Maserati Ghibli Trofeo revealed – sober-dressed BMW M5 rival finally arrives

Some seven years after the launch of its executive saloon, Maserati has given it a V8 – with 572bhp

We could be forgiven for thinking the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo would never happen. Years of uncertainty, inconsistency and a fundamental mismanagement within Maserati have been the hallmarks of an Italian brand that deserves more. Its time may have finally come. In the coming weeks we’ll see the flagship MC20 supercar, but for now Maserati is kicking off its renaissance by pairing its mid-sized Ghibli saloon to a Ferrari-built 572bhp V8 engine, in so creating the Ghibli Trofeo. 

The Ghibli has undergone a variety of changes under the skin since its introduction in 2013, but none have really captured the essence of what the Ghibli could be. Until now it has been saddled with either a raspy but otherwise gutless V6 petrol or (lord above) a Jeep-sourced V6 diesel, but the Trofeo’s V8 is a twin-turbocharged unit built by Ferrari and shared, albeit in a different final specification, with the Portofino and the recently launched Roma

The engine has a 90-degree V and shares much of its specification with current Levante Trofeo unit, but features new mapping and calibration software, and fresh hardware including new pistons and connecting rods. The heads have also been redeveloped with new camshafts and valves, and even the two turbochargers are new, each being driven by a specific cylinder bank and fed by its own intercooler. Despite this work to the powertrain, peak power is the same as for the Levante Trofeo revealed nearly two years ago, with 572bhp reached at 6750rpm, and peak torque of 539lb ft available between 2250rpm and 5250rpm. This updated V8 will also find its way into the Quattroporte and Levante Trofeos.

In the Ghibli, power is sent to the rear wheels only through an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and an old-fashioned mechanical limited-slip differential. This rear-drive-only configuration will be a contributing factor in the car’s 0-62mph time of 4.3sec – compare this with the similarly powerful but four-wheel-drive BMW M5, which takes just 3.4sec for the same benchmark – but as a reminder of exactly how potent the Trofeo’s V8 is, its top speed is quoted as an incredible 202mph. The kerb weight is specified at a staunch 1969kg, so it’s certainly no lightweight, but the Trofeo’s standard-fit Skyhook adaptive dampers and double-wishbone front suspension have both been recalibrated to try to keep this 572bhp rear-wheel-drive supersaloon under control.

Inside, the Trofeo picks up the same technical updates as the recently revealed Ghibli Hybrid, a model that’s firmly at the other end of the performance spectrum. These updates centre around a new infotainment system – the third system fitted since the Ghibli’s introduction in 2013 – which complement the plush standard interior leather finishes. 

It’s the exterior changes that are most damning here though, or rather the lack of them. The new car looks almost identical to GranSport trim level versions of lesser Ghibli models, aside from the occasional Trofeo logo or the subtle red detailing in the badging and trademark triple vents. This lack of significant differentiation is in stark contrast to the Mercedes-AMG E63 S and BMW M5 Competition, rivals which both scream about their performance agendas almost as loudly as full-bore supercars. 

The larger Maserati Quattroporte will also pick up the Trofeo’s updated V8, a lesser 542bhp version of which was previously available in the GTS. Like the Ghibli, the Quattroporte gets some understated design tweaks, a subtly retuned chassis set-up and some interior updates. The Quattroporte, however, gets an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, in contrast to the Ghibli’s completely mechanical unit. 

Maserati’s approach to the supersaloon template might seem a little behind the curve compared to German rivals, but like the Lexus GS-F that broke onto the scene with a big power deficit and underwhelming figures in 2015, the Ghibli has something else on its side: variety. The Ghibli is now the only (full-time) rear-wheel-drive supersaloon at this level, and one that packs a Ferrari-developed V8 under the bonnet. It’s paired with an aesthetic so underwhelming it could almost belong to a Milanese minicab, and while it’s unlikely to challenge an M5 Competition around a racetrack, or appeal to as many buyers as the more ostentatious AMG E63 S, the Ghibli Trofeo is certainly a fresh breath of air in the supersaloon class.

