By on February 3, 2014

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Sergio Marchionne and crew surprised everybody by using the Super Bowl to premiere a long form ad (below) for the new Maserati Ghibli. One might question the wisdom of using the “big game” to promote a niche brand, but Sergio says he wants to sell 50,000 Maseratis a year and the Ghibli, which starts at ~$65,000, is a big part of that plan, so putting the entry level Maser in front of the biggest tv audience of the year makes some sense. The thing is that the ad is one of those that’s heavy on the stirring dramatic and philosophical voiceover and not quite so product intensive. You don’t get to see the actual car until more than a minute into the 90 second spot and then it flashes on screen for less than 10 seconds. The Ghibli site and configurator apparently crashed earlier under Super Bowl levels of traffic, but as of the middle of the third quarter of the game, it’s up and running. In case it crashes again, and you’d like to see what the Ghibli looks like, you’re in luck.

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At the recent Detroit auto show, after the rich folks left, the show organizers allowed the media to come in and photograph the ultra-luxe cars on display at The Gallery, a event held at a local casino for 400 well heeled invitees. There was a Ghibli on display next to a Granturismo and a Quattroporte. I think it looks rather ordinary for an Italian [quasi] exotic. The front end seems pinched to me and the rear end looks like it could be on a Toyota or Hyundai. Franz von Holzenhaus’ Tesla Model S makes a much more attractive Maserati. The Ghibli will probably sell well though. It’s reasonably stylish from most angles and it has the name. After all, the Maserati name helped Lee Iacocca move some K car variants. I’m not sure what sales will be like in 2015 and 2016, though, after Ghibli owners discover what many Quattroporte buyers have learned: Maserati may be trying to compete with similarly priced German luxury sedans, but their cars may not be up to the rigors of daily driving the way those German cars are.

Stereo pics here.

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Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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53 Comments on “2014 Maserati Ghibli – Sergio’s Super Bowl Surprise...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Buick called: They want their portholes and wheels back.

    Oh, and about that foreskin-themed front end…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    If it has the 3.2 Pentastar Multi Air powering it at 410hp it should get up and go.

    I do think the Italian’s can’t go on forever building semi reliable vehicles.

    The British had done this and look at what happened to them.

    I think it looks quite nice and wantable.

  • avatar

    Maserati sharing major parts with Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge. Who’d have thunk it?

    Looks a bit like the infiniti M.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      “Looks a bit like the infiniti M.”

      Yep, and to my eyes, shares some proportions with the new, unloved Q50. I quite like the Maserati’s overall look, but I’d steer toward the Infiniti in ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Maybe Lee Iacocca?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrysler_TC_by_Maserati

      Ghibli is not my cup of tea, but I hope it’s vastly better machine.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    In Europe they have a 275 bhp td, a 404 bhp V6 t and a 535 bhp V8 t.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    It doesn’t do much for me as a design. Modern Maserati sedans all start to look the same, I’d have to check the badge to know the model.

  • avatar
    redav

    I hated that ad.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Aside from the CLS and A7 midsize/large luxury sedans are painfully derivative. This is no exception.

  • avatar

    I think the front, specially the lights, have a bit of Ferrari to them while the back reminded me of Audi. Like others said, fairly derivative and unoffensive. On the other hand, had I 65k lying around, this would surely be in consideration. Afterall, for that kind of money, an exclusive badge has its value. Reliability or no reliability, for the cash, I doubt many owners keep it past warranty. If I had that cash, I wouldn’t worry about that.

  • avatar
    bergxu

    I dumped my ’06 QP DuoSelect after about three months. Don’t get me wrong–it was a stunningly beautiful automobile but just not a great city car with the DS gearbox. Mind you, was lovely on the highway and sounded incredible, even with the stock exhaust. It was fun to drive and I didn’t mind the DuoSelect at all, but the thought of a looming $7K clutch job flashed before me at every stop sign I came to, rendering the car more of an annoyance which led me to realize anyways that I needed to go back to what I was most loyal to; old Mercs. Went back and haven’t looked back.

  • avatar
    felix

    I hear the top version will be called the Biturbo…

  • avatar
    fredtal

    Jaguar had a super bowl ad and it’s just as expensive.

  • avatar

    I want to race this in GT3/LMGTE! It would look and sound so good coming down Mount Panorama, or charging down the Mulsanne at Le Mans… sigh.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    Best (and the only good thing) from that Maserati ad was the engine/exhaust note-pure automotive sex appeal.

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    I thought this was a good ad. It held my interest, and made me aware that Maserati offered an interesting alternative to the much more common 5 Series, A6, and E Class.

