Maserati Grecale SUV revs up with turbo, hybrid or electric power
Maserati put its own voluptuous stamp on the SUV market when it introduced the Levante back in 2016. Now it's gone a little smaller, adding the all-new Grecale to its lineup. The new SUV line lives up to Maserati's reputation for stylish, desirable sport utilities, offering buyers a luxurious ride loaded with the latest tech. Maserati will offer a full modern suite of engine options, from mild hybrids, to a powerful twin-turbo derived from the MC20 supercar, to one of its first all-electric drives.
Had Maserati introduced the Grecale a few years ago, we'd have expected it to follow the Levante's stylistic format a little more closely. But SUVs take more time to incubate at Maserati, and now that it's been a full six years since the Levante first showed up in Geneva, the Grecale separates itself with a fresher look.
The new 191-in (4,846-mm)-long SUV's distinct identity is immediate right away, its face defined by a pair of teardrop-shaped headlamps out at the corners and a strong trident-badged grille tucked low down below the edge of the hood. Strolling around to the side, the combination of long hood, sloped roofline and 114-in (2,901-mm) wheelbase creates a sporty, almost coupe-like profile. Maserati says that the sharp boomerang taillights draw their inspiration from the Giugiaro-penned Maserati 3200GT from the late 90s, but this time around, they find home on a more voluminous and shaped rear-end.
The Grecale will come in a variety of engine flavors, starting with a pair of 48-V mild hybrids. The GT variant will have a 296-hp four-cylinder hybrid, while the Modena will step up to a 325-hp hybrid four. The third model available from launch will be the high-performance Trofeo and its 523-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6. That range-topping six-cylinder is based on the Nettuno power plant at the heart of the MC20 and includes cylinder deactivation to cut consumption.
The Trofeo will sprint from 0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 3.6 seconds and top out at 177 mph (285 km/h). Meanwhile, standard air suspension will smooth out asphalt irregularities via six individual settings tied into the drive modes selected by the driver.
Next year, following the introduction of an all-electric "Folgore" GranTurismo model, Maserati will add the Grecale Folgore with 400-V electric architecture. It will store power in a 105-kW battery pack and fire out up to 590 lb-ft (800 Nm) of torque the moment the driver's toe tips hit the accelerator. The Folgore family will benefit from Formula E-derived tech, and by 2025 it will extend to the entire Maserati lineup — the MC20 Folgore supercar, Quattroporte Folgore sports sedan and Levante Folgore SUV joining the GranTurismo and Grecale Folgore models.
Inside the Grecale, Maserati focuses quite heavily on touch-based control and digital tech. The driver operates cabin controls from a 12.3-in center touchscreen, the largest ever in a Maserati, augmented by a lower 8.8-in touch display with additional controls. The touch-happy design spills over into the back seats, where the three rear passengers have a touchscreen all their own. The instrument panel is also fully digital, as is the central clock that doubles as a virtual concierge when activated via voice command. Audio from the Maserati Intelligent Assistant Multimedia System is masterfully handled by the Sonus Faber 3D sound system with 14 or 21 speakers, depending upon trim.
The Grecale will launch in Europe in the first half of 2022, with the North American launch to follow this fall. For those really itching to be among the first Grecale owners on the road, Maserati has already opened up reservations for the American-spec Grecale Modena Limited Edition model, which will include the 325-hp mild hybrid powertrain, adaptive air suspension, 14-speaker Sonus Faber audio system, 21-in polished aluminum wheels and dual-pane power panoramic sunroof.