Discover the temperament even before the appearance. Getting in tune without even knowing “what it looks like”. Our first contact with the Maserati Grecale has the flavor of an encounter in the dark, or of an epistolary relationship from another era. The new medium SUV will go on sale in the first quarter of next year – after the postponement of the presentation due to the microchip crisis – to expand the audience of Trident customers with a more accessible model (presumably, it will start from around 70 thousand euros. ) and more usable in everyday life. It will have to compete, so to speak, with the Porsche Macan. The manufacturer gave us the opportunity to drive a pre-series specimen on the Stellantis track in Balocco.
In reality, we have an idea of the appearance of the Grecale: despite the blue stickers that camouflage it, the slim shapes are quite clear and for the details of the nose and bonnet we do not expect great revolutions compared to the older sister Levante. We also saw the interiors: we were not allowed to photograph them but we can tell about them. And it’s worth doing because they are a real leap forward compared to everything Maserati has offered up to now, especially from a technological point of view.
The digital dashboard is flanked by a large touch screen, under which there is a second touch screen dedicated to the climate controls. In practice, the only physical keys are those of the gearbox, which replace the classic lever. At the top of the center console, another small, round screen: instead of the analogue clock typical of luxury cars, there is a digital and configurable one, which interacts with the driver when he uses voice commands, started with the formula “Hey Maserati”. For the rest, a riot of leather and precious materials, even on the often neglected rear doors. Speaking of doors, the handles are electric, flush with the door on the outside, replaced by a lighted button on the inside.
Speaking of mechanics, the new Maserati was born on the rear / all-wheel drive “Giorgio” platform already used for the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio. For this reason, the comparison with the SUV of the Biscione is a must. The Grecale is about ten centimeters longer than the Stelvio, to the advantage of the wheelbase, which on the Maserati reaches 2.9 meters and which guarantees considerable space for passengers: two people 185 cm tall can sit comfortably behind each other. ‘other.
Since its inception, the Giorgio platform has been appreciated for the dynamic qualities it can guarantee, and the Grecale is no exception. Compared to the Stelvio, it is a little more comfortable and the steering, while remaining sharp, is also a little less violent in reactions. It is a very easy car to drive, always composed, with predictable reactions.
The version we drove on the track had the 2.0 turbo petrol four-cylinder engine, very elastic and linear, with a 48 V mild hybrid system that also acts as an e-booster to eliminate turbolag. Power 300 HP, maximum torque 450 Nm available in a wide range, from 2 to 4 thousand rpm. The suspensions were the most refined available, those with semi-active shock absorbers and air springs, which guarantee an excursion of more or less 3 centimeters depending on the driving situations.
All Grecales have four-wheel drive managed by software developed by Maserati: the torque can be all at the rear or, in the event of poor grip, transferred to the front up to 50%.
The reference to the Macan was not causal: like the Porsche model, the Grecale will also offer a 100% electric variant, called Folgore (on sale at the beginning of 2023). And then the sporty six-cylinder Trofeo will come. Two versions that will be particularly successful in the main markets of the Trident, China and North America.