If you can’t get to a Maserati, maybe a Maserati will come to you.
Maserati has always been an aspirational brand, sitting perhaps just beneath Ferrari but above BMW in the hierarchy of automotive royalty. To buy a new Maserati currently takes at least a hundred grand, and you’d have only a couple of choices. Buyers can choose the sexy and powerful GranTurismo sports car or the family-friendly supersedan known as the Quattroporte.
Even top-tier automakers, though, struggle to find a niche to generate profit. For many, the answer is dipping down to lower markets in an attempt to lure more buyers. The sales ploy is easy and often very convincing: Own an exotic car for nearly the price of a mass-market premium car.
The Maserati Ghibli may be next to test the theory of automakers going cheaper to make more money.
Let’s assume for a moment that you had $65,000 and were in the market for a midsize luxury sedan. You’re looking at the usual suspects: BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, Lexus GS and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Each is a fine automobile sure to impress friends and neighbors while shuttling you and your crew in comfort and class. But throw an exotic name into the mix, and things suddenly get more interesting. Put any of those nameplates up against Maserati, and there’s no contest. Just think of the cachet in asking your coworkers if they want to take the the boss’s Lexus or your Maserati.
There aren’t a lot of official details about the Ghibli, but some heavily camouflaged spy shots of the new midsize have surfaced and show the greenhouse and headlight shape pretty well. This car could very well put Maserati on the shopping list of many new buyers as the brand becomes more accessible.
Developing a new car, though, doesn’t just happen without cost-saving sacrifices. Maserati is under the stewardship of FIAT, which owns Chrysler and Ferrari, among plenty of others. The Ghibli will probably ride on the same platform that underpins the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger and will get its power from a turbocharged Chrysler Pentastar V6, at least in base form. A Ferrari-derived supercharged V8 might be the uplevel engine.
The thought of a more accessible Maserati is beyond exciting, but here’s hoping we don’t get just a re-skinned Chrysler. While some bones may be the same, I expect the Ghibli will be pure Italian greatness.
Chrysler bones or not, would you take a Maserati Ghibli over a BMW 5 Series?