The Maserati Ghibli was the replacement model for the Mistral and Maserati’s premium two seater Grand Tourer for its day and is renown for its beautifully understated masculine and muscular with perfect proportions design; courtesy of the legendary young designer Giogetto Giugiaro. It was conceived as the ultimate late 60’s road car and although it may have not been as technically advanced as it rivals, the Ferrari 275GTB/4 and the Lamborghini 350GT; it was at least as beautiful with a distinctly new fresh lean and low shape from Giugiaro, the talented young designer for Ghia andws further enhanced by its formidable 4.7L V8 engine with 330HP and enormous torque. To this day, Giugiaro himself states that it is one of the designs he is most proud of, a car some say is better looking than the same era’s legendary Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona. Almost fifty years after its first production years, the Ghibli is still considered one of the sexiest collectibles possible to enhance any serious collection or garage with many enthusiasts considering it the greatest of all road going Maserati’s!
The sensation of the 1966 Turin show and still today highly regarded as Maserati’s ultimate front engine road car, it boasted stunning styling with low ground hugging looks on an all steel body, making it quite heavy yet still capable of up to 160mph due to extra displacement and output from the Maserati four cam V8. It had the perfect pedigree of luxury, performance and flawless Ghia styling that never again came together quite so sublimely.
It is of note that the later SS model, introduced in the Ghibli’s 3rd year of production, was a purely marketing tool for Maserati, and although it did have a 4.9L engine with a slightly higher top speed of 165mph and only 5bhp more, this was the only difference between the SS model and the 4.7L model. The Ghibli ended its production run in 1973 having built only 1,149 coupes and 125 Spiders, and they are becoming very thin on the ground with only very few still remaining and with some reports of only maybe some 500+ Coupes still in existence; therefore ensuring their legacy as one of the worlds lowest production supercars. They were followed by the Citroen influenced Bora and Khamsin which were to become Maserati’s new flagship cars into the new decade; although these models lacked the symmetry and restraint of the more tasteful 1960’s Maserati’s.
Maserati Ghibli is the name of three different cars produced by Italian manufacturer Maserati
The AM115, a V8 grand tourer from 1966 to 1973
The AM336, a V6 twin-turbo coupé from 1992 to 1997
The M157, an executive saloon from 2013 on.
Ghibli is the name for the hot dry south-westerly wind of the Libyan desert.
The original Ghibli (Tipo AM115) is a two-door, 2+2 V8-engined grand tourer.
American magazine Sports Car International named it number nine on its list of Top Sports Cars of the 1960s.
The Ghibli was first unveiled as a 2-seater prototype at the November 1966 Turin Motor Show.
Its steel body was characterized by a low, shark-shaped nose.
It was designed by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro, then working at Ghia.
The car featured:
Leather front sport seats
Two rear seats consisting of nothing more than a cushion without a backrest
The Ghibli was to be marketed as a 2-door 2+2 fastback coupé. Deliveries started in March of 1967
The car was powered by a front placed quad-cam 4.7 L, 310 PS (228 kW; 306 bhp) dry sump V8 engine mated to a five-speed manual, with a three-speed automatic optional.
It had a 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
The 2-seat Ghibli Spyder went into production in 1969.
Its convertible top folded under a flush fitting body-colour tonneau cover behind the front seats. A retractable hardtop was available as an option.
The Ghibli SS was released in 1969.
It had a:
4.9-litre engine and put out 335 PS (246 kW; 330 bhp).
Its top speed of 280 km/h (174 mph) made it the fastest Maserati road car ever produced.
In all, 1,170 coupés and 125 Spyders (including 25 Spyder SS) were produced.
The Ghibli went out of production in 1973
It was succeeded the following year by the Bertone-designed Khamsin
The Ghibli Featured:
A tubular frame with a separate body
Front suspension used double wishbone type
An anti-roll bar.
At the rear there was:
A live axle on semi-elliptic springs
A single longitudinal torque arm
An anti-roll bar
Magnesium wheels were standard, originally fitted with Pirelli Cinturato 205 VR15 tyres (CN72), while Borrani wire wheels were optional.
The car consumed copious volumes of fuel, but Maserati fitted the car with two independent 50 L (13.2 US gal; 11.0 imp gal) fuel tanks.
The Ghibli name was resurrected with the unveiling of the 1992 Ghibli (Tipo AM336), a two-door, four-seater coupé with twin-turbo V6 engines.
Like the V8 Maserati Shamal, it was an evolution of the previous Biturbo coupés
The doors, interior, and basic bodyshell were carried over from the Biturbo.
The Ghibli was launched at the 62nd Turin Motor Show in April 1992.
The Ghibli was updated with a:
24-valve Biturbo engines
A 2.0-litre V6 coupled to a six-speed manual transmission
A 2.8-litre V6 for export
A 5-speed manual
From 1995 with the 6-speed. A 4-speed automatic was optional. The coupé was built for luxury as well as performance
Its interior featured Connolly leather upholstery and burl elm trim.
At the 1994 Geneva Motor Show, Maserati launched an updated Ghibli.
