When I was offered a week with the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo, I didn’t immediately jump at the chance. I knew that the Ghibli was the younger sibling of the Quattroporte, and thought that it must be an underpowered, weaker family member. Boy, was I wrong.
The Ghibli — the smaller of the two four-door sedans in the Maserati family — is named after a strong, hot desert wind in Libya, also called a sirocco. This Maserati comes in four flavors, with varying degrees of power and an increasing base price (see chart below).
|+ GHIBLI GT||$82,300 base||345 hp||V6||0-60 mph in 5.5 second|
|+ GHIBLI MODENA||$88,900 base||424 hp||V6||0-60 mph in 4.9 second|
|+ GHIBLI MODENA Q4||$91,600 base||424 hp||V6||0-60 mph in 4.7 second|
|+ GHIBLI TROFEO||$118,500 base||580 hp||V8||0-60 mph in 4.0 second|
The Trofeo (“Trophy”) model is clearly the most robust Ghibli in terms of competence and performance. The twin-turbo V8 engine has 538 lb-ft of torque, sufficient for even the most jaded to experience excitement. The eight-speed automatic transmission can also be operated via the paddle shifters, which is my preference. I especially like the throaty sound of the exhaust coupled with the g-force produced on acceleration.
While not too dissimilar in appearance from the other Ghiblis, it does have some special tri-color badging, a blacked-out grill, and carbon fiber at the front splitter and the front intakes. The V8 needs more air for breathing than the V6, so the Ghibli hood provides open vents, another distinguishing detail. The system is clearly effective, as I had no overheating problems during my time with this special car. It drove like a dream everywhere I went — not just to the grocery store or around for errands, but also so on some freeway runs and even up to Mulholland Highway.
On top of the base price, “mine” (for the week) had $25,000 in options, most notably the $3,200 “Pelletessuta,” woven Napa leather textile sports seats designed with Ermenegildo Zegna, of the custom-suit fame, so you know they’re top-drawer. An unusual and elegant fabric, it adds a special look to the Trofeo interior. The high-end sound system and anodized red brake calipers are de rigueur these days, and were included on my car ($2,500 and $1,500, respectively).
The Trofeo is a great car for driving — roomy enough for five passengers, a trunk large enough for their belongings, and enough power to thrill them all. The engine sound alone is worth the price of admission, and it’s even adjustable in case you want to tone it down for the neighbors. With the engine designed by Maserati and assembled by engineers at Ferrari, the gorgeous red cylinder heads on the motor portend what’s to come and look good doing so.
My time with the Trofeo ended way too quickly, but so be it. I had a great experience with the car and came away with a new-found admiration for the folks at Maserati who created it.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MASERATI