It is one of the most respected brand in the world, but it’s not green. When one thinks of a green car, Maserati is far from being the first name that comes to mind. And this will not change. Maserati has no plan to launch a Prius competitor, but the Lexus GS450h is clearly a target for this new Ghibli sedan. There are customers out there for a premium sports sedan with green credentials, and Maserati has chosen a diesel engine to compete against the Japanese hybrids (there’s also an Infiniti model). The Italian engineers could probably have designed a hybrid propulsion system, but the question was whether hybrid technology was acceptable with the Maserati name.
Maserati cars are known and loved for their speed and their roaring engines. Hybrid tech doesn’t allow that second point. It’s very important when driving a Maserati that the engine is always running, and that the driver keeps it at all times under its complete control, with the accelerator and gearbox. So Maserati chose a diesel, and it fitted it with an active sound system to make it sound like a proper Maserati engine. Was it the right choice? It is for Europe, where there’s no doubt that the 275-hp 443 lb-ft diesel will be the most popular engine, and it’s a safe bet that this diesel Maserati will outsell the Lexus GS hybrid.