Maserati Grecale, expected as the messiah

Take a good look at this car. It has a well-known profile: it is an SUV, like most new models introduced today. So it might seem almost innocuous. However, for its manufacturer, it is perhaps the most important model in its history.

Did you see the hood coat? This is the trident of King Neptune. Yes, this car is the latest Maserati. And this is an important event for the brand. Not because it is the first SUV in the range. The Levante already exists, but since this model is there, it should quickly become the number 1 in sales. Just that ! Can he afford it? We will see. Anyway, at least I didn’t go down without explaining myself first.

Grecale: Maserati’s new compact SUV

The Grecale, we were able to discover a few months ago in a study of the suburbs of Turin. When it comes to a new Maserati, there are sure to be high expectations. Because if the Italian brand, which is now part of the French group Stellantis, has prestige, it is a small manufacturer that has no margin for error when launching a new model.

We are a long way from the MC20 supercar line, presented here, in the same place, just a year ago: the Grecale is a compact SUV. Well, maybe it’s a little less spectacular from a design standpoint … And yet it will become Maserati’s No. 1 seller.

Today, Maserati offers 4 models in its catalog. The very old Quattroporte limousine and the big Ghibli touring car were launched in 2013, the big Levante SUV launched in 2017 and the latest supercar, the MC20, launched last year.

The Grecale, which takes its name from the wind, as is Maserati tradition, looks a bit like the Levante’s little brother, and should give a big boost to the brand’s sales. It is a very strategic model, if not simply vital.

Sr. Francesco Tonon, Grecale Product Manager: “For the first time in its history, Maserati has entered the segment of high-end compact SUVs. This is a crucial segment because it is becoming the most important market today. Finally, Grecale should account for 40% of our worldwide records.

For this, (the Grecale) is based on a fairly generous size: 4.85 m long, 2.17 wide and 1.67 high. It’s a good big baby that certainly fits under the Levante in the range, but it’s more massive than a Porsche Macan, its rival, its target, the car to knock down for the Italian SUV.

A Maserati has to evoke several values. There is luxury, of course, sportsmanship, but also tradition. Tradition, here, is evoked through an element of the back. You have 3 seconds to find …

The Grecale also retains the huge grille with a Trident, the brand’s emblem, proudly displayed throughout the range, but incidentally adopts new stylistic codes, which allow it to convey a more modern image.

Sr. Klaus Busse, Maserati Design Director: “This is the new face of Maserati, which was inaugurated in the MC20 supercar. A very low mouth and high headlights that give an expression that is both pure and aggressive. ”

Inside, it’s a very pleasant surprise. The Grecale not only retains the sporty and sensual treatment that is expected of an Italian: this magnificent leather upholstery with stitching is not bad, is it? – But in addition, it finally offers techno, real. The dashboard? Fully digital. The orders? Now grouped in these 2 screens at the top of the center console. It’s beautiful, and Grecale will not be compared to its rivals.

The big revolution on board is not the dashboard or the dual touch screen phone, no, the revolution is the center console clock, since 1985, now digital and no longer analog, or as Maserati finally enters, of a single level, on the 3rd. millennium. ”

And if you don’t like this sporty style (the steering wheel), don’t worry (it will be different from the final version). 3 versions will be offered at the launch: GT, Modena and Trofeo. Our model corresponds to a Trophy version, the most sporty and luxurious in the range.

Well, what do we have down there (hood opening). Wow. Come see it: it’s the V6 3.0 biturbo Nettuno, the God of Neptune, from the MC20. Here it deflates to 530 horsepower instead of 630. It will cause serious Grecale! 0 to 100 km / h announced: 3.8 sec. That puts the Grecale there, yes, there”.

We tested this version of the Trophy on the roads of Bologna.

And the first feeling behind the wheel is pleasure! And in particular, this is felt when you take advantage of the sound of the engine when accelerating. Attention … Not bad eh, this V6, has personality, gives excitement. And this is usually essential in any self-respecting Maserati!

Beware, though, the Grecale is heavy, very heavy even: over 2 tons! And it is still noticeable when driving. Regardless of the driving mode you are in. His philosophy is the big tour, not the sport, and at this point the Porsche Macan is more dynamic.

Fortunately, he has a secret weapon to make up for his weight handicap. These are his suspensions. There are 3 systems available: conventional spring damping. We forget this one. Another pilot. Is better. But especially a last, standard in this version Trofeo and optional in the rest of the range, air suspension. Add a mechanical rear differential and you’ll have a sensitive car that rolls well around corners. Remember: air suspensions!

If the 530 hp scares you to drive at 30 km / h in built-up areas, the GT, 300 hp, and Modena versions, 330 hp will be equipped with the Ghibli’s 2-liter, 4-cylinder hybrid. Well, okay, it’s still very strong …

The Grecale is on the same platform as its Alfa Romeo cousins ​​Stelvio and Giulia. It is built in Italy, in the Cassino factory. Another revolution: it will also be available next year in a 100% electric version and will thus become the first electric model in the history of Maserati. It will look 90% like this concept, with its almost smooth rims and less openwork grille and should be called Grecale Folgore. Meanwhile, the thermal versions will be launched in the second half of 2022, with an entry price of 75,450 euros. Okay, it’s not given. Despite this, the Grecale has everything it takes to become the star of Maserati.

Leave a Comment