Maserati Grecale debuts – Porsche Macan rival; mild hybrid I4, twin-turbo V6; up to 530 PS; EV next year

Maserati Grecale debuts – Porsche Macan rival; mild hybrid I4, twin-turbo V6; up to 530 PS; EV next year

Here it is, the new Maserati Grecale. In keeping with the tradition of naming its cars after a wind (examples include the Mistral, Ghibli, Bora and Khamsin), the Grecale is named after the Gregale, a strong north-east wind of the Mediterranean.

The Grecale is Maserati’s second SUV offering and takes its position beneath the larger Levante, which first made its debut back in 2016. The obvious rival here is the Porsche Macan, and the carmaker claims its creation not only offers the right balance between sportiness and elegance, but also best-in-class spaciousness and comfort.

Breaking out the ruler, the Grecale does beat the current Macan when it comes to dimensions, measuring in at 4,846 mm long, 1948 wide, 1,670 mm tall and sports a wheelbase of 2,901 mm. These figures increase as we ascend the variant tree, which consists of the base GT, mid-range Modena and the range-topping Trofeo – the kerb weight is between 1,870 to 2,027 kg.

In terms of design, we can see a clear reference to the MC20, which first showcased the brand’s new styling philosophy. Key cues include the protruding nose and wide grille, both of which were also seen on the MC12 and hint at the Ford Puma if you squint your eyes just enough. Said grille features concaved bars on all variants, albeit with different finishings: chrome-plated for the GT and black for the Modena and Trofeo.

Maserati Grecale debuts – Porsche Macan rival; mild hybrid I4, twin-turbo V6; up to 530 PS; EV next year

The headlamps bear a similar daytime running light signature as that on the MC20, although the clusters are reshaped for a more vertical aspect to fit the requirements of an SUV. Crease lines on the bonnet and large intake openings in the lower portion of the bumper complete the front fascia.

Viewed from the side, we can see the generous wheelbase and sloping roofline that the Grecale has, along with the brand’s signature touches like the triple vents on the front fenders as well as the trident on the C-pillars. Unlike the Levante, the Grecale’s door handles are more discreet and contemporary in their appearance.

Wheel sizes range from 19 inches (with 235/55 tyres) on the GT to 20 inches (with 255/45 front and 295/40 rear tyres) on the Modena, while the Trofeo gets 21-inches (with 255/40 front and 295/35 rear tyres).

It should be noted that the rear track of the top two variants is 34 mm longer than on the GT for a more dynamic look, helped along by certain chromatic details, side skirts and specially designed bumpers.

Maserati Grecale debuts – Porsche Macan rival; mild hybrid I4, twin-turbo V6; up to 530 PS; EV next year

As for the rear, the Grecale’s two-piece taillights are inspired by the 3200 GT, evident by the creases that trail down the corners of the vehicle from each lighting cluster. On the Trofeo, the exhaust has a split design to mark it out as the top-of-the-line variant.

Getting into the driver’s seat, you’ll find a digital instrument cluster and an optional heads-up display ahead of you. Also included is a 12.3-inch touchscreen, the largest ever included in a Maserati, which is linked to the Maserati Intelligent Assistant (MIA), an infotainment system built upon Google’s Android Automotive OS.

The system comes with a wide array of connectivity options and other features such as the ability to store five different user profiles and their vehicle settings, as well as connect two smartphones via Bluetooth. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also included, as is the Maserati Connect telematics system. Sonus faber also lends its expertise to develop a 21-speaker sound system with an output totalling 1,285 watts.

If two screens are still not enough for you, there’s also an 8.8-inch touchscreen with extra controls like for the three-zone climate control – this comes with rear vents and another touchscreen control panel for rear passengers.

Maserati Grecale debuts – Porsche Macan rival; mild hybrid I4, twin-turbo V6; up to 530 PS; EV next year

That’s not all, because the clock is also digital for the first time in the brand’s history, displaying not just the time, a compass or G-force meter, but also capable of emitting a response signal every time it receives a voice command.

The digital clock sits prominently on the dashboard above the wide-width air vents, and because most vehicle functions are accessible via the touchscreens or the on-wheel dials, the centre console is uncluttered and houses a storage cubby, an armrest and two cupholders.

Being a Maserati, there are plenty of leather and premium materials, all of which can be personalised depending on the size of a customer’s wallet. Before getting to the mechanical specifications, it goes without saying the Grecale comes with a suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) like autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control and others.

The Grecale engine line-up starts with a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit that is helped along by a 48-volt mild hybrid system, the latter consisting of four components: a belt starter generator (BSG), a battery, an eBooster as well as a DC/DC converter.

In operation, the BSG acts as an alternator to charge the battery located in the boot, which in turn powers the eBooster electric compressor to fill in the torque gaps before the turbo spools up. A ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is an all-wheel drive system with a rear limited-slip differential (standard on the Modena, optional on the GT).

