Maserati Ghibli 334 Ultima marks the end of a motoring era
By Mike Huynh
If ever there were a sign that times are changing in the automotive world, it’s the debut of the Maserati Ghibli 334 Ultima. The latest special edition sedan from the iconic Trident marque, alongside the Levante V8 Ultima SUV, marks the final outing for Maserati’s legendary high-performance internal combustion V8 engine.
This is no minor swansong, given that the very first V8 to grace a Maserati came about in 1959, with the debut of the 5000 GT. Since then, more than 100,000 Maseratis have been married to an eight-cylinder engine, to be enjoyed by discerning drivers from all over the world. The departure of the inimitable V8 power plant from Maserati essentially marks a passing of the torch as the luxury carmaker takes the final steps towards a fully electric future.
And with a limited run of only 103 examples of the Ghibli 334 Ultima being made, sampling the pinnacle of Maserati’s engineering excellence from the era of internal combustion will be a true collector’s affair.
A fitting finale for the world’s fastest sedan
Celebrating an icon demands the realisation of its full potential. For the Ghibli 334 Ultima, this potential is unleashed in the sedan’s top speed of 334km/h, a feat which places it as a leader amongst the world’s fastest sedans with a combustion engine.
Speed isn’t the only winning formula, of course. Since its debut in 1967, the Maserati Ghibli has epitomised beauty and commercial success for the Trident marque. It offered heightened performance and visual impact thanks to a renewal of the shapes and geometric surfaces, accompanied by extra horsepower and style. It would become the DNA of the models to come through the decades and form the blueprint for the luxury sedan segment which seamlessly merged elegance, sportiness and comfort. The eight-cylinder engine would complete the winning package.
Paying tribute to this rich legacy is the Ghibli 334 Ultima, a model dedicated to drivers seeking exclusivity in both style and performance. And for the fate of the legendary 572hp Twin Turbo V8 engine nestled under the bonnet? It will officially be phased out from the end of 2023, marking its final appearance in the two exclusive special editions of Ghibli and Levante.
Engineering excellence in the end
Building off a proven platform, Maserati focused on enhancing the driving experience to a higher level. This meant focusing on the vehicle’s aerodynamics and numerous discreet and elegant details to make the 334 Ultima a true standout amongst the number of special editions born from the Trident.
Beyond the top speed accolade, acceleration was also optimised to deliver a new 0-100 km/h sprint time of 3.9 seconds. This feat is credited to the meticulous work on the car’s weight and tyres. The model is fitted with new performance tyres created using a special compound while the improvement in aerodynamics is assisted by the 21” Orione rims and a rear carbon fibre spoiler. Aesthetically, the wheels and centre caps are finished in new matte dark graphite, with the Trident in the Rubino shade designed to stand out in the dark. The brake calipers are the perfect contrast set in gloss black.
The exterior meanwhile exudes the past and pays homage to the very first V8 Maserati creation, flaunting the new Scià di Persia paintwork with Rubino accents and lighting up the painted 334 logo on the fender. The Maserati Ghibli 334 Ultima also features the full carbon exterior kit as standard, extending across the front bumper plates, door handles, mirror caps and B and C pillars.
Even the interior recalls the timeless and classic style accents of yesteryear with the use of Pale Terracotta leather – reminiscent of the Senape leather iconic interior – surrounding the black vertical “cannelloni” in Alcantara in the centre of the seats.
The bold Trident and 334 logos are stitched on the front headrest and the “magic number” also embellishes the badge on the central tunnel, along with the “una di 103” distinctive signature to ensure every occupant experiences the car’s special provenance.
The unmistakable sound and blistering performance of the Maserati V8 may never be experienced again, but for now, there is the Maserati Ghibli 334 Ultima, an extraordinary final instrument of pure performance championing the beating heart of the automotive world’s golden era.