First Drive Maserati Grecale: will it be?
Maserati is experiencing popular appeal for the first time in the modern era.
The rebirth of the modern Maserati has been long and painful, marked by a series of cars launched more than 20 years ago that never lived up to the story behind the famous Trident logo. But Maserati can regain its magic. Meet the 2023 Maserati Grecale.
Yes, it’s a small luxury SUV, not the sleek, modern coupe that made Maserati famous in the 50s and 60s. But contrary to history, 80% of the world’s passenger cars are sold in the US, now. SUV, and the combination of the high-end market model is moving fast in the same direction, and Grecale is in a good place.
Porsche Macan Ever?
Maserati insiders don’t explain this, but the Grecale is clearly aimed at Porsche’s Macan. It’s bigger overall but has the same sporty character and, in the US, is priced and equipped to lure buyers away from Porsche showrooms.
That doesn’t mean it’s just an Italian Macan model. Away. Grecale has its own personality and character.
The Grecale is built on an upgraded version of the Giorgio platform, and all models will come with permanent all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
With a wheelbase of 114.2 inches, the Grecale is 3.3 inches longer than the Stelvio, 3.7 inches longer than the Macan and 1.1 inches longer than the Jaguar F-Measurement. Speed is good for its class.
Open the door to reveal a very spacious interior.
Maserati claims that the front and rear seats accommodate 99% of adults comfortably, and there is no reason to doubt that claim: I am 1.82 meters tall and the driver’s seat is adjusted to my liking so that I can sit with my knees 2 centimeters from for the backrest.
But there’s about 2 inches of clearance between the top of my head and the ceiling, even on the Grecales with the sliding glass roof. Basically, there was enough room under the front seats for my legs to fit.
Not only is the Grecale roomier inside than the compact Macan and Stelvio or even the Jaguar F-Pace, especially in the back seat, but it also has the most modern interior of the three.
Yes, the Porsche interior is beautifully designed and available in a variety of color and finish options, but the Maserati cabin has the flair of Italian fashionistas, even on the entry-level models.
It also has an impressive array of four screens. Instead of an instrument panel there is a configurable display.
Above the center console is a structure that houses a 12.3-inch screen that controls navigation, audio, phone and vehicle settings; below is an 8.8-inch screen that controls comfort functions such as air conditioning, heated and cooled seats, and audio.
Two screens sit behind a surface that curves from the near-vertical arrangement of the top screen to an angle that matches the slope of the center console to the bottom screen. What separates the two screens are the button travel controls.
A fourth screen? It’s a clock in the middle of the top bezel, which can be configured between a standard analog display and a digital clock and display performance data such as input and braking or g load.
Two four, one (best) six
The Grecale range includes three models. The entry-level Grecale GT is powered by a 48-volt hybrid version of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is also available in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. In Grecale GT trim, the powertrain produces 296 hp at 5,750 rpm and 332 lb-ft from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm.
Next up is the Grecale Modena, which shares the GT’s powertrain, albeit upped to 325bhp at 5,750rpm, and its 332lb-ft torque extended from 2,000rpm to 5,000rpm.
Maserati claims the Grecale GT will hit 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, 124 mph in 23.7 seconds and then 149 mph. The Grecale Modena has the same top speed but it’s three tenths of a second to 60 mph and 1.8 seconds to 124 mph. Both are 60 mph faster than the four-cylinder Macan and 5 mph faster on the top end.
Halo’s model is the Grecale Trofeo, which has an innovative version of the Maserati MC20 Nettuno 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 under the hood. In the MC20, this engine produces 630 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 538 lb-ft of torque from 3,000 to 5,500 rpm. In the Grecale Trofeo, it produces 523 hp at 6,500 rpm and 457 lb-ft between 3,000 and 5,500 rpm.
Even though it’s switched off, the Nettuno is an engine that will appeal to Macan GTS buyers. The same goes for buyers of the Alfa Stelvio Q4 Quadrifoglio and Jaguar F-Pace SVR.
Maserati claims the Grecale Trofeo will hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 177 mph. By comparison, Porsche claims a 0-60 mph time of 4.1 seconds for the 434 hp Macan GTS and a top speed of 169 mph.
The 550 hp Jaguar F-Pace SVR recorded a 0-60 time of 3.7 seconds in our testing and has a claimed top speed of 178 mph. The sturdy Stelvio Quadrifoglio hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of 176 mph.
Well, on paper, the Grecale Trofeo is in it. This performance comes with a more spacious interior and a superior ambience that only Porsche can match any rival. But how does he drive? Short answer: not like a Porsche Macan, we mean good.
Everything is on the way. Even in Trofeo form with standard air suspension and 21-inch wheels, the Grecale is more compliant than the Macan in its standard GT drive configuration.
It’s wobbly and wobbly – the hood rises into the air like an old car when you step on the gas from the start, letting out a sharp growl from the Nettuno V-6 – but the action is well controlled, when you lean into it. , Suspension strengthens the thigh muscles and gives you the support you need.
These body movements are a clear indication of the forces acting on the chassis, giving you a more complete view of where the ball meets the road.
“We want the car to convey its dynamics,” said Maserati verification engineer Federico de Medio, openly admitting that the Grecale’s chassis setup belies the Germans’ penchant for rigidity. “Most cars today are very difficult.”
The Grecale Trofeo comes standard with height-adjustable air suspension, an electronic rear differential and larger brakes than the four-cylinder model.
While the four-cylinder, steel-spring Grecales offer three riding modes (Comfort, GT and Sport), the optional air suspension on the four-cylinder model allows for two levels of riding modes, increasing the length of the ride. rise by 0.6 inches or 1.2 inches.
The Trofeo also has a Corsa mode that improves throttle response, transmission and braking, reduces traction control and stability, and enables launch control.
The Corsa also increases the damping ratio from Sport to Stiff, and does so so that the ride is too stiff for anything but a slick pool table track.
Fortunately, a button in the middle of the steering wheel-mounted steering mode control allows you to switch damping modes regardless of driving conditions. On the Corsa, you can choose between Hard and Sport. In all other modes except Off-Road, you can switch between Sport and Standard damping levels.
As you might expect, the four-cylinder engine that powers the GT and Modena models lacks the visual power of the Trofeo’s Nettuno V-6. It is also unimpressive, with the injection system speed of 200 psi loud in the engine compartment at cold idle.
The nose of the four-cylinder Grecales feels lighter and more responsive to the first few steering inputs than the Macan, though the six-cylinder Trofeo has better steering feel and a firmer weight.
The smaller Macan may be faster, but the Grecale definitely strikes a better balance between handling and premium comfort. However, since our driveway lacked twisty roads and all of our test cars were on winter tires, we’ll have a final verdict until we’ve spent more time on the Maserati’s beautiful roads with summer tires.
Has Maserati Won The Winner?
Maserati Americas President Bill Pever expects the Grecale to represent more than 40% of Maserati’s US sales. The Volume Launch Edition is based on the mid-size Modena but comes with 21-inch wheels, air suspension, a sunroof and a choice of five unique colors for $77,600.
More luxurious than the Stelvio, more attractive than the Jaguar F-Pace and more exotic than the Porsche Macan, the Grecale could be the Maserati that finally brings the iconic Italian brand to the high-end mainstream in America.
Source: Tread engine