Car designs within automobile brands have become maddeningly similar lately. It's increasingly difficult to tell models apart. Before, we could tell at a glance what year, make and model a vehicle was; now, it's not that simple anymore. Truth be told, I've had some frustrating problems in that area. I was reminded of this fact during a Maserati drive event for the new Ghibli that I just attended in Dubai.
The organizers, however, didn't just let us take their hot midsize sedan for a spin--they offered the rest of their lineup as well: the Quattroporte, the GranTurismo and the GranCabrio.
Naturally, I wanted to try the newest model first, so I made a beeline for the Ghibli. Or so I thought. Turns out I had approached a Quattroporte unit. The Quattroporte and the Ghibli look very similar in the metal. Eventually, I discovered at least five external disparities between the two luxury Italian sedans.
Here's a quick guide so that when you see a Ghibli on our roads, and your friend says, "Oh look, a Quattroporte," you can say, "No, that's a Ghibli. I bet you don't read TopGear.com.ph."
* Physical size. The official figures say the Quattroporte is longer by almost 300mm. That's about one foot in length. It's not very obvious, but if you look at the two side by side (which might be a rarer sight in Metro Manila than in Dubai), you will notice the size difference.
* Rear design. The Ghibli has a tiny lip on its trunk that curls up, while the Quattoporte has a flat boot and it extends slightly over the license plate. The taillights are different as well.
* Gills. A mainstay design element of Maserati cars are three holes--or "gills"--just on top and behind the front wheel wells. The Quattroporte's are noticeably bigger than the Ghibli's, although it's something you would realize only after direct comparison.
* Exhaust. The Ghibli has round twin-tailpipes, while some Quattroportes (like the GTS variant) have a stylish squared exhaust design.
* Face. The headlights look alike at first glance but actually have different shapes. The Quattroporte's hood extends down and blends seamlessly with the light assembly, but the Ghibli has a few inches of metal that separates the hood and the headlights.
I hope this will help you correctly identify the model the next time you see a Maserati.
Photos by Dinzo Tabamo