Maserati has subjected its E-segment Ghibli sedan to a mild facelift for 2021, and with it unveiled a hybrid variant.
The trident brand has chosen not to go down the plug-in hybrid or series-hybrid route for its first electrified model, instead opting to mate a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to FCA’s 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine.
Combined outputs for the system are rated at 243kW of power (330 PS) and 450Nm of torque, sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed, ZF torque-converter automatic transmission. The 0-100km/h sprint is covered in just 5.7 seconds, towards a top speed of 255km/h.
Consisting of a belt-integrated starter-generator, small lithium-ion battery and a low-power ‘eBooster’ electric motor, Maserati claims its mild-hybrid system enables 20 per cent lower fuel economy and 25 per cent lower CO2 emissions than the existing 257kW 3.0-litre V6 petrol, with combined fuel use and emissions claims on the European WLTP cycle as low as 8.5L/100km and 192g/km respectively.
Energy is recovered under deceleration and stored in the battery, only to be fed to the electric motor to improve low-end performance upon acceleration.
Differentiating the Ghibli Hybrid from its conventional stablemates is a unique front grille and an array of blue acccents on the front fender vents, Brembo brake calipers and C-pillar badge. All 2021 Ghiblis score new, thinner tail-light clusters with LED technology and a ‘boomerang’ shape.
Inside, the MY21 Ghibli range benefits from a new 8.4- or 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen running an all-new, Android Automotive-based operating system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and support for a new Maserati Connect smartphone app.
The Hybrid model will be offered in either luxurious GranLusso or sporty GranSport trim, with standard equipment including six-way power-adjustable sports seats, column-mounted aluminium paddle shifters, sports pedals and fine-grain leather trim.
A move to electric power steering has allowed for the fitment of a range of Level 2 semi-autonomous driving technologies, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist that can accelerate, brake and steer the car within its lane, plus blind-spot monitoring, traffic-sign recognition and autonomous emergency braking.
The 2021 Maserati Ghibli Hybrid will launch in Australia in late 2020.