The Shanghai Motor Show will mark three giant steps in Maseratis march towards its goal of 50,000 cars a year.
The Maserati momentum that began late last year with the all-new V8 and V6 Quattroporte continues in Shanghai with the all-new Ghibli the first-ever mid-size four-door sports luxury sedan in Maseratis history.
Both the Quattroporte and the Ghibli sedans will each boast two different power outputs from their turbo-charged V6 petrol engines and both new models will also be offered in with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.
The Ghibli will additionally be offered with the first diesel engine in Maseratis history. The turbo-diesel 3.0-litre V6, developed by Maserati engineers under the direction of former Ferrari Chief Motorist Paolo Martinelli, will deliver traditional Maserati high performance and sound but will use less than six litres per 100 km on the NEDC fuel economy cycle.
Another Maserati making its world debut in Shanghai is a version of the new Quattroporte equipped with a V6 capable of 330 Hp (243kW) and specifically conceived and developed for the Chinese market.
MASERATI GHIBLI WORLDWIDE DEBUT
The all-new Ghibli is set to break new ground for Maserati. With its debut at the Shanghai Motor Show, it marks the first time in Maserati history that the Italian sports, luxury and prestige maker will have two four-door sedans on sale at the same time.
The Ghiblis design ethos emphasizes its more dynamic driving characteristics by maintaining visible links with the larger Quattroporte while delivering a more aggressive visual personality.
The outline of the body reflects a coupe-like philosophy for the four-door sedan, while there are strong feline hints around the Ghiblis grille and headlights. The grille takes its inspiration from the current GranTurismo and it can draw a line back to the classic A6 GCS of the 1950s.
It also maintains Maseratis distinctive C-pillar treatment, which delivers much of the coupe-like stance and carries the classical Saetta Maserati logo, carrying on a tradition dating back to 1963.
The side profile is dominated by a swage line that runs from the traditional Maserati grille vents behind the front wheels and finishes in the rear lights themselves.
Inside, the Ghibli sets itself apart from the Quattroporte with its own dashboard design that perfectly meets the buyers need for a sportier and youthful experience without losing any of the luxury expected in a Maserati. The Ghibli also delivers a sporty design combined with the typical roominess of an executive sedan.
The Ghibli will have a more-focused, sportier philosophy than the larger Quattroporte. It will be available with two turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 gasoline engines, an eight-speed automatic transmission and both rear-wheel drive and the new Q4 all-wheel drive system.
The most powerful of the V6s will be the twin-turbo unit in the Ghibli S, which produces 301kW (410hp) of power at 5500rpm and 550Nm of torque from just 1750rpm. This engine is shared between the rear-wheel drive Ghibli S and the all-wheel drive Ghibli S Q4.
The all-wheel drive Ghibli S Q4 will reach 100km/h in just 4.8 seconds, while the rear-wheel drive version takes just 0.2 seconds longer. The Ghibli S has a quoted top speed of 285km/h, which is just 1km/h faster than the Ghibli S Q4.
The second turbo-charged 3.0-litre V6 gasoline engine available on the Ghibli not only has an impressive power of 243kW (330hp) and 500Nm of torque, but delivers a fuel economy figure of just 9.6 litres/100km. It is much more than a fuel saving car, though, because itis capable of accelerating to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.
Both of these engines, with their parallel turbochargers, were developed by Maserati Powertrain in partnership with Ferrari Powertrain and will be built by Ferrari in its world-leading engine construction facility in Maranello.
Sharing much of the technology with the Quattroportes 3.8-litre V8 engine, the V6 engines use gasoline direct injection technology along with two low-inertia parallel turbochargers, four continuous camshaft phasers and deliver their fuel at around 200 bar of pressure.
This technology means that while the Ghibli S V6 has a rev limiter at 6500rpm, it still delivers 90 percent of its torque from less than 1500rpm.
The Ghibli will also become the first Maserati production car in history to be powered by a diesel engine, with a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel. The 3.0-litre turbo-charged V6 develops 202kW (275hp) of power and a crushing 600Nm of torque to deliver 0-100km/h acceleration in just 6.3 seconds. Critically, its NEDC fuel economy figure is less than 6.0 litres per 100km (less than 160 g/Km of CO2).
It uses highly advanced Common-Rail direct fuel injection with 2000 bar of injection pressure and it also features reduced-dwell-time injectors. This helps it to deliver sequential multiple injections for highly responsive performance and cleaner emissions.
Every Maserati is instantly recognizable by its engine note and the Ghibli Diesel is no different from its petrol sisters, thanks to the new Maserati Active Sound system. Two sound actuators, fitted near the exhaust tailpipes, accentuate the engines most distinctive tones and modulate them precisely to suit the way the car is being driven. When the driver presses the Sport button on the central tunnel, the sound becomes even more resonant and utterly inspiring.
The Ghibli is set to reveal a character all its own thanks to its combination of double-wishbone front suspension and a state-of-the-art, multi-link rear suspension with the option of the active Skyhook system, part-time all-wheel drive, firm suspension damping and powerful braking system.
