Tested with the Maserati Grecale: the anti Porsche Macan of the “Trident”

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The Grecale, whose deliveries will begin in the summer, will have the difficult task of relaunching Maserati’s ambitions worldwide. By admission of the same leaders of the Modenese company, it must be attractive as the first family car in Europe, as a second car by the Americans (and the Americans) and also become a trend model for young Chinese people who will be able to afford it.

The reference opponent is the Porsche Macan, compared to which, however, the Grecale is slightly more abundant in size, a little more expensive and also more performing for the same level of engine.

The car was born on the Alfa Romeo Stelvio platform, it is also produced in Cassino and, in fact, some stylistic analogy can be glimpsed. However, the Grecale is a little longer, has a roominess at the top of its segment and highlights a Maserati characterization that leaves no doubt about its origin. Both in the nose, which incorporates some dictates of the MC20 coupe, and in the side and rear views.

Inside, leather, wood, aluminum and carbon dominate according to the trim levels. Which are three, depending on the equipment and the engine: GT, Modena and Trofeo. Compared to the recent past, now even hi-tech contents reach the levels of direct competition. There are few physical controls on the dashboard, total connection (also through Amazon’s Alexa system), digital instrumentation, an infotainment screen and one for on-board services, an extended head up display and a configurable “clock” on the dashboard. , which can show the time but also the parameters of a possible use on the track and more. And the audio system is produced by Sound Faber: an Italian excellence in the field of acoustic diffusion.

The steering wheel is a bit too cluttered with controls the steering wheel, however, puts at hand the driving program selector and the very useful button to uncouple the shock absorbers and soften the attitude in extreme driving modes when moving up uneven surfaces. And here you feel a bit of a Ferrari flavor.

All Grecales have permanent all-wheel drive, 8-speed automatic gearbox driven with well-made aluminum steering wheel levers and various levels of refinement as regards the suspensions (conventional, electronic and pneumatic with variable height) and the rear differential ( normal, limited scrolling or electronically controlled, also here along the lines of the E-Diff used made in Maranello). In the case of the suspension with adjustable height, the total travel is 65 mm: from a minimum – 35 mm compared to the normal level in park mode, to a maximum +30 mm in the offroad position.

The Grecale GT and Modena will be destined to represent the bulk of sales. In both cases, they are powered by a 48-volt mild-hybrid 2-liter turbo four-cylinder, tuned to deliver 300 and 330 hp respectively, albeit with the same amount of torque: 450 Nm.

The displacement might seem a bit small for cars of this kind, in reality in both cases the thrust is considerable, not so different despite the 30 HP difference and in line with what is expected from the Maserati name. In addition, there is an engaging sound, especially in the sportiest driving programs, which certainly does not invite you to use the accelerator sparingly. The suspension layout is unchanged from that of the Stelvio, but the different calibrations make the Grecale less nervous. This also applies to the steering, which has not so immediate reactions and, ultimately, more suited to a high-end SUV, bright but not extreme. According to the declared data, both the GT and the Modena reach 240 km / h, while the acceleration from 0 to 100 is 5.6 seconds in the first case and 5.3 in the second. The GT costs 74,470 euros, for the Modena it takes 85,200 euros and the difference is also motivated by specific preparations.

At the top of the family, then, is the 114,950 euro Grecale Trofeo, which is equipped with a 3.0 V6 biturbo derived from that of the MC20 but tamed to reduce power from 630 to 530 hp. The new adjustments have made it possible to maintain an explosive delivery when full power is used, but also to maintain a manageable character when you want to go for a walk. This does not mean that even in this case, when the gas is wide open, an exciting “tout court” sporty sound comes out. The gearbox – soft if you travel relaxed and pounding when you pick up the driving pace – perfectly complies with this double-sided temperament. The set-up is firmer than the other two Grecales and the steering requires some attention only when you overdo it.

The duel between Grecale and Macan will then be renewed next year, when both models will arrive on the market in a fully electric configuration. Maserati has already announced that the Folgore version (the name that will distinguish all the “zero emissions” models of the Trident) will use two engines that will guarantee a total torque of 800 Nm, while the 105 kWh battery will marry 400 volt technology. The power has not yet been formalized but it is likely to assume a level of around 500 HP.

Maserati Grecale, the card

What it is: It is Maserati’s new middle-class SUV that goes a step below the Levante in size and price.

Dimensions: length 4,846 / 4,859 / meters, width 1,948 / 1,979 meters, height 1,659 / 1,670 meters, pitch 2.901 meters.

Rivals: Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes GLC, Porsche Macan,

Engines: 2,000 mild-hybrid four-cylinder turbocharged petrol with 300 hp or 330 hp, 3,000 twin-turbo petrol V6 with 530 hp.

Advantages: High performance, rich set-ups, remarkable habitability.

Defects: High prices compared to the competition, too many buttons on the steering wheel

Production: Cassino (FR).

Prices: The price list starts from 74,470 euros and reaches 114,950 euros, net of customizations.

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