New Maserati Ghibli Hybrid gets four-cylinder 48-volt power
Electric supercharger technology means 325bhp and 420Nm torque for Maserati’s new hybrid saloon
The first step in the company’s electrification plan sees the Ghibli saloon adopt a brand new 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol powertrain with an electric supercharger and 48-volt mild hybrid assistance. The end result is a reduction in CO2 emissions of around 25 per cent compared with the standard V6 Ghibli, while providing a similar level of performance.
The engine develops 325bhp and 450Nm of torque, enabling 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 158mph. As for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions, the brand claims 33.2mpg and 192g/km respectively.
The electrical assistance comes in the form of a belt-starter-generator that recovers energy during braking and deceleration, and feeds that energy to a small battery. The electricity is then used by the electric supercharger to supplant the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, providing torque fill low down the rev band and reducing the petrol engine’s load. In Sport mode, the supercharger supplants the full power of the engine.
Maserati says that the system as a whole is lighter than the Ghibli’s six-cylinder petrol and diesel options, and has better weight distribution, given the battery is placed in the rear of the car. Drive is sent to the rear axle with a locking differential by an eight speed automatic gearbox. An exhaust system has been specifically designed for the new four-cylinder engine note, and the Ghibli Hybrid does not use a sound system to pump fake engine noise into the cabin.
While the powertrain is all-new, the Ghibli’s looks go largely unchanged. Some new blue detailing appears on the exterior, such as on the usual trio of vents Maserati places on the front wings, the brake calipers and the badge on the C-pillar.
Elsewhere, the front grille gains a subtle new look, the tail lights get a new lighting signature, and the Ghibli Hybrid is available in a new silver-blue pearlescent paint colour called Grigio Evoluzione.
Inside, new detailing is found in the form of blue stitching, instrumentation and blue Maserati badges etched on to the front seat headrests. The Ghibli Hybrid is equipped with 12-way adjustable sports seats, a sport steering wheel and sport pedals as standard.
The Ghibli benefits from technology updates introduced in the saloon’s most recent model-year revision. The instrumentation is now partially digital with a driver information display between the speed and rev dials, while the central touchscreen is 10.1-inches in size and features a new user interface with updated graphics. The Ghibli Hybrid is also compatible with Maserati Connect. This allows owners to control certain vehicle functions remotely via a smartphone app, track service intervals, link the car to home devices through Amazon Alexa and Google Assist and more.
As for practicality, there’s no word on whether the integration of the battery pack adversely impacts rear passenger space, but the 500 litre boot is the same size you’ll find on non-hybrid versions of the Ghibli.
Prices start from £58,220 for the base Ghibli Hybrid, rising to £64,820 for the GranSport and GranLusso versions of the newcomer, which is available to order in the UK now.
Will the hybrid powertrain make the Ghibli more competitive in the executive car class? Let us know your view in the comments...