The Ghibli is the only car in its class to use a standard mechanical limited slip differential in all its versions in order to deliver the best inherent traction in all driving situations.
Like the Quattroporte, its chassis design is based around a rigid and extremely secure steel safety cell that employs an array of different steel and aluminium alloys to deliver precise strengths and minimal weight.
The front of its chassis is based around an aluminium casting with a reinforced cross-strut which helps deliver outstanding rigidity in all directions, while the rear of the chassis is made from rolled steel.
The Ghiblis three ground-breaking engines will be fitted into a wheelbase that is around 20 centimetres shorter than the Quattroporte (2.99 metres) and an overall length that is, at 4.97 metres, 29cm shorter.
The Ghibli S will boast 360mm x 32mm ventilated and cross-drilled dual-cast front brake discs while it has 350mm x 28mm ventilated rear discs. It uses six-piston Brembo fixed brake calipers on the front and four-piston units at the rear to help it stop from 100km/h to zero in just 36 metres.
The Ghibli sits on 18-inch wheels and tyres, while the Ghibli S models ride on 18 -inch staggered tyres; 19-inch, 20-inch and 21-inch wheels are available as option.
The Ghibli is equipped, as its bigger sister Quattroporte with an optional Bowers & Wilkins premium surround system. The choice of components, the layout of the 15 speakers, and the perfect configuration of HARMANs QuantumLogic Surround Sound processing and system integration is the result of a long and very demanding process of experimentation and countless hours of listening by the best ears in the audio business.
Bowers & Wilkins has close to 50 years experience in the development of drive units and their materials. Materials like Kevlar introduced as a speaker cone material by Bowers & Wilkins in the 1970s are the result of decades of commitment to acoustic research and development. For the tweeter aluminium offers a combination of lightness and rigidity thats ideal, and the sound extends to the very limits of human hearing, unlike lesser fabric domes. For speed, stiffness and unshakable bass, Rohacell, which is normally used for aircraft, rockets and performance cars bodies, is the perfect cone material.
The result is an audio system that perfectly reproduces every nuance of the recording; with crisp, pristine treble, amazing, natural dynamics, and impressive bass. The systems natural, realistic performance delivers a completely new level of musical enjoyment on the road.
The Bowers & Wilkins premium surround system features:
5 x 25mm aluminium dome tweeters
5 x 100mm Kevlar midrange drivers
2 x 165mm Kevlar bass/midrange drivers
2 x 165mm Rohacell bass drivers
1x 350x200mm racetrack subwoofer
16 channel Class D amplifier, with a combined output 1,280W
QuantumLogic Surround Sound processing
MASERATI Q4 ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
With the Q4 all-wheel drive system both Ghibli and Quattroporte are capable of finding traction on the slipperiest surfaces thanks to its state-of-the-art, on-demand engineering.
The Q4 system delivers the responsiveness of a rear-wheel drive combined with the added security that only an all-wheel drive can bring in critical situations, without creating extra fuel consumption.
That is what Maserati has achieved with the Q4. The system leaves the front wheels passive until they are needed to help with traction and then they are instantly and intelligently engaged.
The system architecture is based on an electronically controlled multi-plate wet clutch, installed into a transfer case linked by a drive shaft to the front axle.
When grip is lost through excessive cornering speeds, hard acceleration or very low grip at the rear axle, the system takes just 150 milliseconds to change from delivering 100 percent of the drive to the rear wheels to an equal, 50%-50% split between the axles. The multi-link rear suspension provides so much rear traction, though, that the Q4 rarely needs to send more than 35 percent of the drive to the front wheels.
It is also capable of returning to rear-drive status just as quickly, ensuring at any time the best possible traction without the traditional all-wheel drive penalties of added fuel consumption and poor responsiveness.
Maserati developed its own sophisticated algorithm to oversee in real time an enormous array of vehicle parameters (such as wheel slip, steering and yaw angle, power output, speed, braking action, ESP) as well as wheel grip versus driving style. By processing this data, the Q4 system can maximize a dedicated grip profile for each single wheel, creating the optimal vehicle dynamic management to suit any given road condition, at any time.
The Maserati Q4 all-wheel-drive system is available with the new V6 410hp engine and perfectly matches the grand touring qualities expected of a high performance Maserati sedan, whatever the road conditions.
THE QUATTROPORTE FOR CHINA:
THE DEBUT OF THE 330 HP V6
While the flagship of the Maserati product range became larger, lighter, more luxurious and more practical with the new Quattroporte model late last year, Maserati always planned to offer more variety and a wider price range.
While the 3.8-litre V8 Bi Turbo powerhouse will remain as the Quattroporte flagship , Maserati is about to supplement it with a 3.0-litre, 330 HP V6 Bi Turbo engine variant.
With 500Nm of torque arriving as early as 1750rpm, the new Quattroporte V6 will accelerate to 100km/h in less than six seconds and will deliver an NEDC combined fuel consumption of 9.8 litres/100km, creating the most efficient Quattroporte in history.
