If you are looking for a car that achieves many firsts, then you would struggle to beat the Maserati Ghibli. Not only is it the first 2.0-litre engine found in a Maserati, but it is also the first electrified model to be launched by the Italian supercar brand and in essence, is the first hybrid from them as well.

The Maserati Ghibli Hybrid is not a full hybrid in the typical sense of other carmakers. This means it does not actually let you drive the car in pure electric mode. What you do you get from the 48V hybrid system is a starter generator, a battery and an eBooster. This would classify it more as a mild hybrid rather than a full-on hybrid. Maybe that is just splitting hairs for the average motorist.

To complement this hybrid system is a 2-litre, V6 petrol engine that produces 330hp of power and 450Nm of torque, which feels very Maserati-like. “Faster than diesel, greener than gasoline”, claims the marketing material. It also says that a team of around 100 people worked on the car’s chassis and bodywork. Maybe that is overkill, but it does look impressive to the naked eye.

The Ghibli Hybrid’s eBoost function is a good illustration of its electric power in action. If you are new to hybrids, the eBoost allows the Ghibli to speed off smoothly, quickly and electrically.

To give you a good idea of the power the eBoost produces, it will get you from 0 to 100kph in 5.7 seconds, which is only 0.1 seconds slower than the V6. Both those acceleration times are pretty impressive when you consider the size of the Ghibli, and the fact it is not a two- door sports car.

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By the way, the starter generator recovers energy during braking and deceleration and stores it in the battery in the boot. This stored energy is used to power the e-Booster, an electrically driven supercharger that backs up and complements the turbocharger.

Looks-wise, it still retains the sporty features you would expect from a Maserati while debuting a new front grille that makes it look like the elegant coupe that it is.

As a brand, Maserati is all about elegance and understated wealth. Both the exterior and interior look fit for the family man, chief executive type.

Inside, I was impressed by the high level of cabin craftsmanship. One distinctive feature is Maserati’s unique, cockpit-inspired dashboard. In the Hybrid version, you get an array of exclusive features such as 12-way power sports leather front seats with integrated anti-whiplash headrests.

You are almost guaranteed to find just the right seating position however fussy you are. Then there’s the sports steering wheel fitted with aluminium gearshift paddles and sports pedals.

A nice touch that reminds you of the Ghibli’s electrified credentials are the dark blue-coloured brake callipers and three air ducts found just behind the front fenders. Dark blue has been adopted as the colour that represents clean mobility. These dark blue details are also on the contrast stitching and trident logos on the plush leather seats.

This coupe is on the large size, but incredibly easy to handle and park. The car is sturdy that you feel confident pushing the speed limit, and smooth in its handling. And all that size, means a spacious cabin for both front and rear occupants, with space for three in the back. The boot space is also on the generous side.

Another plus point is the tech onboard. The infotainment system has been upgraded and now comes with a larger 10.1-inch screen. The new system also allows wireless Apple CarPlay along with wireless charging, which can neatly be accessed from a pop-out tray that seats your phone. The sound quality is pretty impressive too thanks to the Harmon Kardon sound system.

I have to confess I have a hard time connecting my old iPhone model to some CarPlay systems but it worked like a treat in the Ghibli Hybrid and I soon had access to my Spotify playlist and Whatsapp messages. I also have shifted my focus towards cars that are becoming greener, and hybrids are that halfway house between petrol and pure electric.

Maserati says that this new hybrid offers a 20 percent fuel saving compared to the V6 petrol engine. While Maseratis are not the most fuel-efficient cars in the first place, this is at least a step in the right direction. The plug-in hybrid market is heating up in the executive sedan sector, and the Ghibli’s price point could actually be its bigger attraction.


Maserati Ghibli Hybrid
$338,800 excluding COE
Engine: 1,995cc, V6, mild hybrid with 48V electric battery
Power/torque: 330hp/450Nm
Fuel consumption: 8.5L/100km
0 to 100kph: 5.7 seconds
Top speed: 255kph