The 2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo Offers Premium Luxury and Heart-Pounding Performance

The new Maserati Ghibli Trofeo in motion.
The new Maserati Ghibli Trofeo in motion.Courtesy Image

Maserati is synonymous with two things—luxury and racing. With nearly a century of racing under its belt, the Italian automaker uses its on-track experience to enhance every car it produces. But what really sets Maserati apart from other high-end car brands is the company’s ability to blur the line between luxury and performance. Nowhere is this more evident than the premium Trofeo collection.

 

 

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Following up on the 2018 launch of Maserati’s fastest and most powerful SUV, the Levante Trofeo, the company expanded the Trofeo collection in 2021 to include the Quattroporte and Ghibli—the fastest Maserati sedans to ever roll off the production line.

I got my chance behind the wheel of a Maserati Trofeo Ghibli during a recent track day at Willow Springs Raceway. Located about an hour north of Los Angeles, Willow Springs is one of the most challenging road courses in the U.S., and it makes an ideal proving ground for Maserati’s sleek yet ferocious new ride.

Under the hood of the Ghibli Trofeo sits a Ferrari-built, 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine capable of producing a hair-raising 580 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque. Maserati claims that raw power translates into a blistering top speed of 203 mph and a 0–60 time of four seconds flat.

Side of Maserati Ghibli Trofeo
Courtesy Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To put those stats to the test, I hit the track with the Ghibli Trofeo. The first test was going from a standstill to 60 mph while using the Launch Control function, which is engaged by selecting the Corsa driving mode and then holding down the brake and the accelerator simultaneously to boost RPMs. Once I released the fat pedal, I was thrown back in my seat and felt the rear tires dancing on the edge of traction but never spinning—a testament to the car’s limited-slip rear differential.

Rocketing down Willow Springs’ historic front straightaway, I eased onto the brakes and headed into the first turn—a 90-degree left-hander—before gunning it onto another straightaway. High-performance driving will toss you around, but the Ghibli’s well-designed seat kept my body firmly in place so I could focus on the track instead of wrestling with G-forces.

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With its nine turns, high speeds, and significant elevation changes, Willow Springs is one of the more technical racecourses you’ll find in the States. Despite the challenges, the Ghibli Trofeo’s adept handling made the track feel deceivingly manageable, even for an amateur driver like myself. But it was Willow Springs’ famous turn eight––a long, high-speed, right-hand sweeper––where the car really showed its potential. When switched into the stiffer race mode, the suspension gobbled up the bumps on the nearly 70-year-old track, while the 21-inch wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero PZ4’s stayed glued to the asphalt, even when I pushed the needle past 100 miles per hour. The car was asking for even more.

Interior of 2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo
Interior of 2021 Maserati Ghibli Trofeo—sleek and sophisticated. Courtesy Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once safely back in the pits, I had an opportunity to appreciate the finer exterior details of Ghibli Trofeo, including the newly restyled grill, “boomerang” taillights, and sleek carbon-fiber and sporty red accents that stood out boldly against the car’s black paint.

After the heart-pounding track session, I hopped back in the Ghibli for a more relaxed 30-minute drive on a local desert highway. As Joshua trees and desert shrubs whizzed by, I realized that while racing is deeply ingrained in Maserati’s DNA, this car is first and foremost a premium luxury sedan. With the suspension back to regular mode, the Trofeo Ghibli provided a luxuriously smooth and quiet ride.

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The luxe interior features red leather upholstery on the dash, a heated steering wheel and seats, and old-school analog gauges that give the car a timeless style. But that’s not to say the Ghibli Trofeo is lacking in tech: It comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen and a comprehensive infotainment system that supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The speakers were booming and crystal clear, while the well-placed volume knob made adjusting the sound easy.

As I pulled back into the Willow Springs complex and stepped out of the car for the final time, I was sold. The Ghibli Trofeo provides the best of both worlds: lavish comfort and kickass performance.

Of course, it comes with a hefty $110,240 MSRP. But as for the driving experience? That’s priceless.

[Starting at $110,240; maseratiusa.com]

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