Written by Hillary Buckman
17 February 2022
Grant Barling, General Manager Maserati Australia, welcomed guests, including me, to an exclusive drive experience in two of their first hybrid vehicles – the Maserati Ghibli GT and the Maserati Levante GT.
We headed to the Southern Highlands and the historic Berrima Vault House. Hand-built by convicts in 1844, it has now been lovingly and fully restored. While there, we enjoyed a three-course sumptuous lunch by Executive Chef Tommy Prosser and discussed with the team Maserati’s innovative new technology, which is propelling them into an electrified era.
The Ghibli GT is the first electrified vehicle in Maserati’s history, developed by the Maserati Innovation Lab of Modena and produced at the Avvocato Giovanni Agnelli Plant (AGAP) at Grugliasco (Turin).
The choice to introduce hybrid technology to the Ghibli sedan is no coincidence. This model, with over 100,000 units produced since its launch in 2013, perfectly embodies the Modena-based manufacturer’s DNA.
The Maserati Levante GT, the SUV of duality, specialises in performance and reduced consumption. It marks a bold step into the future for Maserati with the combination of the 2-litre, 4-cylinder thermal engine with a 48-volt hybrid system that allows the driver to recover energy during deceleration and braking.
As technology meets exclusivity, and power combines with a respect for the environment, accepting less than the best is not an option.
This latest evolution in the Levante SUV is lighter than its corresponding petrol version – faster, greener and even more iconic, it combines incredible performance with minimal impact on the environment.
With a maximum speed of 240 kilometres per hour, and 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in just 6 seconds, the Maserati Levante GT reaches 243 kW of maximum power and 450 Nm of torque at 2,250 rpm. Despite the hybridisation, the brand’s unmistakable trademark – the distinctive Maserati sound – remains.
Davide Grasso, CEO of Maserati, explained the marque’s move to electric engines by saying: “Within a little more than two years, all Maserati models will come with combustion engines as well as the full-electric version. A couple of years later, only fully electric options will be available.
“We have world-class, benchmark electrification technology that takes the brand to the top of the automotive world in the electrification and digitised driving space; there’s no question about it.”
Commenting on Maserati in Australia, Grasso observed: “Last month, we increased 20 percent versus January last year, so we’re certainly going very well. Regarding the brand and MC20, that vehicle has a solid order bank. The next customer order will take delivery in 2023.
“It’s a real sign of the strength of the brand to have a number of people not just wanting the product, but willing to wait 12 months to get it.”
He continued, “Our customer base was previously heavily male-skewed for that performance and sound. We’ve seen quite a shift, with more female customers in the month of January, particularly with the Levante.
“We’re pleased to say we had a 50-percent female customer base and a lot of that was driven by the entry-level Levante GT and the Ghibli GT.”
Prefacing the arrival of the much-anticipated Grecale model – a new SUV named for “the strong, cool, Mediterranean wind that brings a whole new wave of technology, performance and design feats” – Grasso said, “I can’t wait for you to try it, particularly in this part of the world.
“You’ll be amazed at how it has kept the distinctive traits of Maserati, including the sound and the performance elements. It’s catapulting us into the future!”
“The driving experience, its smoothness, the way the car interacts and the way the interior has been designed in an intuitive and very clean way. It really projects the car into the future.
“The hard numbers, the performance elements and the pleasure of driving are unparalleled. We’re really excited and can’t wait for the world to experience it as well.”