A refreshed interior
New wing mirrors
Wider and larger 17″ alloy wheels
Fully adjustable electronic suspension
ABS brakes added
The Ghibli Open Cup single-make racing car was announced in late 1994.
Two sport versions were introduced in 1995.
The first was the Ghibli Kit Sportivo whose namesake handling kit included:
Wider tyres on OZ “Futura III” split-rim wheels
The second was the limited edition Ghibli Cup which debuted at the December 1995 Bologna Motor Show.
It mounted a 2-litre engine upgraded to 330 PS (243 kW; 325 hp).
At the time the Ghibli Cup had the highest ever per litre power output of any street legal car, surpassing the Bugatti EB110 and Jaguar XJ220.
Chassis upgrades included:
Visually the Cup was recognizable from its 5-spoke split-rim Speedline wheels and badges on the doors.
Only four paint colours were available
The sporty theme continued in the Cup’s cabin with:
Carbon fibre trim
A MOMO steering wheel.
A second round of improvements resulted in the Ghibli GT in 1996.
It was fitted with:
7-spoked 17″ alloy wheels
Black headlight housings
Suspension and transmission modifications.
Maserati later made 60 special edition Ghiblis called the Ghibli Primatist, featuring:
Special Ultramarine blue paintwork
An interior trimmed in two-tone blue/turquoise leather and polished burr walnut.
Production of the second generation Ghibli ended in summer 1998. It was replaced in the Maserati range by the 3200 GT.
Ghibli Open Cup
A single-make racing series for the Ghibli, the Open Cup, was run two seasons—1995 and 1996.
Twenty-five Ghibli Open Cup racing cars were prepared.
They were based on the two-litre model, tuned to 320 PS (235 kW; 316 hp)
A freer-flowing exhaust
Remapped fuel computers
A roll cage
Sparco racing seats
A Momo racing steering wheel
Aluminium shifter knob and pedals
Automatic fire extinguishing system
An aluminium sump guard
Carbon fibre air-intakes
A modified fuel system and 17″ 5-spoke Speedline wheels completed the outfitting
In 1995 eight races were held, two in Italy and six across Europe.
In 1996, the car received a modification upgrade, resulting in similar track times to those of the Ferrari 355 Challenge.
After the end of the 1995 racing season, several of the original 23 cars were used in national GT events. Today the Ghibli Open Cup is highly sought after by collectors.
Like the Biturbos, the Ghibli had:
Unibody steel construction
A longitudinally mounted engine
Suspension was of the MacPherson strut type at the front and semi-trailing arms at the rear
Anti-roll bars on both axles.
Rear suspension arms were supported by a bushing-insulated subframe
Brakes on vented discs on all four wheels,
Steering was servo-assisted rack and pinion.
The engine was the latest evolution of Maserati’s 90 degree all-aluminium, DOHC 24-valve V6 engine.
It was fitted with:
Two water-cooled IHI turbochargers
Two air-to-air intercoolers
One per each cylinder bank
Weber-Magneti Marelli IAW electronic fuel injection and ignition
The gearbox was a Getrag-supplied 6-speed manual from the Shamal on 2-litre cars, while 2.8 litre cars initially used a 5-speed ZF unit and were update with the Getrag gearbox in 1995
At the rear axle there was Maserati’s “Ranger” Torsen limited slip differential from the Biturbo, with an added oil cooler.
Ghibli 2.0 1992–98 1,996 cc 306 PS (225 kW; 302 hp) at 6,250 rpm 373 N·m (275 lb·ft) at 4,250 rpm 255 km/h (158 mph) 5.7 s Italy and Europe only 1,157
Ghibli 2.8 1992–98 2,790 cc 284 PS (209 kW; 280 hp) at 6,000 rpm 413 N·m (305 lb·ft) at 3,500 rpm 250 km/h (155 mph) 6.0 s 1,063
Ghibli Cup 1996–97 1,996 cc 330 PS (243 kW; 325 hp) at 6,500 rpm 373 N·m (275 lb·ft) at 4,000 rpm 270 km/h (168 mph) 5.6 s 57
Ghibli Primatist 1996–97 1,996 cc 306 PS (225 kW; 302 hp) at 6,250 rpm 373 N·m (275 lb·ft) at 4,250 rp m 255 km/h (158 mph) 5.7 s 60
3.0 L V6 (twin-turbocharged petrol)
3.0 L V6 (turbocharged diesel)
8-speed ZF automatic
2,998 mm (118.0 in)
4,971 mm (195.7 in)
2,100 mm (82.7 in)
1,461 mm (57.5 in)
1,810 kg (3,990 lb)
The current third generation Ghibli (Tipo M157) was unveiled at the 2013 Shanghai motor show.
The Ghibli is offered with three different 3.0-litre V6 engines:
A twin-turbocharged 330 PS (240 kW; 330 hp) or 410 PS (300 kW; 400 hp) petrol and a 275 PS (202 kW; 271 hp) turbodiesel
The Ghibli the first Maserati production car to be powered by a diesel engine
An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard on all models; all wheel drive is available with the most powerful V6, although not in right hand drive markets.
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