Today: October 20 2018
Ghibli - not just another business-class sedan. This machine - a milestone in the history of the company from Modena, because it is destined to become Ghibli upper stage flight Maserati to record sales. Will it have it, I tried to understand on the roads of Tuscany.
Last year Maserati sounded ambitious plan: sales should increase tenfold - to 50 thousand. For three years. It is not ambition - insolence. Or madness.
Due to what the Italians were going to make such a jerk? The first step of this exciting flight to the stars was the new Maserati Quattroporte, presented at the end of last year. The car became more comfortable, more spacious and "more compromise". This is not the same four-door sports car as before. The Italians made a bet on comfort, and the paradigm shift immediately affected the sales of the model. For the first 6 months of this year, the brand sales exceeded 10 000 machines - the record! The second stage of growth should be Ghibli. Well, the third one is the Levante SUV built on the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform. Given the passion of Americans, Russians and Arabs for big and expensive SUVs, there is no question of success in the success of the latter, but what is the fate of Ghibli?
Rumors seeping into the press made us worry: the Chrysler 300C platform, that is, the Mercedes-Benz of the end of the 90, American engines, relative budget. Reality partly confirmed fears. Under the hood of Ghibli, diesel was registered. Another 10 years ago, this could not be imagined in a terrible dream. But we do not live in 2003, but in 2013. In our world there is a place for the diesel hatchback Porsche, the electric supercar Mercedes-Benz and the hybrid Ferrari, so the diesel sedan with the trident on the grille - following the trends. Moreover, in other respects the rumors turned out to be an empty chatter: Ghibli is built on the shortened Quattroporte platform, in its design there is nothing from Chrysler, and all engines are of its own design. It's funny that Ghibli has many hometowns, but among them there is no Modena: the block of cylinders comes to Maranello from the US, then the engine goes to Grulyasko - to the former Bertone factory, where his "wedding" with the chassis and body takes place. The reason for such complicated logistics is the inability to expand its own production, the historic Maserati plant in the center of Modena is an architectural monument.
If you want to ride with a driver - buy another car.
Interestingly, even for a fairly mass Ghibli Italians still do not use a full-fledged conveyor. The car is collected on the stocks, which are moved to the next post once in 10 minutes. Each worker does not simply screw the nut, but performs a number of much more complicated operations. Has managed to make all faster, than for 10 minutes, - you can go to smoke. At the same time, production robotization is minimal. Ghibli is hand-made. So, buyers should wait for the falling off buttons, unscrewed nuts and other manifestations of manual assembly? The Italians claim that they have raised the quality control to a hitherto unknown level, and the number of factory marriage at Ghibli is not higher than that of German competitors. And, really, at the presentation all the sedans were perfect. You can not reproach the quality.
Since business sedan common roots with the leader, then the only salon in detail inferior Quattroporte. There are just as many expensive leather and precious wood, the same set of options for the front passengers, as verified ergonomics. Punctures but, alas, the same. Selector lever is too short step, causing select rarely the first time. Navigation system surprises later tips and primitive graphics and music Bowers & Wilkins concedes Meridian systems and Burmester competitors.
But this is nitpicking. Much more important tightness in the back couch. If you want to ride with a driver - buy another car. Was he himself I sat down without much comfort: knees rested against the back of the front seat, and the minimum margin over his head. Ghibli is designed for those who ride behind the wheel.
My acquaintance with the new sedan started from the top down. In the sense that the first I tried the flagship version of S Q4 with all-wheel drive and forced to 410 l. from. "Turboswitch". And this machine is expected to be good. The engine pleases slightly hoarse baritone, the box - soft and relevant adventures, and the car itself - a crazy dynamics. Acceleration to hundreds takes 4,8 seconds, and the maximum speed is 284 km per hour. Of course, this is not the level of German supersedans. The closest Maserati to the BMW M5 - the German reaches 100 km / h in 4,4 seconds. But the horsepower of Ghibli is much smaller. True, all-wheel drive BMW 650i GranCoupe is still faster than the "Italian" for 0,2 seconds.
