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Maserati Ghibli II: Buying guide and review (1992-1998)

Maserati Ghibli II: Buying guide and review (1992-1998) Classic and Performance Car
Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II
Despite bearing the same name as its 1960s stable mate, the ‘90s Ghibli was a completely different beast. Save for that name and the fact that if also featured a pair of occasional rear seats, the Maserati Ghibli II was actually in evolution of the Biturbo – a car that made few friends thanks to its sketchy reliability. However, utilising updated Biturbo engines and running gear, as well as much improved electronics the Ghibli has proven to be a far more reliable and generally impressive car. The angular looks have aged well and the performance is still respectable today.
 
Values have remained low for a while now, although prices for Cup models and mint condition cars have been firming up so it may be a good time to start looking at these angular Italian machines. 
 

Which one to buy?

 
Produced solely in a two-door coupe body shell, European customers got the Ghibli a year earlier than the UK, when it arrived the 302bhp 2.0-litre turbo power plant was replaced with torquier but slightly less powerful 2.8 V6 turbo. Both engines have proven to be reliable. The 2.0-litre requires a few more revs to get going, but it offers a bit more at the top end. 
 
Production volumes were low, with a little over 2000 cars built and just over 1000 finding homes in the UK, the first UK-spec Ghiblis came equipped with five speed manuals, which were replaced with six-speed units from 1995-on. A four-speed automatic was available as an option from the start, and most UK cars were so equipped. As the manuals are more suited to the car’s sporty character, a number of LHD imports equipped with the six-speed manual and 2.0-litre litre engines were imported into the UK. Specification levels were high with very few extras available, Connolly leather interior, electric everything and burr walnut trim were standard.
 
The limited edition 335bhp 2.0-litre Ghibli Cup cars were introduced to celebrate the single make Ghibli Cup series, which comprised of 25 cars and ran from 1995-1996. 57 road-going versions were built and these have become highly sought after.
 
Another limited edition car, the Ghibli Primatist was built to commemorate a world speed record on water – a record achieved by a speedboat powered by a Ghibli Biturbo V6. Ultramarine blue exterior paint and two tone blue leather interior mark out the 60 Primatist cars. Availability is very limited, so our choice would be any car that has been well cared for. Manuals are preferable but don’t dismiss a mint automatic. 
 

Performance and specs

 
Engine 2790cc, 24 valve DOHC V6 
Power 284bhp @ 6000rpm 
Torque 305lb ft @ 3500rpm
Top speed 155mph 
0-62mph 6.0 sec 
Fuel consumption 20mpg est.
Gearbox Five-speed manual/six-speed manual/four-speed automatic
 

Dimensions and weight

 
Wheelbase 2514mm
Length 4223mm
Width 1775mm
Height 1300mm
Weight 1365kg
 

Common problems

 
• The youngest cars are getting close to 20 years old now and parts are a bit thin on the ground, this is due partly to the limited production run and the stranglehold that Maserati had on parts when they were available. Clubs, enthusiast sites and specialists are sometimes a better source for parts.

• Maserati had a complex servicing schedule for the Ghibli, each one focused on a different aspect however the major ones were at 24,000 mile intervals and involved changing the cambelt which was a very labour intensive job. Make sure your potential purchase has followed these service intervals or you may be in for more than you bargained.

• Despite their complex design, both the 2.0 and 2.8-litre engines are reliable units, remapping should be avoided though as the extra strain on the internals can cause issues. Not to mention the cost of replacement parts.

• Electronics are generally reliable, however being an Italian exotic from the 90s means that gremlins will be present. Check for corroded wiring connections, waterlogged ECUs and make sure the alternator is clear of road grime as this can adversely affect the charging system.

• Brakes were well up to their task although as the discs had no backing plates corrosion is a real issue and you should take a good look under the car. While you are there take a look at the exhaust system too as earlier cars with 16-inch wheels had lower ground clearance and the lambda sensors could be ripped off over bumps.

• Corrosion protection was not quite up to German levels and as a result rust can rear its corrosive head in all manner of nooks and crannies. Check the usual areas, as well as any clogged drainage holes.

• Electronically adjustable shock absorbers were equipped on some cars, and due to their unreliability it is unlikely any have their original systems in place. Leaks and odd tread wear on the tyres can indicate defective units.
 

