The Quattroporte’s Little Sibling Has Arrived

The 2014 Maserati Ghibli made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show and set the stage for the Italian automaker’s ambitious plans to boost sales by offering a sports sedan with a base price well under $100,000.

The Ghibli is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 built by Ferrari, which produces 345 hp in rear-drive trim and 404 hp when equipped with the all-wheel-drive sport package. The latter is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 176 mph.

The new sport sedan is equipped with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, an optional Skyhook adaptive damping suspension, a standard limited-slip rear differential, and a sport-tuned exhaust system. The Ghibli rides on a 118-inch wheelbase, nearly 7 inches shorter than the larger and more costly Quattroporte. It is also nearly a foot shorter in overall length. Think of the Ghibli as sort of a Mercedes E-Class to the Quattroporte’s S-Class size.

But instead of a reserved style and road manners, the Ghibli has a lusty exhaust note and a more sporty appearance thanks to its 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. And the interior is all that you expect from an Italian coachbuilt car, with rich leather and wood veneers.

The best part is that the base price of the rear-drive Ghibli starts at $65,600, while the all-wheel-drive S Q4 model goes for $75,700. It is in the ballpark of similar-sized German luxury sedans, but because of the limited number, there is a measure of exclusivity with the Maserati in this class. (www.maserati.com)

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