Maserati has been a brand in search of a mission for most of the past decade. Neither sporty enough nor luxurious enough to rival its German and Japanese rivals, Maserati was beginning to feel like the luxury brand the world had forgotten. Even internally, even, it looked like a forgotten pillar of the Fiat Chrysler-born Stellantis empire. Under the new Stellantis (the multinational car conglomerate born out of FCA and the PSA Group, not a prescription drug), Maserati has a new mission: to become the automaker’s true luxury arm. While the MC20 supercar is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, the new 2023 Maserati Grecale mid-size luxury SUV is poised to be the brand’s true hub as it aims to both electrify and dramatically increase its sales.
What is the Maserati Grecale (and what is a “Grecale”)?
Named after a northeast wind that blows across the Italian peninsula, the Grecale is Maserati’s new performance and luxury mid-size crossover. Built on Stellantis’ rear-drive Giorgio platform (currently the basis for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Giulia), the Grecale is set to take on the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne of the world. – especially the latter two, as Maserati Americas boss Bill Pfeiffer called his rivals “from Stuttgart”, during the Grecale press event.
The bodywork of the Grecale 2023 is on the border between performance and luxury. Its nose is imposing, with a large, low-slung grille and MC20-inspired headlights, the Grecale’s sheetmetal flows cleanly along its long bonnet and into a short, chunky, fastback roof profile reminiscent of the Jaguar F-Pace or the original InfinitiFX. At the rear, the Grecale features “boomerang taillights” which Maserati says are inspired by Giugiaro’s 3200 GT coupé that he sold around the turn of the millennium. The flowing sheetmetal does a lot to trick the eye into thinking the Grecale is a compact SUV, not a larger midsize.
Each of the four versions of the Grecale – GT, Modena, Trofeo and Folgore – will be further distinguished by unique bumpers, side skirts, trim, wheels, colors and, in some cases, wheel track.
Powertrains are trim levels and vice versa
In order to be taken seriously against the heavyweights in the segment, Maserati launched the Grecale with three different powertrain options, with a fourth promised the following year. Each powertrain will be paired with a dedicated trim level designed to encapsulate the essence of “Italian” and the character of the powertrain.
The base model is expected to be the Grecale GT, which Maserati says “embodies the brand’s most urban, minimal and contemporary spirit.” That, uh, spirit, sports a new mild-hybrid electric supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4. Like similar systems, the Grecale uses the electric supercharger – run by a belt-start generator (BSG) or 48-volt battery – to virtually eliminate turbo lag and provide more linear acceleration before the turbocharger fails. take over. (Why not use a belt-driven supercharger? Because by powering one electrically, there’s no additional load placed on the engine, and the e-supercharger can be electronically controlled.) Maserati says the hybrid setup sweet 2.0-liter produces 296 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque and will be able to go from 0 to 60 mph in a respectable 5.3 seconds.
A step up is the Grecale Modena, designed for “those with an innate and timeless elegance, [and] for outdoor sports enthusiasts. The Grecale Modena sports a boosted version of the GT’s four-cylinder mild-hybrid engine. Power rises to 325 horsepower, while torque remains flat. -60 mph in 5.0 seconds.
Designed with “an explicit focus on performance without ever sacrificing comfort”, this is the Grecale Trofeo. The Grecale Trofeo eschews the GT and Modena’s mild-hybrid four-cylinder in favor of a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 inspired by the MC20. Featuring a unique 90-degree V-angle (for a six-cylinder) and direct injection and direct injection, the Maserati version of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio develops 523 hp and 457 lb-ft of torque. . The performance potential of the engine is supported by Brembo brakes on all four corners, standard air suspension and a unique Corsa drive mode. Maserati claims the 2023 Grecale Trofeo can sprint from 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds, 0-120mph in 12.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 177mph.
Lesser Grecales feature steel springs with electrically adjustable dampers (although air springs are available on the Modena), front Brembos (four-piston, versus the Trofeo’s six), and five riding modes: Comfort (the default setting), GT, Sport, Race and Off-Road.
All internal combustion Grecales come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive as standard.
