New Maserati Ghibli Hybrid begins brand's electrifed era

17. Juli 2020 - autocar

New Maserati Ghibli Hybrid begins brand's electrifed era

Executive saloon is first to receive mild hybrid system, with Quattroporte and Levante expected to follow

The electrification of the Maserati brand has begun with the launch of a mild-hybrid version of the Ghibli.

The Maserati Ghibli Hybrid replaces the V6 diesel and mixes a turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with a 48V mild-hybrid system for a combined 325bhp and 332lb ft.

Maserati claims the drivetrain offers the performance of a V6 petrol but with 25% fewer CO2 emissions (from 192g/km) to be on a par with a V6 diesel. Fuel economy is from 33.2mpg, although both figures are subject to final homologation.

The new drivetrain allows the Ghibli Hybrid to cover 0-62mph in 5.7sec and reach a top speed of 158mph. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

The 2.0-litre engine is modified from its installation in Alfa Romeo models, with a new ECU and tweaks to produce more torque. It's mated to a 48V system comprising a belt-driven starter/generator that recovers energy under braking and deceleration to charge a battery in the boot. This in turn powers an eBooster that fills in the torque gaps before the turbo spools.

Maserati has opted for this 48V mild-hybrid system over a plug-in hybrid primarily to avoid increasing the weight.

"We investigated it, but to add value, you need a 50km [31-mile] range," said Maserati's electrification boss, Corrado Nizzola. "But that means a big battery in the boot and a weight distribution issue.

"On engine power you have more weight and on EV mode less power. For Maserati, the 48V system is the best solution."

The styling has been subtly tweaked to mark the Ghibli Hybrid out from its non-electrified stablemates, including a new front grille design, blue trim detailing and an exclusive Grigio Evoluzione grey colour. Maserati has also tweaked the exhaust to ensure it makes the "unmistakable sound" of a Maserati engine without being artificially enhanced.

Two trims are offered: the sportier GranSport and the more luxurious GranLusso.

The Ghibli Hybrid is offered with the firm's latest MIA infotainment . It runs the new Android Automotive system, which, Maserati claims, is faster than its previous infotainment system. It is operated through a higher-resolution 10.0in touchscreen with voice control for certain functions.

Production of the new car will begin in September, with UK models arriving soon after, although it's available to order now, priced from £58,220.

The mild hybrid system is expected to be rolled out soon to the Quattroporte and Levante. The firm will announce plans for its first fully electric model in September alongside the launch of its new MC20 sports car.

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