The Italians are masters of the curve, and the Ghibli wears its Tricolore on its sleeve. 

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Or, more accurately, on its side, where I'm taken with the strong character line sweeping up and over the rear fender while a second complimentary line slinks upward from the side skirt.

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In Ghibli S trim, Maserati's 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 now puts out 424 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 20 and 22, respectively, over last year.

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In Ghibli S trim, Maserati's 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 now puts out 424 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque, improvements of 20 and 22 respectively, over last year.

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60 miles per hour arrives quickly enough, thanks in part to my tester's all-wheel drive, pushing its way there with plenty of torque and little turbo lag.

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The GranSport trim carries paddle shifters, but they're mounted too close to the volume and channel controls on the back of the steering wheel itself.

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The Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport competes against other midsize-to-large luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the BMW 5 Series.

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But the mid-level performance variants of both those cars, the AMG E43 and M550i xDrive, are $10,000 to $15,000 cheaper to start. 

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Performance is about equal for all three cars, but I prefer the fit and finish of the Germans, even if Uconnect is the best infotainment option by a country mile.

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Keep scrolling to check out even more pictures of the Ghibli, and don't forget to read our full review.

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