by Jay Traugott
The Maserati Ghibli nameplate dates back to 1967, with the current generation arriving in 2013. The Ghibli's return was a big deal for the Italian marque because it represented a return to the mid-size sedan segment after nearly two decades. The Maserati Quattroporte, which shares a platform with the Ghibli, is simply too big for some customers. As a rival to the likes of the BMW 5 Series, the Ghibli has serious competition. But up until now, only one powertrain was available to US customers: a Ferrari-derived 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6. In July 2021, a hybrid version debuted, and now we have a new variant in the form of the 2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo, a V8-powered Italian luxury high-performance sedan that, on paper, checks all the right boxes. Alongside the also new Quattroporte Trofeo and Levante Trofeo SUV, the Ghibli Trofeo is part of the trident brand's effort to add some much-needed excitement to its range.
3.8-liter Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
The exterior design of the 2021 Ghibli Trofeo doesn't look much different than the V6 model, but there are a few subtle differences. There's a new front grille featuring twin vertical bars in a slick Black Piano finish, while carbon fiber on the front air duct trims and rear extractor provide an even sportier yet elegant look.
Perhaps the best and most recognizable way to distinguish the Ghibli Trofeo (and all other Trofeo models) from the V6 version is the side air vents and lightning bolt located on the Trident badge, which can be found on the C-pillars. The hood is also new, featuring a pair of air ducts to help improve engine cooling.
Out back, the taillights have been restyled with a "boomerang-like profile" inspired by the Alfieri concept car from 2014. A set of 21-inch aluminum Orione wheels are standard.
Although not a complete interior redesign, Maserati has given the Ghibli Trofeo some nice updates suitable for the high-tech era. There's a new display panel housing a bespoke Trofeo interface. Full-grain Pieno Fiore natural leather upholstery is standard and the headrests also have Trofeo badge embroidery. But in general, this is the same Ghibli interior with seating for five that dates back nearly seven years.
Fortunately, the automaker has added its Maserati Intelligent Assistant (MIA) multimedia technology. The screen is larger than before, now measuring 10.1-inches (up from 8.4-inches), and offers improved resolution. A new graphic interface can also be found. The Maserati Connect program provides an attractive range of connected services, such as the ability to alert the driver when regular servicing is needed and up-to-date traffic information.
Amazon Alexa services can also be activated as well as a WiFi hotspot. Drivers can be in contact with the system by way of their smartphone or smartwatch by simply downloading the Maserati Connect app.
Although the Ghibli Trofeo doesn't look much different inside and out, it's what under the hood that matters most. Earning the Trofeo moniker requires the Ferrari-developed and built 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 with a total output of 580 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque. That power is directed to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The automaker claims a top speed of 203 mph, making both Ghibli and Quattroporte Trofeo models the fastest-ever Maserati sedans.
Both vehicles feature Maserati's Integrated Vehicle Control system for a guaranteed thrilling driving experience. This is augmented by the Corsa setting which firms up the suspension for even sportier driving. Launch Control is also standard.
It should be noted that Maserati's contract with Ferrari for the use of this engine will soon be coming to an end. Consider the Ghibli Trofeo as something quite special because, in all likelihood, there won't be a more powerful version for the current generation model.
Official pricing has not been announced just yet, but it definitely won't be cheap. At present, the most expensive Ghibli costs nearly $90,000. The addition of the V8 will more than likely push that price above the $100k mark and this is all assuming the Ghibli Trofeo will be sold in the US. Chances are it will be, unlike the hybrid variant.
At that predicted price and with that much power under its hood, the Ghibli Trofeo is in direct competition with the best of the best: the BMW M5 (600 hp) and Mercedes-AMG E63 S (603 hp). These two super sedans have been direct competitors for years and the Ghibli Trofeo's arrival will surely make things more interesting.
The 2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo will be built in Turin, Italy, and is expected to go on sale sometime in the next few months.