2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

Does four make it a quattro, even though it’s not a Quattroporte. Silly word-play aside, does all-wheel drive improve the Ghibli?

By Shahzad Sheikh

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

I liked the new Maserati Ghibli from the moment I saw the pictures, and was totally convinced when I saw it in the metal at the Dubai Motor Show at the end of 2013. And then they hit me with the projected price – AED250,000. Wowsers – for a Maserati? For Ferrari’s more practical, but more maverick cousin? Bargain!

Video Review

Okay. In fact the price grew a little to AED285,000 when it actually hit the showroom floor – but that’s still not bad for something that looks like a AED450k exotic Italian executive express, which it is… Having said that, it turned out the normal 325bhp twin-turbo 3.0 V6 rather than the 404bhp version in the S is AED285. The S is now AED319k (down from AED325k last year in fact).

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

But even that sort of money seemed reasonable when I finally drove it – read my review here – and I loved it. ‘Hit!’ I reckoned. That was over a year ago. By now I expected the streets to be flooded with these. Hmm… not quite. Maybe the Q4 all-wheel drive version will push sales to where they really ought to be. It’s only 10k more at AED329,000 after all.

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

Watch my video review above and I find that assumption to be incorrect, but I do stumble on a probable reason as to why not everyone is eagerly signing a cheque for a new Maserati Ghibli, as they rightly should be.

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

In this review then, I’ll skip the basic formalities about how the car is – all that was covered in my previous Ghibli review – and jump straight to the big question: does all-wheel drive add anything to the formula.

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

No, it doesn’t. The grip, handling, balance and poise of the regular S rear-wheel drive is superb. Whilst in real terms it only adds about 60kg to the weight, subjectively the car feels leaden, grippier yes, but it didn’t really need much more stickiness in the first place. To drive it feels slightly dulled, even the steering feedback is muted compared to how I remember.

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fantastically fast and capable car (in fact 0-100kph acceleration is two-tenths quicker thanks to improved traction off the line), but it’s somehow not as entertaining, lively and satisfying as the regular car.

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

So my verdict then is to save yourself the AED10k, buy the regular S version and spend the money on options. Not that the 10k will get you very far with the options list. And maybe that’s the real problem here.

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

For example the car that I was driving, which seemed appropriately equipped for something as posh as this, was actually a AED425k car. That’s nearly AED100k more than the base price. And if you go and order your first Maserati – you don’t exactly want a base car do you?

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S

Perhaps they need to package more into the car as standard or reduce the options prices, and then they might start to see the Ghibli selling in the bigger numbers they intended for it. Which I would also like to see because a) it would fulfil my prophecy and b) there would be more Maserati Ghibli prettiness on our roads – and that can’t be a bad thing!

2015 Maserati Ghibli Q4 S – The Specs

Price: AED329,000 ($89,600)
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 Twin Turbo, 410bhp @ 5500rpm, 406lb ft @ 1750-5000rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, all wheel drive
Performance: 0-100kph 4.8 seconds, Top speed 284kph, 13.1L/100km
Weight: 1870kg

Let us know what you think of the Maserati Ghibli Q4 S below in the comments section

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