    If this ad builds awareness for the brand, and encourages a few people that would otherwise consider a German sedan at this price point to check out a Ghibli, it has done its job.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Agree all it did was build awareness, which I guess is the main point of Super Bowls ads. Did seem silly to advertise such a niche product, especially during an event in which the average audience just wants more beer and Doritos. The game and commercials this year were completely forgettable (and I’m closet Seattle fan).

  • avatar
    Jellodyne

    Poor bullied Maserati. Those bigger guys making better cars than you, what a bunch of ruffians!

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    I like the idea of an affordable Maserati, but would it kill them to add some better wheels to the base car? Those look like 16″ wheels from a low-rent GM product.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    IMO, you never see the best Super Bowl ads coming. My favorites were this, simply because I honestly had no idea what it was an ad for until they showed the car (which I think was the point) and the K900 ad (big Matrix fan).

    My least favorite were the Ford Fusion Hybrid ads (big-budget, but based on BS fuel economy numbers I’ve yet to see produced in the real world) and the Chevy Cow commercial (“You Sexy Thing” should be retired forever as an ironic spot track).

  • avatar
    mjz

    FANTASTIC ad because it put the German luxury carmakers on notice. We have prepared. Now we strike. Love it. The Ghibli is a fducking beautiful car. I have my colors picked out. Will buy as soon as those damn lottery numbers come out. Lol.

  • avatar
    mjz

    THAT ad was a message The Sergio sent to the German luxury cartel, and to Dr. Piech in particular. We have studied your game and we have an even more storied brand to use against you (And now that I have access to Chrysler’s cash stash, it will be a battle to the death). Should be fun. Can’t wait ’til Alfa gets in the game too.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Those photos are unflattering. The Ghibli is sex on 4 wheels in person. A beautiful car.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not a good enough photographer to be able to make cars look worse on purpose. I took my standard sequence of photos that I do with all cars. The rear views were somewhat constrained by the room. It may just be a question of taste. I like the Grantourismo and the Quattroporte, but find the Ghibli a bit offputting. It’s not an ugly car, I just don’t particularly like this iteration of the current Maserati styling themes. As I said in the post, there will be many people that find it attractive. If everyone agreed with me, that would get boring quickly.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Do you want to have sex with the gorgeous Italian, or the efficient German? I know my answer.

  • avatar
    Jon1800s

    I passed an open auto-transporter of these back on December somewhere in Ohio in I70. At first I could not for the life of me figure out why someone would be transporting a truckload of deep blue Maserati Quattroporte in the rain on a cold December day. A bit of digging on-line found that they were the Ghibli. I do not know if that makes it ok – BMW has BMC – those covered European auto transporters, I do not often see MB on open transporters but one might have thought they would not drive such vehicles when salt laden spray can soak such beautiful cars.

    In any case the ad caught me as interesting – not really relevant but it seems like a nice introduction to a more approachable car in the brand.

    I would think that while most owners going in to purchase a fine Italian motor car would be wise enough to have another vehicle for those occasions when the Italian beauty is in for service. One may desire a Maserati near daily driving but one should be a realist.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    This ad was utter crap.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Something about the wheel design on the one pictured really puts me off. It’s not a flattering wheel for that car in white. It might work in a darker color, but probably not. I agree the rear end does look Hyundai-ish, and sort of like they overworked it. It’s got some LaCrosse features along the sides as well.

    Overall, seems like it wishes it were the size and price of a real Maserati like the Quattroporte – but then decided not to try too hard. The front I could probably live with, but the rest is meh.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Not all Maseratis were large sedans, some were quite svelte sporty coupés that while not in the class of the Jag E-type fell nicely in with the S-type. If you’ll remember, a relatively late-model Maserati was traded in during the Cash for Clunkers deal which was, for me, very painful to read about.

      Personally I like the overall look and apparent size of this new Ghibli and I certainly like the sound. If its performance comes anywhere close to living up to the name, I could be interested–far more interested than a pickup truck at the same price.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Sure, so they did large sedans and sporty coupes. But this is a midsize entry :). And FWIW, they have had some of the most beautiful designs throughout their storied history. The Mexico springs to mind.

        I’m only interested in the looks, as I already know the reliability will be tragic. Less reliable than the Germans for certain, and probably less so than the Jaguar option. Depreciation to match a McMansion in 2008.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Honestly, we know nothing about Maserati’s current reliability, though I’ll acknowledge they don’t have much of a reputation for such. On the other hand, the new Maseratis are based on Chyrsler platforms which have demonstrated significantly better reliability and the Fiat 500 is currently proving to be at least acceptable. Someone coming into it without knowing its old reputation might end up liking it where someone aware of its old rep might be pleasantly surprised.

          I’ve always been told not to buy the first year example of any new model, but in the one case that I did just that, I came out putting over 120,000 miles on it with no major OOP expense.


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