Words: Calvin Chan
Published: August 10, 2020
Watch out M3, C 63, and Giulia QV. There's a new super sedan in town, and it wears the Trident badge. As part of an aggressive product offensive, Maserati has finally revealed a full-performance variant of their mid-size sedan, the Ghibli Trofeo. While the Ghibli used to only come with a V6 engine, the Trofeo now harbours the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 that is found in the Levante Trofeo. This powerplant is unique as it starts its life with Ferrari architecture and is finished off and assembled by Ferrari themselves in Maranello. The V8 even shares the same internal code name, F154, but that’s just about where the similarities end. Maserati’s V8 uses a crossplane crankshaft with wet sump lubrication, while Ferraris use a flat-plane crank with dry sump lubrication, hence the difference in RPM limits and the stallion’s more exotic exhaust note.
As a result, the Ghibli Trofeo produces 580 hp and 538 lb-ft through an 8-speed automatic transmission, but here's the kicker. It's rear-wheel drive only. That should make this one lairy but incredibly fun super sedan. Proof is in the pudding with the new Corsa button that spices up the car's dynamics with faster shift times and quicker engine response. The Ghibli Trofeo also comes standard with Launch Control, accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, two-tenths slower than the Trofeo, only because of the latter's AWD system. Of note, that acceleration figure is considerably slower than the trio of C 63 AMG, M3 CS, and Giulia QV, all of which run it in 3.9 seconds. The reason being the Ghibli Trofeo is somewhat larger in wheelbase and length compared to those compact sedans, offering slightly more cabin space and is heavier as a result. No air suspension like on the Levante here either.
To distinguish the Trofeo model from the SQ4, the Ghibli receives black piano finishes on the front grill and its twin vertical bars, red details on the side fender air vents and Trident badge on the C-pillars, as well as re-styled taillights and unique 21-inch wheels. There are also two aggressive air ducts bulging out of the hood, due to the large V8 engine's cooling requirements. The Ghibli Trofeo should have an scintillating exhaust note to match its wondrous and exotic sheetmetal, as proven by the Levante we tested a few months prior.
Inside is mostly carried over from previous models, which isn't a bad thing in the slightest. Maserati knows how to dress up a cabin with leather, and in this case, full-grain Pieno Fiore natural leather upholstery. You will find Trofeo badges on the headrest, as well as in the infotainment unit which has been upgraded with a faster and larger 10.1-inch touchscreen.
There does not seem to be any middle trim offered in the form of a Ghibli GTS like it is on the Levante. However the Levante GTS still utilizes the same 3.8-litre V8 engine but has been detuned to run less boost higher in the rev range. Canada is further devoid of the recently announced Ghibli Hybrid as well, Maserati's first foray into the world of electrified mobility. Be that as it may, the Ghibli Trofeo should worry its competitors. It may not go like stink or be the quickest of the lot, but we don't doubt that it will reach the finish line with the most flair and character, and we can't wait to drive it.