Maserati engineers willingly admit who assembled these or other technological solutions.
Let's leave the competition for the title of the best sprinter to the Germans. Italian cars must travel not only in a straight line, but also give pleasure in bends. And at Maserati it turns out. Brakes tirelessly slow down the car, despite the heat and high speed, the steering wheel with a verified effort allows one to drive the sedan into a turn, and the connected all-wheel drive allows you to transfer all the power of the road without any slipping even on dusty asphalt. Thus Italians use the same all-wheel drive transmission of company Magna, as BMW. Its main advantage is the speed of connection of the front axle, which allows to use the full drive only when it is needed. This reduces fuel consumption, harmful emissions and, most importantly, understeer, characteristic of all four-wheel drive vehicles.
As I tried, the electronics never gave more than 30% of traction to the front wheels. And even these 30% are at the moment when the wheels are almost straight. At a time when the car is in a corner with maximally twisted front wheels, the electronics transmit only 10-15% of the torque to them. Speed is low, the danger of slip is small, but the drift from the trajectory can be a problem. And as the wheel returns to a straight line, and the foot presses more and more on the pedal, the traction on the front wheels increases. I specifically described in detail the operation of the all-wheel drive Maserati, so you understand how thoughtful and perfect the car turned out to the Italians.
She seemed specially created for Russian roads.
Maserati engineers willingly admit who they are assembled, certain technological solutions. Italians really liked the all-wheel drive BMW, and they have ordered the same Magna. Best in class suspension in Mercedes-Benz E-Class? So on Ghibli used rear suspension Five-arm with the same scheme. Own special way left aside, in Modena want to make money. But this does not mean that Ghibli received the German machine. No, this is a wholly Italian. Maserati just finally got a decent amount of investment, which allowed to go in the same direction as that of the Germans.
Ghibli - is committed motors, perfect transmission and perfect suspension. Smooth running at Maserati and did fantastic. Energy suspension are much higher than in the same GranCoupe. She seemed specially created for Russian roads. Even speed bumps - and they remain somewhere between the spring windings Italian sedan.
No worse and minor releases. Ghibli V6 with rear wheel drive and derated to 330 l. s. motor pleases even more transparent and clear the wheel, and if you get to the very edge, the rear-wheel drive car is ready poskolzit bit. While slipping easily controlled and delivers with what incomparable pleasure. Ghibli with this motor sounds even angrier her older sister. Whistling turbine heard much better, and by dumping gas bypass valve bleeds excess pressure relish.
Oh, and finally diesel Ghibli. Surprisingly, it is almost equal to their gasoline counterparts. Of course, the idling engine does not sound very noble, but the sound can not be called diesel tarahtenie. More reminiscent of a four-cylinder gasoline engine. Is it worth it to press on the gas and Maserati singing voice V8: at the end of the exhaust pipe mounted resonator chamber.
Because the three-liter diesel weighs considerably more gasoline engines, in the turns Ghibli less willing to change direction and even slips some time the front wheels. But the competition with their heavy understeer V8 this is hardly sufficient. But the fact that a diesel box Ghibli itself goes up and did not give switch down, as if hinting that this machine is designed for those who are the fact of having much more important than this Maserati sportiness.
As you know, I liked Ghibli and, it seems, this sedan will really sell well. The factory in Gruljasco is able to produce a maximum of 22 000 cars annually, which is not so much. Considering that the prices for the car in Europe are between 50 and 70 thousand euros, and this is no more than the German competitors, the chances of the Italian are increasing. Moreover, Maserati plans to sell 400 cars in Russia this year, which should increase 10 sales of the brand in our country. Despite the fact that the prices have not been announced yet, we can expect that the cheapest diesel Ghibli will cost 3 500 000-3700 000 rubles - half a million more CLS with a similar engine, but 200-300 thousand cheaper than GranCoupe. So the success of Ghibli is just a matter of time.
On materials: autonews.ru