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Maserati Ghibli set to be company's first diesel

Maserati released photos of a new car it will unveil during the Shanghai Motor Show later this month. The Ghibli will be the first Maserati to feature a diesel engine.

Maserati Ghibli

Maserati released photos and a few details of a new car it will unveil at the Shanghai Motor Show. The Maserati Ghibli looks to be an attempt at more of a mass-market car than the Italian maker's other models.

The Ghibli will be offered with a choice of two turbocharged V-6 engines, one of which will burn diesel, mated to eight-speed automatic transmissions. Maserati says the car will come in rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions.

The Ghibli is intended to bolster Maserati's plans to sell 50,000 cars per year.

The interior picture shows luxury materials one would expect from Maserati. Red leather covers the seats and carbon-fiber panels top the console.

The center LCD has only two dials, one on either side of the bezel in standard volume/tuning format. The lack of other controls suggests the Ghibli will have a touch screen. The LCD appears close enough to the driver to allow touch-screen operation.

Anime fans may perk up at the name, referencing director Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli in Japan. Wikipedia says that the studio's name was taken from the nickname for an Italian warplane, the Caproni Ca.309, from World War II. That derivation seems likely, considering Studio Ghibli's film, Porco Rosso.

The word 'Ghibli' apparently also comes from the Arabic word for scirocco, a reference not to the Volkswagen model but to the powerful African wind.

Maserati has not said at this time if the Ghibli will be sold in the U.S.

Maserati Ghibli
The interior picture of the Ghibli shows what appears to be a touch-screen LCD. Maserati