Model history

 
1992: Maserati Ghibli goes on sale in Europe. Equipped with a 302bhp 2litre turbo and six-speed manual gearbox. 
1993: UK Ghibli production begins with 284bhp 2.8-litre V6 engine instead of 2.0-litre unit. Five-speed manual gearbox standard with four-speed auto an option
1994: Interior received an update as well as larger 17-inch alloys, ABS and electronically adjustable suspension
1995: Ghibli Open Cup single make race series starts. Six-speed manual replaces five-speed gearbox on export cars. Limited run of 335bhp Ghibli Cup road cars built to commemorate racing series.
1997: Ghibli GT introduced with unique wheels and minor suspension and gearbox changes
1998: Final Ghibli rolls of the production line with just over 2000 units produced
 

Owners clubs, forums and websites

 
• www.maserati-alfieri.co.uk – Enthusiast site, good starting point for spares and info
• www.maseraticlub.co.uk – UK Maserati car club
• www.maseratinet.com – International Maserati Club
 

Summary and prices

 
Attempting to rectify a neglected car will almost always prove to be more costly than getting a good one in the first place. The trick is in finding that good one, and the relatively small production run means that your choices will be limited, so you can’t afford to be too picky if you are in a rush. 
 
The majority of UK cars were specified with auto boxes which are not quite as sweet as the manual cars. 2.8-litre UK spec cars in decent condition generally range from £10,000 to £15,000. The Ghibli Cup is the most collectible, and offers the most visceral drive, however they are an extremely rare find and are around £30,000.
 
The Ghibli is a truly ‘90s Italian sports car. Look past the creaky interior, odd driving position and stiff controls and you will find a sublime chassis and characterful engine that make for a great drivers car. Take your time to find a good one and enjoy.
 
Words: John Tallodi
Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II Maserati Ghibli II
Last updated: 29th Sep 2016
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  • MASERATI GHIBLI V6d 4dr Auto

    £27,450 £27,450

    Type: Used Year: 2014 Make: MASERATI Model: GHIBLI Trim: V6d 4dr Auto Body: Sedan Trans: Automatic Mileage: 28202 Engine Size: 3000 Ext Color: Rosso Folgore

    • Mileage: 28202 mi
    • Engine size: 3000
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  • Maserati Ghibli 3.0 S Auto

    POA POA

    Finance Example Deposit Balance Fees Total Payable Term Fixed Rate Representative APR 1st Payment Monthly Payment Final Payment HP £4,600 £41,396 £199* £52,791 48 3.88% 7.9% £1,000 £1,000 £1,199 Residual backed products are available on this vehicle upon application. Please call to discuss your requirements *Fees are already accounted for within the payments displayed and are also included within the total amount payable. Finance available subject to status. Indemnities may be required. Other finance offers may be available but cannot be used in conjunction with this offer. We work with a number of carefully selected credit providers who may be able to offer you finance for your purchase. We are only able to offer finance products from these providers. Postal Address: Crown Way, Rushden, Northamptonshire NN10 6BS Red Leather Skyhook Electronic Damping Control Premium Sound System Reverse Assist Camera Sat Nav Bluetooth Phone Prep Keyless Entry/Start Electric Sunroof Electric Memory Seats Heated Seats Ventilated Seats Automatic Xenon Lights with Wash Highgloss Carbon Trim Power Rear Blind Red Brake Calipers Cruise Control Multifunction Steering Wheel Folding Mirrors Park Distance Co

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 2950 mi
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  • Maserati Ghibli

    £31,995 £31,995

    Grigio Metallic with Sabbia Extended Premium Fine Grain Leather Interior, Nero Carpets and Dashboard, Sabbia Stitching and Headlining, High Gloss Carbon Trim, 20” Urano Diamond Finish Rims, Air Conditioning, MSP, Cruise Control, Full Electric Heated Seats with Driver Memory, Front and Rear Parking Distance Control with Rear Camera, Xenon Headlamps, Electro-Chromatic Rear View Mirror, Power Steering Column, Electric Rear Sun Shade, Convenience Pack, Cold Weather Pack, Business Pack, Sport Pack, Leather Steering Wheel, Bluetooth Telephone Preparation, Satellite Navigation, Premium Sound System with Single CD Player and Security System with NavTrak ADR.

    • Year: 2014
    • Mileage: 17200 mi
    • Engine size: 3
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