The absolute opposite of ordinary
Since its late 1966 debut, Maserati Ghibli has consistently pushed against the boundaries of the sports-car universe. This quintessential Italian sports tourer legend has just been treated to an extensive round of revisions to mark its mid-life facelift. Most noticeable changes are to the exterior styling. They’re subtle, yet effective. It’s been given a new bumper, some neat LED headlights and a little more horsepower, among other things. More work has been done under the skin, though. There’s a new stability control system dubbed Integrated Vehicle Control (IVC), to prevent instability before it happens, an electric power steering system (for the first time) and a host of new driver assistance and safety kit as standard.
Go the extra mile – whatever the weather
Maserati’s also offering a couple of fancy new trim packs on top of the base version – comfort-focused GranLusso or racier GranSport. It was GranSport that we chose to drove, the motor totally lived up to its name with sport seats, sport body detailing and Skyhook electronic dampers and an engine with a lovely V6 howl that’s a treat to listen to. Maserati started fitting a GranSport badge to its products more than a decade ago, with an emphasis on the ‘Sport’. The cars included a number of engine, suspension, aerodynamic and interior enhancements aimed at buyers wanting a little more out of their Italian thoroughbred.
Maserati is quite proud of its re-sculpted and completely redesigned headlights, using light emitting diodes, sensors, a camera, and computers, headlight illumination is continually adjusted to ensure that the maximum amount of light is projected on the road without blinding oncoming traffic. In high beam mode, the matrix system selectively blocks illumination to the oncoming traffic – almost magically — to prevent glare. In low beam mode, the lighting system can adapt the width and range of the emitted light to match road conditions and brighten bends as the vehicle turns – a gift to Kuwait’s weather conditions.
As far as interiors are concerned, we were completely bowled over by the massive leap forward in space, comfort and sophistication. In true Maserati grand touring tradition, the cabin is characterised by elegant Italian style, hand-crafted finishes and perfectly organised, generously proportioned design.
The sumptuous leather-finished curves, the clean, technical purity of the dashboard and detailing in metallic-effect dark mirror trim simultaneously relax and heighten the senses. Two side panels converge towards an elegantly simple central structure, which houses the traditional Maserati clock with its blue face and aluminium detailing. Beneath that, there’s the 8.4” touchscreen infotainment system and rotary control, along with a handy phone storage box.
Even with its head-turning coupé-like proportions, the Ghibli offers class-leading front legroom, as well as comfortable head and leg space for rear passengers. All seats are clad in meticulously selected and processed leather. In the finest tradition of Italian craftsmanship, they are also stitched by hand, while the front headrests are embossed with the Trident logo.
Start with the drivability. It handles its weight very well. Suspensions, weight distribution, geometry and chassis are extremely well honed. The car turns in with minimum under steer and the steering is very precise, yet a bit numb. Once the front of the car is in the right direction, the body follows the line very well, and stability is guaranteed. Traction is immense thanks to the all-wheel-drive system, which is standard on this model and transfers electronically up to 50 percent of the power – when necessary – to the front wheels. On a road with medium-to-long radius bends, you can enjoy its balance and composure with a big smile on your face.
Photography & Video: Rashid Al-Nuaimi (@rashidpvg)
Model: Haya (@Kuwaity_haya)
Car: Maserati Ghibli Gran Sport 2018 (@maseratikuwait) from @alzayanikw
Kuwait Automotive & Trading Co.
(Official Maserati Dealer – Kuwait)
Tel. +965 180810