Confirming its best-in-class performance, the Quattroporte V6s lighter V6 engine and rear-wheel drive configuration help it to top out at 263km/h.
Based on the architecture of the Ghibli V6 twin Turbo, the Quattroportes 3.0-litre V6 generates 243 kW of power in a flat plateau between 1750rpm and 4500rpm. The engine was developed alongside the V8 by Maserati Powertrain and Ferrari Powertrain engineers.
It is notable for its tremendous specific torque figure of 167 Nm/litre and provides enough energy to accelerate the Quattroporte to 100km/h in just 5.6 seconds.
The engine shares the V8s bore dimensions, the same variable valve technology, the same engine block technology and almost the same manifold technology, though it has its own specific turbocharging and ECU tuning.
As with the V8, the 3.0-litre V6 is attached to an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers increased comfort, faster gear shifting, reduced fuel consumption and reduced NVH compared to the previous Quattroporte.
By delivering two over-driven gears, the transmission alone delivers a six percent fuel economy benefit and also weighs 6kg less than the outgoing six-speed transmission.
This helps to post efficient fuel consumptions, though the rear-wheel drive car claims 228 grams of CO2/km in the combined cycle.
It is also a lighter car than the V8 twin Turbo, weighing 1860kg in its rear-wheel drive configuration.
As befitting Maserati tradition, it is capable of being in five dedicated shift modes: Auto Normal, Auto Sport, Manual Normal, Manual Sport and the I.C.E. mode (Increased Control & Efficiency), a strategy that activates a series of functions aimed at reducing consumption, emissions and noise in all driving conditions by damping the car's response also when driving on low grip surfaces.
All Quattroportes have a limited-slip differential fitted as standard, with 35% of torque in traction and 45% in release .
The all-new architecture retains the Quattroportes traditionally exquisite handling thanks to its 50:50 weight distribution, a double-wishbone front suspension and a state-of-the-art five-link rear suspension, equipped on both axles with Skyhook system (electronically controlled suspensions).
With the longest wheelbase in the class at its core, the Quattroportes architecture lends itself both to extreme interior comfort and an exciting handling performance, maintaining in each detail the expected luxury mood.
2012 FOR MASERATI
In 2012, Maserati shipped a total of 6,288 cars, a 2% increase over 2011. In the U.S., shipments totaled 2,904 vehicles, representing the brands best volume performance in 8 years and confirming the U.S. as the brands number one market.
For the second year, China ranked as the brands second largest market with shipments increasing more than 10% over the prior year to 930 vehicles. Excluding China, shipments in the Asia Pacific region were up 21% to 861 units. The Middle East registered the highest percentage increase, with shipments up 37% to 417 vehicles (304 in 2011).
Revenues totaled 634 million for the year, up 8% over 2011 primarily due to higher sales volumes.
Maserati closed the year with trading profit and EBIT of 42 million (trading margin: 6.6%), in line with results for 2011. The positive impact of higher volumes and continued improvements in operating costs were offset by significant costs incurred during the year in connection with the production start-up of new models in 2013.
MASERATI TROFEO MC WORLD SERIES 2013
The fourth season of the Trofeo Maserati is around the corner, the second to boast a global character, thanks to an increasingly international calendar that includes six rounds in three different continents: Europe, America and Asia.
The début is set for the Paul Ricard circuit in France on 28 April with a prologue dedicated to the tests held at the Misano track in Italy on 13 and 14 April. The legendary Nürburgring in Germany will take its turn on 2 June, while the first part of the season will conclude at Silverstone in England on 14 July and the first title will be awarded: the Trofeo Europa, last year earned by the Belgian Renaud Kuppens, who went on to win in the final ranking as well.
The fourth round will open the competition to circuits beyond Europe. It will begin on 8 September in Sonoma in California, near San Francisco. In 2012, this date represented Maseratis return to racing in America, after the triumphs of the past.
It will then be Asias turn, on 27 October, in Shanghai, China, which hosted the grand finale of the Trofeo Maserati last year. The 2013 title, on the other hand, will be awarded at the Abu Dhabi circuit in the United Arab Emirates, concluding the season on 7 December. In fact, the Middle East has already hosted the Trofeo, thanks to the winter championship: the Maserati Trofeo JBF Rak, held from 2011 to 2012.
THE NEW MASERATI GHIBLI WEBSPECIAL NOW ONLINE
Timed to coincide with the release of its first official images, the mini-site dedicated to the new, top-of-the-range Maserati saloon has made its web debut.
This latest web special differs from recent mini-sites with its eye-catching cityscape theme that accentuates the cars overall presentation. The vertical scroll makes the site a pleasure to use on any type of device and presents the content intuitively and engagingly.
Registering to the site will enable users to download exclusive content from the reserved area and stay up-to-date with all the news on Maseratis top-drawer saloon. The mini-site can be accessed from any kind of device by using the special mobile version; over the coming months the web special, found at http://www.ghibli.maserati.com, will be added to with new content focused on Maseratis latest creation.