Of the luxury automotive brands out there, Maserati is one that often avoids comparison. The German automakers consistently go to war against one another, stacking spec sheets against each other in toe-to-toe Tango, but when it comes to Maserati the brand seems content to march to the beat of its own drum. Sure, on paper one could argue that the 2022 Ghibli Trofeo competes with the likes of the Mercedes-AMG E63 S, or the BMW M5, but specs never really tell the whole story. After a brief bit of seat time in Miami this past month, we snuck in just enough time at the wheel to properly suss out who the Ghibli Trofeo is geared towards, and why its charming nature will continue to win over new buyers.
It’s Slower From 0–100, but More Fun Getting There
Everyone is always in a hurry to tout horsepower stats and 0-60 times (0-100km/h in good ‘ol Canada, eh?), but those number are seldom representative of driving experience. From behind the wheel, you’ll feel torque more than you’ll notice horsepower, and the fact is that you’ll never notice a 0.5 second difference in acceleration unless you’re a drag strip junkie driving competing cars back-to-back. In the case of the Ghibli Trofeo, 0-100 is done in 4.3 seconds. No, it’s not as fast as the Merc or Bimmer, but it’s also laying power down at the rear wheels, and even with the traction nannies engaged, it’s programmed to have a little wheel slip. Think less razor-sharp track tool, and a little more enthusiastic tail wagging Labradoodle. Don’t get me wrong, it’s composed and handles itself well; it’s just not build to be a track day star, and that’s just fine in our books.
It Has a Ferrari-Built Engine (for Now)
Eight cylinders, 3.8 litres of displacement, and a pair of turbochargers bundled together to make 580 horsepower and 528 lb-ft of torque is a great jumping off point, but the fact that Maserati mills are still built by Ferrari remains a key selling feature here. There’s been talk for years about that changing, but in the case of the Ghibli Trofeo you’re getting a Ferrari-built engine that first appeared in the Maserati Levante Trofeo back in 2019. If the brand follows through on pulling the plug on engines supplied by Modena’s prancing horse, this could potentially make the Ghibli Trofeo a future collectible. Even if it doesn’t, you’ll enjoy being behind the wheel for as long as you have it.
It Sounds Better Than Just About Every Other Uber Sedan
Chalk it up to a mix of the smaller displacement engine and the fine tuning of exhaust systems by the Italian marque, but there’s something about the exhaust note of the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo that’s unlike any of its competitors. It’s less “burble and pop”, and more of a guttural growl — especially with the car set in Sport or Corsa modes. That said, the decibel drop in the standard driving mode will still satisfy, without making your neighbours wish you’d move far, far away. It’s clear the Maserati folks are proud of their work, as you can hear an audio clip of the Ghibli Trofeo revving right on their website.
Tech That Works
I don’t know if it’s just been my poor luck, but I’ve found myself facing more tech glitches in Italian cars more than anywhere else over the last 15+ years in the automotive space. I’ve had navigation showing me a right arrow with voice instruction saying to turn left (that was a fun one), and functions that don’t switch off when they’re told, but all in all, older infotainment tech from most Italian makers had a knack for not keeping up with its European or Japanese counterparts. Thankfully, and perhaps in part due to the brand’s ownership by Stellantis (the same group that owns Fiat, Chrysler, Peugeot, and Lancia), the infotainment and digital cluster inside the Ghibli Trofeo is a straightforward and functional interface that any luddite can still wrap their brains around. I will say though, it’s a little off-putting that the controls on the back of the steering well (for audio, etc.) feel like they’re pulled directly out of a Chrysler product.
The Cabin Is Roomy and Very Well Appointed
Ignoring the little gripe about the wheel controls, the overall fit and feel of the interior is properly posh. If you opt for the upgraded seating, you get sleek woven Pieno Fiore natural leather sport seats that were designed in collaboration with Zegna. The doors and dash are heavily clad in carbon fibre, as one would expect from a more sporting spec build, and all of its other touch points feel properly up to snuff to suit the $139,300 Canadian sticker price. At 6’1, I had no issue getting comfortable in both front and rear seating, but with an overall length of just under 5 metres, that’s also expected. That overall size and stance is felt from behind the wheel as well, but remember that the Ghibli Trofeo is much more fun cruiser, and much less autocross. It’s designed to move you around comfortably, and put a smile on your face as your foot goes down. And that it’ll do with ease.