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Maserati Whetting Appetites For Its Ghibli

By raccars Published

With the car itself due to be unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show later this month, Maserati has released some official photos of its new model, the Ghibli.

To date, information has been restricted to the car's name, previously used by the brand but not seen since 1997 and a few minor details, but Maserati is whetting public appetites this week with pictures and some technical details. The Ghibli marks the brand's first diesel engine and is to be one of five new models planned for release by 2015. Maserati is hoping the wider range will boost its sales figures ten times over, to reach 50,000 units.

According to Maserati, the Ghibli will feature a more aggressive and sloping design than the brand's much awaited new Quattroporte, although it will be riding upon the same chassis as its sibling. The Ghibli, however, will be a shorter vehicle, to bring it more in line with predicted rivals the Mercedes E-Class, Jaguar XF and BMW 5 Series.

The pictures released of the racy, four-door saloon Ghibli display Maserati's characteristic sleekness and a smart, rather masculine interior, finished in carbon fibre and red leather. The visual language is reminiscent of the larger Quattroporte, with its sharply slanted headlights and the Gran Turismo V8 in the form of the front grille and wing vents.

Engine choices open with a 3.0 litre turbo petrol unit at 330 or 410bhp and a 3.0 litre diesel turbo alternative, which is expected to be based upon that used by the Chrysler 300C and Jeep Grand Cherokee. A V8 is planned for later release. All the powerplants will come armoured with a paddle-shift eight-speed automatic ZF gearbox. UK spec Ghiblis will be rear-wheel drive, but rumour has it that the predicted V8 will be available as a four-wheel drive on the international market.

The Ghibli is due to be available in the UK by the end of this year and more information will be forthcoming in due course, but the price is expected to be lower than other Maserati models to date, at under £50,000 for the diesel variant. Interested buyers who can't make it to Shanghai might be able to see the Ghibli in the UK at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Following the Ghibli, of which Maserati hopes it will sell 1,000 units in the UK during 2014, the next new model from the brand will be the Levante SUV for 2015, the year of the company's 100th anniversary.

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