Maserati’s Ghibli hybrid saloon to be first stage of brand’s electrified relaunch
It might be one of the oldest and most historically significant brands in the business, but impending financial hardship is no stranger to Maserati. With yet another highly publicised road map to success laid out earlier this year, Maserati plans on hitting the latter half of 2020 running with a new MC20 mid-engined supercar in the wings, but its real future is an electrified one, starting with a new hybrid variant of the current Ghibli saloon.
The Ghibli has been on sale since 2013, and despite its promise of bringing critical mass to Maserati production, has failed to make much of an impression on the executive saloon class due to an underwhelming combination of aged powertrains, so-so driving dynamics and a critical lack of tech in comparison to the German trio that dominate the class.
Maserati is hoping this new hybrid Ghibli will be the first step in gaining some much needed traction, rivalling the BMW 545e and Audi A6 TFSIe as a high-specification hybrid executive saloon. Specifics about the new powertrain are at this stage unknown, and without any large hybrid powertrains available within the current FCA group it stands to reason that it will be a new package designed specifically for Maserati.
Alongside the new powertrain the Ghibli should also pick up some aesthetic and tech updates, but due to Maserati’s somewhat erratic model cycles (the Ghibli was only last updated in 2018), it’s difficult to establish how significant the changes will be. The larger Quattroporte saloon and Levante SUV are also due updates later in 2020.
The investment into Maserati comes just as parent company FCA finalises its 50/50 equity merger with French giant PSA. As the only truly luxury brand within the group (Citroen’s DS sub-brand is barely premium), part sharing and cross pollination within the group doesn’t stand to be of much advantage to Maserati directly. It does, however, make an ideal halo brand, and with more momentum and money behind it, this Maserati renaissance has the best chance in its modern history of succeeding.
We’ll learn more about the Ghibli in the coming weeks, with the MC20 following in September after its initial May launch was postponed due to the Covid-19 health crisis. The Levante and Quattroporte will both follow towards the end of the year, with a second SUV and new all-electric GT arriving in 2021.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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