The Maserati marque has been around since 1914 when bothers Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto Maserati founded the company in Bologna, Italy. The war came hard on its heels and and it wasn’t until 1926 that they came up with their first creation, the Tipo 26 which carried the now well-known logo of the Maserati Trident for the first time. 

The company is now owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles who also own Ferrari. The marque has a proud history of motor racing success such as when Juan Manuel Fangio won the German GP in 1957 at the wheel of a 250F. 1966 saw the first model with the Ghibli name attached and in 1993, Ferrari and Maserati joined forces to create the 3200 GT.

Back to the Ghibli, that was re-launched on 2013, and here on my driveway sits the latest incarnation - the Ghibli Trofeo, meaning trophy, as they have gone full bore and put the Ferrari 3.8-litre, 580hp V8 into the car, making it the fastest production Maserati ever. 

Not very well known, the Ghibli could be regarded as a stylish rival to the BMW M5 with the advantage of being far rarer, prettier with a huge extra dollop of Italian cool. Then there’s the rip-roaring Ferrari engine with an exhaust note to die for, paired with an ZF 8- speed auto box and rear-wheel drive. The 4,616lb Ghibli will hit 60mph in 4.3 seconds and for a four-seater salon car, that ain’t ‘alf bad. Use the new launch control and you get every ounce of that power regardless of whether you are a rubbish driver or not. Prepare to meet your maker.

Despite the electronic limited-slip diff managing torque distribution, pop it into Corsa (race) mode, blip the throttle mid corner and watch the back slide out - it’s addictive. With the 21-inch wheels, you will be feeling the bumps in the road but nothing too dramatic and well worth it for the power under your right foot.

Overall, the Ghibli Trofeo has a pretty raw, unhinged on-road character. The steering has lots of feedback
but lacks instant response, so you have to work a little harder to quickly dive into corners. There’s definitely a lack of overall finesse and composure compared with sedans like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63, but I suppose that’s also what makes the Ghibli entertaining and different to every other car in the car park. Also, bravo to Maserati for using large, steering column-mounted paddles in the Ghibli Trofeo. This is exactly how paddle shifters should be done - if you have no interest in fuel efficiency of course.

It comes with all the driver aids expected such as full-speed adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking. It even gets Maserati’s
new Active Driving Assist, which combines adaptive cruise and lane-hold technologies, and can be used on any well-maintained road at speeds of up to 90 mph. The 10.1-inch frameless display works really well and is simple to use and it comes with Apple CarPlay and Google assistant.

The cabin is stylishly done but it is a tad cramped. Anyone over 5’.9” will have trouble in the back and there is a bit of cheap switchgear going on but it is comfortable. Everything is at hand and the seats brace you well for that accelerating push back. I love the actual clock and that large Trident in the centre of the wheel.

The Ghibli Trofeo price-wise would go up against the likes of the BMW M5 Competition and the Mercedes AMG E63, with the Audi RS7 and Porsche Panamera 4S sticking their nose in there too, so quite some competition,
but if you are looking for something different, something truly visceral, something with Italian style and, let’s
not forget that Ferrari engine, take a look at the Maserati.

Model tested:Maserati Ghibli Trofeo
Engine:3.8-litre, V8
Power:580 bhp
Speed:0-60 - 4.3 seconds
Top:202 mph
Economy:16 mpg
Price from:£104,200
As tested: £120,885

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