The Maserati Ghibli Trofeo at a glance
Maserati Ghibli finally with V8
Handsome, strong as a bear and never embarrassed to hit the right note. The epitome of the Italian woman hero was coined by Giacomo Casanova in the 18th century and translated into the present by Maserati in the form of the Ghibli. Although this has been on the market since 2013, it has only now matured as a Trofeo, which costs at least 132,090 euros, to what it wanted to be over eight years ago: an outstanding touring sports car (combined fuel consumption: 12.3-12.2 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions 278 g / km²).
The elegant exterior is now joined by a long-awaited and still befitting eight-cylinder. Although the Ghibli never suffered from poor performance, the 60-degree V6 engines supplied by Chrysler and finalized by Ferrari were always a kind of well-intentioned compromise. They all sounded feudal, but only the new twin-scroll turbo V8 in the Ghibli Trofeo really gets the blood pumping.
Kind regards from Maranello
Here, too, Ferrari had a hand in it – but this time without going across the pond. The same 90-degree V8 that powers the new Ferrari Roma (combined fuel consumption: 10.3 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions 234 g / km²) works under the aluminum hood, slightly modified in terms of displacement and finish. The 3.8-liter unit lifts 427 kW / 580 PS and 730 Newton meters onto the crankshaft, only drives the rear wheels and lets the Italian rush up to 326 km / h. Otherwise only the Americans allow themselves such coarseness, whereas the German competitors now all rely on all-wheel drive.
The waiver of additional traction not only saves weight, it lets you notice in the first few corners that there is a lot of life in the multi-link rear axle. The Modenesi’s safety electronics keep the 580 horses in check – at least until you switch to “Corsa”. Then the Italian draft horses trapped in the bow maltreat the rear wheels in the optional 21-inch format with great vehemence and ensure that the drawn-up Pirelli P Zeros are too happy to reach their limits of liability. Using the precise steering, the lateral dynamics can then be corrected according to the curve radius and, in case of doubt, the Brembo brakes help to bring the car to a clean stop again.
Toxic response, great sound
Then on the straight, the Trofeo-V8 burns off a veritable firework of performance. It hangs brutally on the gas, harmonises largely with the ZF 8-speed automatic and is also acoustically a delicacy. Although the interior of the Maserati is almost too well insulated, the looks of pedestrians quickly reveal that the four fanfares at the rear can very well play the well-known song. The fact that there is also an extra loud cold start pleases the child in the man at least as much as the fact that deactivated driving aids remain switched off after the vehicle is restarted.
When it comes to fuel consumption, the lady or gentleman behind the wheel should be silent. 18 liters at halfway brisk and still 12 liters at an adjusted speed hardly let the Ferrari V8 pass as a food lover. After all, he only needs E5 or E10 gasoline for this. If the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo is driven without sporting ambitions, the built-in Skyhook adaptive chassis impresses with its comparatively high residual comfort and even in the sporting position it rarely becomes wooden. Only undulating road surfaces with clear transverse joints shine through to the occupants more prominently and, in combination, can ensure that the rear axle is sometimes shifted by leaps and bounds.
New infotainment based on Android
In addition to the eight-cylinder and the way in which the Trofeo can be driven, there is another highlight to report. With the new model year, Maserati finally has a decent infotainment system based on Android to offer. The new 10.1-inch touch display is pleasing with its high-resolution image, operation is largely easy and even voice input reacts quickly and easily. The integration of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay has meanwhile become a matter of course, but the positioning of the USB ports directly under the climate control unit seems a bit unfortunate.
Another nice feature is the cooled compartment in the center armrest, which holds exactly two winged energy drinks and chocolate bars. The analog instruments behind the finely crafted leather valance show that Maserati continues to rely on tradition despite all modernity. Overall, the interior of the Ghibli Trofeo impresses with its high-quality choice of materials, with only the four handles in the headliner being extremely inexpensive. In contrast, the measure of all things – especially for tall people – are the tight, but ergonomically very balanced sports seats in the first row, which just deserve a touch more lateral support.
The Maserati Ghibli is not a new car per se, but the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo V8 feels like it. It differs noticeably from the Germanic monotony of sophisticated sports sedans and focuses more on quality than on quantity. You drive it as a connoisseur, appreciate the Ferrari V8, the delicate and sometimes demanding driving behavior and you will certainly not be ridiculed for the infotainment system in the future. At this point, the almost unusually high vehicle quality for an Italian must also be emphasized: doors that fall so tightly into the lock are reminiscent of days that were almost bygone in this country. (Text and image: Thomas Vogelhuber)