Take a good look at this car. It has a familiar profile: It’s an SUV, like most of the new models presented today. It could therefore seem almost innocent. But for its manufacturer, it is perhaps the most important model in its history.
“Have you seen the comb on the hood? This is King Neptune’s Trident. Yes, this car is the latest Maserati. And this is a big event for the brand. Not because it’s the first SUV in the series. There is already Levante, but because this model there, it should quickly become number 1 in sales. Just that ! Can he afford it? We will see. In any case, remember its little name, it’s Grecale!”
Grecale: Maserati’s new compact SUV
Grecale, we were able to discover it a few months ago in a study in the suburbs of Turin. When talking about a new Maserati, there are definitely high expectations. Because if the Italian brand, which is now part of the French group Stellantis, is prestigious, it is a small manufacturer that has no room for error when releasing a new model.
“We are very far from the range of the MC20 supercar that was unveiled here, same place, just a year ago: the Grecale is a compact SUV. So ok, it’s maybe a little less spectacular from a design point of view … And yet it’s becoming Maserati’s number 1 seller.”
Today, Maserati offers 4 models in its catalog. The very aging Quattroporte limousine and Ghibli grand tourer launched in 2013, the large Levante SUV launched in 2017 and the latest supercar, the MC20, released last year.
The Grecal, which takes the name of a wind, as is the tradition at Maserati, looks a bit like Levante’s little brother, and it should give a big boost to sales of the brand. It is an extremely strategic model, not to mention simply crucial.
Mr. Francesco Tonon, Product Manager Grecale: “For the first time in its history, the Maserati has entered the high-end compact SUV segment. This is a crucial segment because it is becoming the most important in the market today. Finally, Grecale was to represent 40% of our registrations worldwide. “
For that (Grecale) he is dependent on a fairly generous size: 4.85 m long, 2.17 wide and 1.67 high. It’s a good big baby, which is certainly placed below the Levante in the range, but is more massive than a Porsche Macan, its rival, its target, the car to be shot down for the Italian SUV.
“A Maserati must evoke multiple values. There is, of course, luxury, sporty, but also tradition. Tradition, here it is evoked through an element of the buttocks. You have 3 seconds to find …”
Grecale also retains the huge lattice with a Trident, the brand’s emblem, proudly displayed by the entire range, but in passing adopts new stylistic codes, which enable it to convey a more modern image.
Mr. Klaus Busse, Maserati Design Director: “This is Maserati’s new face, which was inaugurated on the supercar MC20. A very low mouth and headlights in high position that give an expression that is both clean and aggressive. “
Inside, it’s a very nice surprise. Not only does Grecale retain the sporty and sensual treatment one expects from an Italian – not bad this gorgeous leather upholstery with stitching, right? – But in addition, it finally offers techno, real. The dashboard? Full digital. the orders? Now assembled on these 2 screens in the upper part of the center console. It’s beautiful and Grecale will not like the comparison with its rivals.
“The big revolution on board is not the dashboard or the dual touchscreen handset, no, the revolution is the clock in the center console, since 1985, now digital and no longer analog, or how Maserati finally enters a level in the 3rd millennium. “
And if you do not really like this sporty style (steering wheel), do not despair (it will be different on the final version.) 3 versions will be offered at launch: GT, Modena and Trofeo. Our model corresponds to a Trofeo version, the sportiest and most luxurious in the series.
“Well, what do we have down there (opening the bonnet). Oops. Come and see: it’s V6 3.0 biturbo Nettuno, Good Neptune, from MC20. Here it is emptied of air to 530 horsepower instead of 630. It will cause serious Grecale! 0 to 100 km / h announced: 3.8 sec. It places it there in Grecale, yes, there”.
This Trofeo version, we tested it on the roads of Bologna.
“And the first feeling behind the wheel is pleasure! And especially it is felt when you utilize the engine sound, when you accelerate. NOTE … Not bad eh, this V6, it has personality, it gives emotions. And it’s usually important on any Maserati with self-respect!”
Be careful though, Grecale is heavy, very heavy even: more than 2 tons! And it is still seen when driving. Whatever driving mode you are in. Its philosophy is grand touring, not sports, and at this point, the Porsche Macan is more dynamic.
“Fortunately, he has a secret weapon to compensate for his weight handicap. These are his suspensions. 3 systems are available: conventional spring damping. We forget this. Another pilot. It is better. But above all, one last, standard on this Trofeo version and optional on the rest of the series, air suspension. Add a mechanical rear differential and you have a responsive car that rolls well around corners. Remember: the air suspensions!”
If the 530 hp scares you to drive at 30 km / h in build, the GT, 300 hp, and Modena, 330 hp versions will be equipped with Ghibli’s 2-liter 4-cylinder hybrid. Well, ok, it’s still very strong …
Grecale sits on the same platform as his Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Giulia cousins. It is built in Italy, at the Cassino factory. Another revolution: it will also come in a 100% electric version next year, becoming the first electric model in Maserati’s history. It will look like 90% this concept with its almost smooth rims and less pierced 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. Ok, that’s not a given. Despite this, Grecale has everything it takes to become Maserati’s star.