Recommended

Maserati Ghibli Hybrid revealed
Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli Hybrid revealed

Sports saloon ditches diesel engine for turbocharged petrol mild-hybrid motor as Maserati turns to an electric future
16 Jul 2020

Most Popular

It’s time for some home truths about the Toyota GR Yaris, reckons Porter
Richard Porter opinion
Toyota GR Yaris

It’s time for some home truths about the Toyota GR Yaris, reckons Porter

‘It looks stretched and contorted, like someone who’s had too much cheap plastic surgery’
22 Jun 2021
2022 Ferrari 296 GTB unveiled – V6-hybrid to pack 818bhp punch
2022 Ferrari 296 GTB AF – front quarter
Ferrari

2022 Ferrari 296 GTB unveiled – V6-hybrid to pack 818bhp punch

Ferrari’s revolution is now up to full speed with its new plug-in hybrid V6 mid-engined supercar
24 Jun 2021
992-gen Porsche 911 Carrera GTS revealed – drivers’ Carrera debuts
Porsche 911 GTS 992
Porsche 911 Carrera GTS

992-gen Porsche 911 Carrera GTS revealed – drivers’ Carrera debuts

Goldilocks 911 returns with more power and less weight
22 Jun 2021
Triumph Lynx – Dead on arrival
Triumph Lynx
Features

Triumph Lynx – Dead on arrival

With a 3.5-litre Rover V8 under the bonnet and TR7 fastback styling, the Lynx could have been British Leyland’s answer to the Ford Capri
18 Jun 2021
New Audi RS3 technical details revealed – torque-vectoring differential confirmed
Audi RS3 mule 2020 SB – rear
Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 technical details revealed – torque-vectoring differential confirmed

Hyperhatch war resumes, with a new focus on handling, and not just power
21 Jun 2021
Project Horizon - CEO Tobias Moers maps Aston Martin’s future
Tobias Moers
Aston Martin

Project Horizon - CEO Tobias Moers maps Aston Martin’s future

A wider portfolio, V8 mid-engined supercars and every new Aston beyond 2025 to be electric. CEO Tobias Moers reveals his plans for Aston Martin
22 Jun 2021
BMW M3 Competition 2021 review – still the benchmark performance saloon?
BMW M3 Competition
BMW M3 saloon

BMW M3 Competition 2021 review – still the benchmark performance saloon?

It’s bigger and heavier than before, and is now auto-only. So can it copy the new M4’s trick of still being fun to drive? You bet it can
19 Jun 2021
The reluctant LaFerrari driver – evo archive
evo archive – LaFerrari truck extraction – stop!
Ferrari

The reluctant LaFerrari driver – evo archive

How do you get a £1million hypercar out of the back of a delivery truck? Very, very, slowly…
15 Jun 2021
New 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring revealed – now available in manual and PDK
Porsche 911 GT3 Touring – rear profile
Porsche 911 GT3

New 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Touring revealed – now available in manual and PDK

The Touring pack has returned, combining the 992 GT3’s set-up with more understated looks
15 Jun 2021
Aston Martin sues Swiss car dealer over Valkyrie deposits
Aston Martin Valkyrie
Aston Martin Valkyrie coupe

Aston Martin sues Swiss car dealer over Valkyrie deposits

Aston is suing Nebula Project over Valkyrie deposits worth £15m that were allegedly taken from customers but not passed on to the parent company.
22 Jun 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals
used cars

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
17 Jun 2021
MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn
MAT Stratos – front tracking
Lancia

MAT Stratos 2021 review – Lancia’s iconic Stratos reborn

It’s been a long time coming, but this Ferrari F430-based reimagining of the Lancia Stratos is finally here
11 Jun 2021
2022 Toyota GR 86 coming to Goodwood Festival of Speed
2022 Toyota GR86 FoS
Toyota GT 86

2022 Toyota GR 86 coming to Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Toyota GR 86 will have its public and dynamic debuts at this year's FoS
24 Jun 2021
BMW M5 CS 2021 review – a class act that reaffirms the M division’s brilliance
BMW M5 CS – front cornering
BMW M5 saloon

BMW M5 CS 2021 review – a class act that reaffirms the M division’s brilliance

Nonsensical on paper, but sublime in practice. Never has a modern supersaloon been more tactile or more engaging
14 Jun 2021