Feast your eyes on the Maserati Grecale
Singapore - Named after a north-eastern Mediterranean wind, the Maserati Grecale (pronounced Grey-Car-Lay) is the Italian brand’s latest SUV-shaped offering. And it’s the first Maserati to enter the fray of mid-sized SUVs. And just look at it. It may have the hallmark traits of the brand's other cars, but it's quite unlike any other Maserati we've seen, isn't it? It's a look that divides opinions, sure, but we'll leave you readers to come to your own conclusions about how the car looks.
At a glance, it appears to share a large number of design cues with the MC20 Supercar we previewed, almost like an MC20 on stilts with the rear cab of a Levante glued to the back and flush door handles. The Grecale's shell is a lot more curvaceous with wide rear haunches that enhance the SUV's stance on the road, and it also looks less angular than its other trident-bearing stablemates, namely the Quattroporte, Levante, and Ghibli. Like all Maseratis, it gets the requisite oval grille with vertical louvres, a fender punctuated by three vents and a trident badge on the C-pillar. The Trofeo car we previewed was also fitted with numerous carbon fibre elements in the front splitter, side skirts and rear diffuser.
However, it’s on the inside where the Grecale truly differs from prior Maserati models. In the age of new-fangled techy interiors, we’re no stranger to seeing massive touchscreens and expansive instrument panels. But the Grecale ups the ante by having four screens set into the dashboard. Four, because we’re counting the digital clock face that replaces the more traditional analogue clock in Maseratis of yesteryear. Even the traditional gear selector is gone, having been replaced by four buttons set beneath the 12.3-inch infotainment display. And remember those flush door handles from earlier? Yeah, those are electronically operated on the Grecale.
Beneath the bodywork and lavish interior, the car is based on the FCA Giorgio platform, like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Giulia. But the Grecale’s wheelbase has been extended to 2,901mm, a 9cm increase over the Alfa SUV that would undoubtedly be appreciated by the car’s occupants.
At launch, the Maserati Grecale will be offered in three guises. All of which are all-wheel-drive, two of which are powered by a mild-hybrid turbocharged 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder, and one top-spec model powered by the same engine as a supercar.
The base model, the Grecale GT, is fitted with the aforementioned MHEV 2.0-litre four-pot that produces 300 horsepower and 450Nm of torque. The mid-tier car, the Grecale Modena, also gets the same MHEV-ed 2.0-litre, but it's been tuned to produce 330 horsepower. Torque remains the same at 450Nm, but is available from 2000-5000rpm (as opposed to 2000-4000rpm in the GT).
The top trim ICE model, the Grecale Trofeo (the yellow car pictured above), gets the same 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged “Nettuno” V6 from the MC20. But in the Grecale’s application, power has been detuned to a more modest 530 horsepower and 620Nm of torque. However, the Grecale Trofeo still does 0-100km/h in a not-so-modest 3.8 seconds. And it’ll carry on to a top speed of 285km/h if you can find a stretch of road long enough.
The Grecale Trofeo also comes with air suspension as standard, which is linked to whichever drive mode the driver chooses. The air springs can raise the car up by 30mm, or hunker down 35mm lower to the ground while parked to facilitate ingress and egress from the car. The mild hybrids can also be fitted with the same trick suspension as an option, but that’ll cost you.
If you're a stalwart of the EV movement, here's some interesting info for you. Come 2024, Maserati will launch an all-electric version of the SUV called the Grecale Folgore. Now Maserati has been keeping mum about the Grecale EV’s powertrain and performance figures, but we know that it will share the same Giorgio platform as the ICE-powered Grecale and be fitted with a 105kWh battery pack.
When it goes on sale, the Maserati Grecale will enter a highly competitive space occupied by numerous other mid sized SUVs like the Porsche Macan, BMW X3/X4, Audi Q5 and the Mercedes GLC. Maserati intends for the Grecale to be the top selling model within their stable, which shouldn’t be a hard task considering how buyers have more or less gravitated toward SUVs.
We’ll report back on how it performs on the road when the time comes. In January 2023, we hope.
PHOTOS Jay Tee