As most of you already know, the recently unveiled 2014 Maserati Ghibli will be available with a diesel engine, the first such unit ever fitted to a car wearing the trident badge.
While the carmaker said the engine will be a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel, it didn’t go into details, leaving room for speculation about the source of the powerplant. Fiat and Chrysler already have a 3.0-liter V6 turbodiesel engine supplied by VM Motori that equips the new Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Lancia Thema and may soon be fitted to the U.S.-market Chrysler 300 as well.
However, for Maserati the VM Motori engine may not be refined enough, if we are to believe a report quoting the automaker’s CEO, Harald Wester. He told Australia’s Drive both the V6 petrol and V6 diesel engines “have been co-developed between the Ferrari and Maserati teams,” adding that both have been produced in Maranello.
A diesel made in Maranello? Is that possible? Well, Wester says the new oil burner shares technologies with the gasoline engine, such as direct injection and turbocharging, so Ferrari was a natural choice to lead the development of the brand’s first diesel unit.
“Despite the principal differences in combustion between diesel and petrol many of the technologies are very similar,” Wester said. The new 3.0-liter V6 diesel engine will debut in the Ghibli sport sedan, on which it is expected to deliver an average fuel consumption of about 6 liters/100 km (39.2 US mpg).
Later on, the same unit will be mounted on the upcoming Levante SUV and could find its way to Maserati’s flagship sedan, the Quattroporte, as well.
What is not clear is whether the Ferrari-developed diesel engine was built from scratch in Maranello or using the VM Motori unit as starting point.
As for Ferrari, a diesel engine is out of the question, as the brand has said in the past it is not interested in oil burners, sticking to its traditional V8 and V12 gasoline engines.
By Dan Mihalascu
Story References: Drive