If this mild hybrid system sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because this setup (sans AWD) is also used by the Ghibli Hybrid and Levante Hybrid. With the GT variant, the mild hybrid, direct injection engine serves up 300 PS (296 hp) at 5,750 rpm, which is less than the those models, but peak torque is similar at 450 Nm from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm.

To get the same figures as the Ghibli Hybrid and Levante Hybrid, you’ll have to step up to the Modena variant, which uses the same powertrain, albeit rated to deliver 330 PS (325 hp) and 450 Nm at nearly the same engine speeds. The mild hybrids will hit a top speed of 240 km/h, but the Modena is quicker in a 0-100 km/h sprint, taking just 5.3 seconds compared to the GT’s 5.6 seconds.

For something even more powerful, the Trofeo is the one to go for. The range-topper uses a modified version of the Nettuno engine found in the MC20, which is a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 with Maserati Twin Combustion (MTC) technology.

Maserati Grecale debuts – Porsche Macan rival; mild hybrid I4, twin-turbo V6; up to 530 PS; EV next year

The engine, which is assembled at Stellantis’ Termoli factory, features a pre-chamber combustion system that involves fitting twin-spark plugs, located between the main combustion chamber and spark plug to enhance combustion.

As the company explains, fuel is first ignited in a separate pre-chamber, and as the flames spread, combustion is transferred from the pre-chamber to the traditional combustion chamber by means of a series of specially sized perforations, resulting in faster, standardised and efficient combustion.

Like the MC20, the Grecale’s engine also comes with dual port and direct injection as well as cylinder deactivation technology, the latter allowing the right cylinder bank to be deactivated to minimise fuel consumption. One key difference is instead of dry oil sump, the V6 in the SUV uses a wet one instead.

Performance-wise, the MTC-equipped V6 used in the Trofeo variant puts out 530 PS (523 hp) at 6,500 rpm and 620 Nm from 3,000 to 5,500 rpm. As with the mild hybrids, there’s an all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission too, although the Trofeo uses the Gen2 8HP75 version instead of the Gen2.5 8HP50.

With those outputs, the Trofeo takes just 3.8 seconds to complete the century sprint and it will hit a top speed of 285 km/h. It also gets the most aggressive brake setup, with discs measuring 360 mm (with six-piston calipers) at the front and 350 mm (with four-piston calipers) at the rear. The Modena and GT make do with 350-mm front discs (with four-piston calipers) and 330-mm rear discs (with single-piston calipers) instead.

Focusing on suspension, the Grecale uses double wishbones at the front and a multi-link arrangement at the rear. The GT comes with passive dampers by default, but these can be upgraded to active Skyhook units that are standard on the Modena. The Trofeo is the only that comes with air suspension as standard, although the lesser variants can be specified with it as well.

The air suspension offers six levels of adjustment over 65 mm and from normal mode, it ranges from a minimum of -35 mm when parked to a maximum of +30 mm in Off-Road mode. The latter is one of five available drive modes that affect the characteristics of the powertrain and suspension, with others being Comfort, GT, Sport and Corsa (Trofeo only).

Another system that has an impact on the driving experience is the new Vehicle Dynamic Control Module (VDCM), which is an evolution of the Chassis Domain Control Module (CDCM) seen in the MC20. The carmaker says the system controls all vehicle dynamics (vertical, longitudinal and lateral) with precise targets and timing for all the major actuators, reducing intervention times and increasing performance, driving pleasure and safety – all upcoming Maserati models will feature it.

While the Grecale will initially be offered with mild hybrid and pure internal combustion engines, there will also be a fully-electric variant on the way, parked under the brand’s Folgore (translates to lightning from Italian) line-up alongside the EV version of the upcoming GranTurismo.

The Grecale Folgore will only arrive one year after the non-EV variants in 2023, but Maserati is not providing full details just yet. The only thing we’re told is it will be 100% made in Italy, have a 105-kWh battery using a 400-volt electrical architecture and offer as much as 800 Nm of torque. We do get some photos of the EV though, which gets a unique, largely closed-off grille, Folgore badging, specific bumpers and special aero wheels.

Stellantis’ Cassino plant will be responsible for producing the Grecale, which uses a heavily re-engineered version of the Giorgio platform used by the Alfa Romeo Stelvio that is also made at the facility. The Grecale will be priced from 70,000 euros (RM324,936), placing it within range of the Macan.

GALLERY: Maserati Grecale Trofeo

GALLERY: Maserati Grecale Modena

GALLERY: Maserati Grecale GT

GALLERY: Maserati Grecale Folgore

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Gerard Lye

Originating from the corporate world with a background in finance and economics, Gerard’s strong love for cars led him to take the plunge into the automotive media industry. It was only then did he realise that there are more things to a car than just horsepower count.




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