Maserati Ghibli 334 Ultima

`maserati Ghibli 334 Ultima  eview 2023 01 front tracking
`maserati Ghibli 334 Ultima eview 2023 01 front tracking

We can expect a lot more cars like the Maserati Ghibli 334 Ultima across the next decade.

Farewell special editions that wave goodbye to powertrains being mercilessly guillotined by the robust electrification strategies most European carmakers have laid down. Which is the unabridged way to say you’re looking at the last V8 Maserati.

And the last Ghibli, at least for now. It’s a whole decade since the badge appeared for a third time to launch Maserati’s first genuine crack at the mainstream. Prices started below fifty grand and there was even a diesel, but the car didn’t truly fulfil either of its briefs – here was a less exciting flavour of Maserati that still trailed its rivals at the sensible stuff.


Still, we’ll never complain about esoteric alternatives being injected into straightlaced sectors – and it at least elevated the brand’s sales figures out of obscurity and prepared us for the advent of Trident-badged SUVs.

It took until the model’s sunset years for more than six cylinders to find their way under the engine bay, tough, the recent Ghibli Trofeo acquiring a rather special 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that’s essentially a cross-plane cranked, wet-sumped and shorter-stroked version of Ferrari’s ‘F154’ engine, used in an abundance of cars including the heavy-hitting Ferrari 488 Pista.

It's not hiding beneath a party-pooping plastic cover, either, Maserati giving full billing to its eye-catching crackle-finish. The ‘334’ in its name has nothing to do with the engine though, oddly, but rather its top speed in km/h, one single unit over a Bentley Flying Spur Speed and enough to crown it ‘world’s fastest four-door’ – at least outside the stable doors of Brabus.

Its princely 207mph peak is 5mph up on standard and achieved chiefly through a new tyre compound, a subtle carbon rear spoiler and around 20kg of weight savings (albeit not officially homologated); its new 21in wheels are lighter while some of the ADAS safety equipment has gone AWOL and the glovebox is now manual rather than electric. We imagine you’ll cope.