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Maserati's All-New $66,900 Ghibli Takes Aim at BMW's 5 Series

Maserati Ghibli. Photo: Maserati.  

When you think of a Maserati, you probably equate it with the likes of Ferrari, and Aston Martin. While brands such as BMW (NASDAQOTH: BAMXF  ) and Daimler's (NASDAQOTH: DDAIF  ) Mercedes-Benz might also come to mind, you're probably imagining something more in line with BMW's M6 or Mercedes' SL63 AMG -- in other words, a vehicle that shouts performance, luxury, and expensive.

But while the typical Maserati, Ferrari, and Aston Martin are incredible, they don't garner the high sales volume of cars like BMW's 5 Series, or Mercedes' E-Class. So to help it achieve higher sales, Maserati built the Ghibli, a "cheaper" vehicle that's taking aim at BMW and Mercedes.

Maserati's Ghibli interior. Photo: Maserati.

Watch out, BMW and Mercedes
The base Ghibli features a 3.0 liter Twin-Turbo V6 that produces 345 horsepower and 369 pound-feed of torque. That allows it to go 0 to 60 in 5.5 seconds and have a top speed of 165 mph. Further, it has a curb weight of 3,992 pounds and gets an estimated combined fuel economy of 19 mpg -- not exactly the most fuel efficient, but, hey, it's a Maserati. Moreover, the Ghibli has a starting price of $66,900. That's significantly less than Maserati's next cheapest model, the Quattroporte, which starts at $102,500. 

BMW's 5 Series. Photo: BMW.

Furthermore, according to Rides, Maserati thinks that with its base price of $66,900, the Ghibli will help push the company from "small-sports-car builder" to a full-on contender in the luxury-car sphere, and help Maserati garner sales of 50,000 cars a year, by 2015. Plus, when it comes to sales, CarAndDriver says the Ghibli will compete against BMW's 5 Series, which has a starting price of $49,500, and Mercedes' E-Class, which has a starting price of $51,400.

More importantly, the 5 Series and the E-Class are both incredibly popular and have strong sales. In fact, in 2013, globally, BMW sold 366,992 5 Series -- up 2.2% from the previous year, and Mercedes recorded 242,562 E-Class deliveries -- up 7.6% from the previous year. For Maserati, this is potentially great news, as the Ghibli moves into the mid-size, four-door, luxury sedan market. Of course, for Mercedes and BMW, this is potentially unwelcome news, as the Ghibli could steal sales.

Mercedes' E-Class. Photo: Mercedes-Benz.

What to watch
Regardless of how the Ghibli performs in terms of sales, it's unlikely to make a significant impact on either BMW or Mercedes' bottom line. Both are strong companies, with an impressive vehicle lineup, and it's highly unlikely that Maserati's Ghibli will damage that standing. Still, it's possible that buyers considering a vehicle like Mercedes' E550 or a BMW 550i could go for the Ghibli. That, in turn, could affect sales of these vehicles, but it's still unlikely the Ghibli will steal all of those sales. Consequently, while the Ghibli looks like an impressive car, and will no doubt garner sales for Maserati, investors shouldn't be overly worried that it will negatively affect BMW or Mercedes.

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Read/Post Comments (22) | Recommend This Article (25)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 10:48 AM, notech47 wrote:

    Maserati has so far been unable to gain a reputation for reliability or resale value even close to the BMW or Mercedes. Though none of these cars seem to offer long term reliability combined with reasonable repair and service costs. This will require long term historical data to verify. In the meantime, the car should only be leased and then resold as a certified pre owned

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 11:08 AM, normgarry wrote:

    I drove the car over the weekend.

    #1. The ride is overly rough and the TT V6 is overly loud and "growly" without a sweet note you'd get from a V8.

    #2. The leather is great, but most of the parts are the same as you'd get in a Dodge Dart/ Chrysler 300.

    #3. My 300 SRT has more features and way more power for half the price. A 300SRT is $55,000 and a Fully loaded Q4 Ghibli is $95,800 and you still don't get adaptive cruise control.

    #4 the AWD is good but you get a way better car out of a CTS V-sport ($70,000 loaded).

    Watch my Ghibli video on Youtube: BIGTRUCKSERIESREVIEW.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 12:00 PM, FairWarning wrote:

    Mazerati tried this years ago by badging a loaded Chrysler LeBaron...just saying

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 12:06 PM, jasawi91 wrote:

    I have 13 3.8 Genesis Coupe...Faster than this with a naturally aspirated V6 and better MPG. Not to mention it's half the price with a longer warranty. Not just Hyundai though, but there are so many better options. Hell, if you're going to spend that level of cash you may as well get a Model S. Just saying

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 12:41 PM, wendy2010 wrote:




    And for sure Maserati is a way better luxury car than Mercedes bmw porsche and audi

    In fact many Italian parts are used for bmw and Mercedes. In fact not only many bmw and mercedes use leather from the italian company Frau but also other parts.

