2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo assessment: Prioritizing efficiency

Black carbon fiber and 21-inch wheels set the Trofeo aside from lesser Ghiblis.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Relying in your priorities, the Maserati Ghibli is both superior or terrible. It is a sharply styled sedan with the guts of a Ferrari, but it is fairly cramped inside and makes use of switchgear from a decade-old Dodge Journey (yikes). Fortunately, the 2021 Ghibli has plenty of updates that proper a few of its previous wrongs, and there is a new Trofeo mode headlining the modifications, as effectively. Say what you’ll about this sedan’s shortcomings; it is simple to let a number of flaws slide when there’s an Italian twin-turbo V8 below that lengthy, sculpted hood.

LikeAwesome V8 engineVisceral driving experienceSolid infotainmentStandard driver-assistance tech

Do not LikeWay too many aged Chrysler elements insideCramped interiorMore costly than opponents

The truth is, that is a fantastic place to start out. The Ghibli Trofeo has a redesigned hood that comes with a pair of warmth extractors, and my tester has an elective tricolor (sorry, tricolore) stripe pack that runs the size of the automotive off-center on the motive force’s aspect. All 2021 Ghiblis have redesigned LED lighting and the Trofeo will get two distinctive 21-inch wheel choices in addition to blacked-out carbon fiber exterior trim.

Along with the Ghibli, the Levante SUV and Quattroporte sedan additionally get the Trofeo therapy, the star of which is a significantly bangin’ engine. The three.8-liter twin-turbo V8 is designed by Ferrari, producing 580 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, to not point out one of many sweetest, most sonorous soundtracks within the enterprise. Paired with a ZF-sourced eight-speed computerized transmission and rear-wheel drive, the 4,616-pound Ghibli Trofeo can speed up to 60 mph in Four seconds flat. You are able to do that with launch management, too, which is a part of the Trofeo’s customized Corsa driving mode. Put your left foot on the brake, pull the left (downshift) paddle, lay your proper foot into the gasoline pedal and, as they are saying, let go and let God.

Here is every part it’s worthwhile to know in regards to the Ghibli Trofeo in a single image.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

That Corsa mode provides the Ghibli’s efficiency some additional wiggle room — actually — limiting the intervention of the traction and stability management programs. Not that it is in any manner troublesome to impress some wheelspin within the automotive’s Regular and Sport settings; simply goose the throttle midcorner to get the Ghibli’s rear finish to step out. That is regardless of an digital limited-slip differential managing torque distribution on the rear axle, too. I prefer it when subtle driveline tech nonetheless permits for a bit playfulness.

The Trofeo makes use of Maserati’s Skyhook suspension, which is basically only a fancy title for adaptive dampers. The default consolation setting continues to be fairly stiff, and solely amplified by 21-inch wheels and summer time tires in any respect 4 corners. You will really feel the overwhelming majority of street imperfections, although the dampers do an excellent job of at the least maintaining the automotive secure and composed over rougher surfaces.

Total, although, the Ghibli Trofeo has a reasonably uncooked, unhinged on-road character. The steering has a number of suggestions however lacks immediate response, which means you have to work a bit tougher to rapidly dive into corners. The physique rolls greater than I like, however that kind of amplifies the joy. There’s undoubtedly a scarcity of total finesse and composure in contrast with sedans just like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63, however I suppose that is additionally what makes the Ghibli entertaining. For higher or worse, this automotive actually retains you in your toes.

Additionally, kudos to Maserati for utilizing giant, steering column-mounted paddles within the Ghibli Trofeo. That is precisely how paddle shifters needs to be executed, and I really like the motion mixed with the noticeable kick from the transmission when altering gears in Sport mode. It is uncommon that I discover myself utilizing paddle shifters on the common, however it’s an expertise I take pleasure in within the Ghibli Trofeo. After all, it means I’ve completely no probability in hell of seeing the EPA-estimated 16 mpg mixed gas economic system ranking, however so it goes.

Once you’re simply out to run errands or commute to work, the Ghibli Trofeo comes with all of the driver-assistance options you can ever need, they usually’re all customary, which is surprisingly form of a rarity within the luxurious/sport sedan area. Full-speed adaptive cruise management, traffic-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping help, computerized emergency braking — the Ghibli Trofeo has ’em all. It even will get Maserati’s new Lively Driving Help, which mixes adaptive cruise and lane-centering applied sciences, and can be utilized on any “well-maintained” street, in line with the automaker, at speeds as much as 90 mph.

The brand new infotainment tech is superior, however there’s nonetheless a number of low-cost switchgear in right here.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

There’s extra nice tech contained in the Ghibli, the place you will discover Maserati’s new Clever Assistant infotainment system. Do not let the title idiot you — that is successfully a reskinned model of Stellantis’ Uconnect 5 suite. However contemplating how nice Uconnect 5 is in autos just like the Chrysler Pacifica and Dodge Durango, I am not mad about Maserati utilizing borrowed tech. The 10.1-inch frameless, high-res show appears to be like nice and the interface inside is easy to make use of. The Android-powered software program is fast in addition up and gives speedy responses, and Apple CarPlay could be operated wirelessly. Android Auto is right here, too, as are Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

The remainder of the Ghibli’s inside is hit and miss. There are some genuinely good items, like my take a look at automotive’s woven leather-based seats and actual carbon fiber and steel inlays. However there’s nonetheless manner too sturdy a reliance on switchgear from the bigger (and cheaper) Stellantis elements bin. Yeah, that “Zegna pelletessuta” upholstery is likely to be spiffy, however it loses its luster when juxtaposed with the identical window switches and headlight controls from that Dodge Dart you rented in Florida again in 2013.

Arguably worse is the truth that the Ghibli’s cabin is basically fairly cramped. Headroom and legroom are briefly provide regardless of the place you sit. I am solely 5 toes, Eight inches tall, however I am unable to get snug within the again seat when the motive force’s chair is about to my ideally suited place. The Ghibli is about the identical dimension as a BMW M5, however even the smaller M3 is extra spacious inside.

The Ghibli Trofeo undoubtedly is not for everybody.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Ghibli is priced about the identical as an M5 Competitors, at $111,735 together with $14,95 for vacation spot. Loaded up with goodies like tri-coat paint ($2,700), a Bowers & Wilkins sound system ($2,100), these stripes ($6,500) and extra, the automotive you see right here is available in at $128,135. That is greater than what you will pay for a equally optioned M5 or perhaps a Mercedes-AMG E63 S Sedan. Sporty hatchbacks just like the Audi RS7 or a Porsche Panamera 4S put up a strong battle at this worth, too. And all of those aforementioned opponents are arguably extra well-rounded automobiles.

Certain, it is exhausting to argue towards a Ferrari V8, and the Ghibli Trofeo’s infotainment and driver-assistance updates make this Maserati extra enticing than ever earlier than. Me? I would just persist with one of many Germans, just because they provide a lot extra in the way in which of workmanship and refinement whereas nonetheless providing nice energy and poise. However hey, perhaps your priorities are totally different than mine. If it is a visceral driving expertise you are after and you’ll overlook a number of faults, you can definitely do worse than the Ghibli Trofeo.

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