Folgore Electric Grecale
The fourth Grecale has no engine at all. Arriving on the market at the end of 2023, the Grecale Folgore 2024 (“Thunderbolt” in Italian, and a future signifying Maserati electric vehicles) will be the automaker’s second electric vehicle and the final piece of the Grecale puzzle.
Details are slim at this point, but the automaker says it will have a 105kWh battery using 400-volt technology, which means it should offer Level 3 peak charging rates of around 150kW. . (That’s a bit behind some of the luxury Jones EVs – Porsche has an 800-volt charging architecture, for example.) Maserati promises the Grecale Folgore will have up to 590 lb-ft of torque, which brings us to believe it could be offered with multiple engine options.
Maserati has yet to release fuel economy or electric range, but it promises the mild hybrids will deliver subcompact SUV-like fuel economy despite their footprints twice as large.
Inside the Grecale
The Grecale’s cabin is refreshingly modern compared to Maserati’s more recent efforts. The focal point is undoubtedly its center console. Featuring no less than three screens, the remarkably streamlined layout includes a central 12.3-inch infotainment screen running a modified Android operating system and a lower 8.8-inch touchscreen for HVAC and other comfort features (similar to Audi’s latest display designs); a push-button transmission selector separating the two screens; and at the top, a smartwatch-like clock with multiple analog and digital faces, as well as a G-meter.
The few controls that have not been digitized have migrated to the steering wheel of the Grecale. The egg-shaped wheel is flanked by meaty aluminum paddle shifters and includes buttons for infotainment and advanced driver assistance system controls, a large engine start button and a mode selector combination steering/suspension adjuster.
All Grecales feature another 12.3-inch screen serving as the digital instrument cluster and a fifth screen aft of the center console for rear passengers. The automaker says it uses soft, diffused light for its screens, giving them a “living room effect.” If you need another screen, a head-up display is optional and turns the lower portion of the driver’s side windshield into another information portal.
Moving the gear lever to the center console and the controls to the steering wheel allowed Maserati to free up space on the center console, which it used to give the Grecale a wireless phone charger, a large covered storage compartment, cup holders and center console. Maserati also promises space and comfort among the best in the segment; we were lucky enough to spend some time sitting in a pre-production Grecale and it felt roomier and more upscale than Maserati’s full-size Levante SUV.
Each trim has its own unique interior trim scheme, but all come standard with a Sonus Faber sound system.
How much does a Grecale cost and when can I get one?
Those hoping for a good Maserati deal shouldn’t hold their breath. The Grecale GT will start at $64,995, which is more than base model offerings from Audi, Alfa Romeo, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but slightly less than an entry-level Porsche Cayenne.
Maserati has yet to break down prices for the rest of the Grecale lineup, but it has said it will sell a Grecale Modena Limited Edition by reservation only. Featuring 21-inch wheels, air suspension, a panoramic roof and a choice of five colors, this limited-run Grecale Modena sticker retails for $78,895. Maserati will begin accepting $500 refundable reservations for the limited-edition Grecale on March 22.
While the jury is out on whether the Grecale will prove to be the linchpin towards Maserati’s goals of increasing sales and electrification, we won’t have to wait long to find out – the first Grecale GTs, Modenas and Trofeos will arrive at Maserati dealerships this fall, followed by the Grecale Folgore in fall 2023.
|2023 Maserati Grecale Specifications|
|ARRANGEMENT||Front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door SUV|
|MOTOR||2.0 L/296-325 hp/332 lb-ft electrically supercharged and turbocharged DOHC direct injection; 3.0 liter / 523 hp / 457 lb-ft twin-turbo and direct injection DOHC V6|
|UNLOADED WEIGHT||4,450 to 4,750 pounds (manufacturer)|
|L x W x H||190.8-191.3 x 76.7-77.9 x 65.3-65.6 inches|
|0-60MPH||3.6-5.3 sec (mfr is)|
|EPA FUEL ECONOMY||Not rated yet|
|EPA RANGE (COMB)||Not rated yet|
|ON SALE||Fall 2022|