    And for who really drove the ghibli. The sound is unique and way better than German cars.

    Many of the people that are make comments here are the classic owner of a bmw that can't afford a Maserati

    And about the person that said that the genedis is faster: hahahaha and do you really want to compare a huynday with a Maserati? Hahahaha

    Speed doesn't mean quality. Lol


    And about the v8: obviously v6 and v8 snd v10 are different kind of engine. If the Maserati has a v6 engine why do you want to compare that to a v10? Lol

    Maserati is made with many parts from ferrari. People should inform theirself better before post comments

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 1:28 PM, LungsOfSteel wrote:

    Wendy, you don't project yourself to be much more intelligent than the posters you criticize.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 1:33 PM, Austonio wrote:

    Who cares how it drives! Would you really buy a car that they named "Ghibli"????????????????

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 1:42 PM, tomanynames wrote:

    Wendy2010: Chrysler is currently owned by Fiat. Who is the cousin to ferrari and maserati. All under one umbrella. This is why these parts are all intermegaled. You will see a taste of all these cars to be blended together in the future. It's called progress.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 1:52 PM, TheUnaballer wrote:

    Aside from technical/performance specs, much of the previous commentary is just opinion. I don't see the need to bash works of art just because you can get more bang for you buck elsewhere. It's like saying you'd rather have a Van Gogh print than an original on your wall. And maybe the print has more vivid colors even. The Ghibli is still an awesome car for a reasonable price, and will definitely attract more buyers to Maserati. After all, this is an investment site, not road and track.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 2:37 PM, normgarry wrote:

    Wendy is a dummy. CHRYSLER 300 is made in CANADA!!!

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 3:04 PM, zway wrote:

    Do you think a Maserati ( just the name sound nice ) after just 3 years in service or not the car fall a parts with expensif bills to fix it.

    10 or 20 years after the Mercedes or BMW are still on road with a good reputation.


  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 3:35 PM, al8603 wrote:

    This Maserati is a nice looking machine. And, if you select your upgrades carefully you can get one nicely equipped in the mid $70k to mid $80k.

    The one thing I don't know about it that I'd need to know before making a purchase is who makes the engine. Maserati usually uses slightly detuned Ferrari engines in their cars. Not aware of a 6 cylinder Ferrari engine so, this leaves me to wonder who makes the engines and the turbo's as well.

    There's also an upscale version which is much quicker and fully loaded will bring you into the mid 90k price range.

    For 10k more than the very nicely equipped base car you get a lot more performance. This would be my choice if I were to consider a purchase.

    I think this car will very likely accomplish what Maserati intends for this model. Put itself on the map for those whom can afford the upper end of the sub 100k price range.

    Now that Maserati has entered this market they will have to aggressively defend themselves against trolls like those appearing on this thread.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 4:13 PM, pdalt wrote:

    Austonio: In the 1960s and '70s, Maserati produced cars named Mistral, Ghibli, Bora, Khamsin, Karif, and Shamal -- all names of winds. Given Maserati's racing heritage and reputation for speed, the names were appropriate.

    However, the original Ghibli was a masterwork of design ( by the legendary Giorgio Giugiaro, and the new Ghibli... is not. In fact, this is the third time that Maserati has put the Ghibli name on a car, and the second was even worse than the current one.

    If a company is going to build on its heritage, it should probably build up, and this Ghibli is a let down.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 4:24 PM, nsbeach wrote:

    As a previous owner of an original Maserati Ghibli Coupe, several exotic cars and a current owner of a few high performance European cars just so you know I have some experience and knowledge about cars, I would like to respectfully comment on the new Ghibli. I was very pleased when it was announced that Fiat/Maserati was bring out a replacement for the original Ghibli. My thoughts and observations are as follows. My original Ghibli had classic late 60's 2+2 fastback styling that absolutely stood out and was recognizable. It had an overhead cam 4.9 litre naturally aspirated V8 with 4 dual throat downdraft Webers and a 5 speed gear box. So comparing the new Ghibli to the original is apples and oranges for me. Recognizing that technology has moved with leaps and bounds I understand that I am an old timer who might come across as "good old days" guy. I don't doubt that the new Ghibli will turn out to be a respectable model to add to its line but it will not evoke the same visceral response that its fore bearer did-at least for me.. Styling wise is of course a matter of personal choice and style but I don't see anything particularly outstanding in its features. Competent yes- practical yes but not a "Knock Your Socks Off" impact. Comparisons to Chrysler history and heritage aren't relevant and denigrating other marques aren't useful-the Ghibli will have to stand on its own 4 wheels. There has never been so much competent competition in the market place as today that I suspect it will not be a huge hit. But I am happy Maserati is trying to recover from its glory days.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 10:53 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Normgarry, Wendy is correct. She said the Chrysler 200 is made in America. You say she is wrong because it is made in Canada.

