh and damaging, and the resultant flooding experienced across the State caused such chaos that it would previously have been difficult to imagine.
Official advice was to avoid using the roads unless absolutely necessary and, although I’m a keen driver who has been accustomed to wintry road conditions, I could think of no good or valid reason to risk taking my car on to the roads in such conditions. I’m sure that by now we’ve all seen countless videos on social media showing how the largest of 4x4s, and even buses and trucks, had been swept along in the currents of raging waters, and I failed to perceive why anyone would be crazy enough to venture on to the puddled roads at such a time.
Of course, as a motoring correspondent, this whole situation was even more of a nightmare – with road-tests an impossibility, my role was suddenly redundant. I started to contemplate whether I should review some Jet Skis, or try to research suppliers of amphibious cars in the Middle East … but then the storms abated; the rain stopped; the sun shone brightly again; the roads dried out; and the editor asked me to review another car! But not JUST another car (and this is why I believe that the Kuwait Storm Clouds definitely had a silver lining as far as I was concerned); not just any car, but a Maserati, no less!
I learned that, for two days, we would have the use of a Maserati Ghibli S Q4. As is customary, I would be able to drive it for assessment on the first day and would then be forced to hand it over to the CP photography team for their photoshoot on the second day. Whilst I think that the car would look great alongside a somewhat portly older gentleman, this opinion is never shared by the editor (and probably not by any readers, either) and so the task fell upon one of our more attractive team members – Reem Ahmed – to escort the Maserati and photographers Bandele Zuberi and Adel (video) on a photo tour which would start at Babel restaurant, and continue at the Dahi Complex before culminating on the rooftop of Al Hamra Mall. In spite of my enforced absence it was a successful shoot, as you can see from the photos.
Having taken delivery of the car on day one, it was immediately obvious that the Maserati Ghibli is a veritable masterpiece of design, with an emphasis on both sophisticated elegance and youthful sportiness. Of course, the importance afforded to the process and precision that goes into every Maserati cannot be overstated. State-of-the-art engineering is apparent throughout the car; from the chassis to the gearbox, through to the suspension and brakes, every component plays its part in delivering the levels of comfort and performance that Maserati owners have learnt to expect and enjoy.
Our test model had a brilliant white exterior that was complemented by a beautifully contrasting interior in maroon leather with exquisite stitching, which together exemplified its pure luxury. The outward appearance is modern and on-trend, beautiful and aerodynamic, but with the traditional features that give each Maserati its distinctive look – the traditional oval shape of the defining Maserati grille which sits between its aggressive headlights is a prime example.
Stepping into the cabin was like entering a whole new world of deliciousness, and I was surrounded by soft leather and could easily find my optimum driving position by use of the fully electronic front seat adjustment system. The cockpit and dashboard are modern in both technology and design but, again, there is evidence of the marque’s traditions in the precision of the Trident logo embossed or stitched on the headrests, and the inclusion of the traditional Maserati clock and aluminium detailing.
The stunning design of the Maserati Ghibli was reportedly made possible thanks to a brand new frame that is constructed from aluminium alloy to achieve strict weight and strength targets. A clever combination of steel and aluminium ensures that its weight distribution is ideally balanced, while special stiffening crossmembers deliver exceptional torsional rigidity. All of this has resulted in a car with a three-meter wheelbase (the longest in its class) that promises to deliver outstanding road holding and handling, whilst providing the driver and passengers with the highest levels of safety.
Having established that the Maserati Ghibli looks as great on the outside as it is awesome on the inside, and now sitting comfortably, it was time to start the engine and take this baby for a spin. Now, this might seem daft, but I absolutely loved the noise it made when the engine started; in the Ghibli S Q4 it’s a 2979cc V6 power unit which will take you to a listed maximum speed of 284kph, and accelerates from 0 to 100kph in just 4.8 seconds. (At this point, however, I should stress that I behaved myself and acted with uncommon restraint, choosing not to personally verify any of the stated speed statistics!) The twin turbo system has two intercoolers, with an aluminium alloy crankcase and cylinder heads which keep the weight of the car down and ensure the best possible levels of response and handling. A compact, lightweight exhaust system includes an air valve system which adds extra drama to the Ghibli’s highly distinctive sound. In ICE (Increased Control and Efficiency) and Normal modes the valves remain closed to keep the engine noise discreet and understated. But when I slipped the smooth 8-speed automatic transmission into the Sports mode, which opened up the bypass valves I was again thrilled by the formidable roar that it released.
The model on our road-test was the Ghibli S Q4, which is equipped with an innovative on-demand all-wheel-drive system that is capable of combining the utmost driving pleasure with absolute safety on all road surfaces. In addition, Maserati have made passive safety a top priority when designing the Ghibli. To provide its occupants with the best possible protection in the event of collision, it features the latest generation airbag system (with no less than seven airbags) and a special front-end crumple structure, seatbelt pretensioners and active headrests.
So what else can I say? This car is so comprehensively equipped that it will surely have everything you want or need in a car of this class, and lots more besides. For me, I enjoyed the relatively simple pleasure of its amazing sunroof, and was impressed by a supremely effective climate control system with no less than 13 vents. And the sound system was amazing – Maserati has teamed up with Bowers & Wilkins to provide the ultimate surround sound system which made me feel as though I was in the middle of Carnegie Hall. An amazing total of fifteen top-quality speakers in combination with a 16-channel 1,280-watt amplifier, and powerful advanced sound processing from Harman, ensures that sound quality is beyond excellent and that everyone in the car gets a fair hearing.
The Ghibli has so many more features, including the Maserati Stability Programme (MSP); the Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); Cruise Control; Parking Sensors and Reversing Camera; Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS); Electronic Parking Brake (EPB); Hill Holder; Blind Spot Alert (BSA) and Rear Cross Path (RCP); all these features and more that I really don’t have the space to list and do them justice, so I would urge you to seek them out for yourself……if you have or want to rekindle a passion for cars and a passion for driving, then you will surely appreciate that Maserati has a passion for technology, design, and quality.
Now the weather here in Kuwait has improved, but I can think of nothing more tempting than to take a Maserati Ghibli on a road-trip around its Italian homeland.
PHOTOGRAPHY: BANDELE ZUBERI @bandelezuberi
VIDEOGRAPHY: ADEL @adelji
CREATIVE DIRECTIONS: JAMEEL ARIF @jameelarif
STYLING ASSISTANT: TELLO @tello_shehab
TEXT: PAUL TUNBRIDGE @paulfromgb
MODEL/CP TEAM: REEM AHMED @reemaashehab
OUTFITS: THOUQI @thouqi
MAKEUP: THE MAEKUP STUDIO @the.makeup.studio , @shefa_artist
HAIR: HAIR MAJESTY @hairmajesty_kw
MASERATI GHIBLI S Q4 by: @maseratikuwait