    The last time I checked, Canada is in North America.

    Unless they moved Canada, you are the dummy.

  • Report this Comment On February 10, 2014, at 10:55 PM, kca124cain wrote:

    Nice looking automobile.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 12:11 AM, 1thru99dotcom wrote:

    Just turned 269 K miles on a 2010 dodge charger. Used 10 w 30 Syth- changed oil every 5 K miles never going over. Flushed transmission and radiator every 6 months. All the miles are highway from Houston To Miami twice a month. Paid 15,900 cash for it with a trade in. Will run 180 mph within a mile. get's 19 miles to a gallon with a hemi engine. When Im on collins avenue or ocean drive the girls look at me more than they do the BMW's or the Maserati's. You can rent luxury car's in South Beach but not a Dodge Charger. The female want my money not my car.. Drive American,Buy American and Sleep with American Women.

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 1:30 AM, LungsOfSteel wrote:

    Please make it stop....

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 9:56 AM, fanofBMWs wrote:

    I'm indifferent as it relates to the stats, facts and opinions of the sports, luxury and exotic vehicles. I just want to know what's Wendy’s issue with BMW's Big Mexican Women??

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 11:12 AM, sdrew1976 wrote:

    Wendy2010- To suggest the maserati is better than the BMW 5 series is to ignore factual evidence that shows otherwise. BMWs historically have the best resale value, while a Maserati is worth a third of its new car value after three years. Another issue is the mechanics at dealerships in the US are the same cost as Ferrari techs, that mixed with poor reliability adds up to costs twice to three times of that with a BMW 5 series. BMWs technologies for drivers experience is 10 times that of the maserati, maserati cars are poorly set up, they have buttons in idiotic places and make simple tasks into time consuming endevors, you find yourself saying "puck it, it can read the wrong time" . They sound great and fun to drive, the leather quality is the best on the market, the comment or here who suggested a Chrysler is better is an idiot! I drive a BMW M5, I worked for BMW for 6 years, worked for Porsche for 2yrs and worked for Maserati for 2yrs.....Porsche and BMW are leaders, Maerati is a follower, Maserati having Ferrari parts is about as relevant is a Mini cooper having a couple of BMW parts, it doesn't make a mini a BMW and it doesn't make a Maserati a Ferrari either. Maserati interiors are old fashioned, they have technology from 10-15 years ago. You must be Italian or must not own any of these cars to comment in the manner you have, your opinion is IGNORANT AND FOOLISH!

  • Report this Comment On February 11, 2014, at 11:30 AM, sdrew1976 wrote:

    Wendy2010- Alfa Romeo are losers in every market accept in Italy! Bmw is the number one selling brand in the world, sorry, but it has nothing to do with having German ancestors! Next you will be telling us Panerai makes the best watches, when when compared to Rolex and Omega, it is clear Panerai makes a lesser quality product! If I want shoes, bags or a suit, leather or fabric, then I buy Italian, but cars its hard to do. Ferrari is a special brand, I have two close friends who collect them and we all love them, I am very particular to vintage Ferrari! But one brand doesn't mean the other Italian brands are then also great. Alfa Romeo and Maserrati have the worst resale values and worst reliability in the markets, that is a fact! Not an opinion based on emotional feelings, such as your opinion on Italian cars. Myself and others have considered purchasing Maseratis, but they just are not that great! My wife's boss owns a 2011 Maserati granturismo, he spent $122,000 on it and its now worth $50,000, its a sports cars, yet my 4 door sedan beats it in the 0-60 and in the top speed, that is fact! You are the one who is here and showing you only love Maserati because of a emotional reason and not because of factual evidence.

  • Report this Comment On February 12, 2014, at 1:13 AM, StockgeniusII wrote:

    Maserati has gone with a base price that is barebones. If you want a model that you can live with it about $80K! And full loaded is over $100K!

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Katie Spence

Katie Spence has been a financial journalist for The Fool since 2011. She specializes in defense companies, “green" technology, autos, and robots. Follow her on Twitter for breaking news in the defense, auto, and robot industry.

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