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6 February 2024

Maserati Launch The All New Grecale SUV: Everyday Exceptional

Maserati launched the new Grecale at The Retreat at Elcot Park, a lovely setting for pootling about and testing the road handling and comfort in normal conditions. Like the other names in the Maserati fold, the Grecale is named after the cool winds that come off the Mediterranean, originating in the Greek Islands.

Yes, the Levante is yesterday’s news. But is the Grecale a step up? In short, yes, it’s a big leap forward in every way.

There are three models in all. The top-of-the-range Trofeo has a whopping 3.0-litre twin turbo V6 Nettuno engine (Also in the Maserati MC-20 supercar) with 530 bhp, which does 0-62 mph in 3.8 secs with a top speed of 285 km or 177 mph. The GT does 0-62 mh in 5.6 secs with 300 bhp and the Modena 0-62 mph in 5.3 secs with 330 bhp. These both have 4.0-litre engines. So the Trofeo, but without the same power.

First off it uses the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, already the result of massive investment and a stellar recommendation. The wheels grind a little at full lock on start, but that’s to be expected. The ride is luxurious and soft in normal mode but in sport mode is sure-footed and confident. The Grecale handles better in sport mode for those that enjoy driving.

Active air suspension is available as an option in all models, but the Trofeo and Modena get a mechanical rear diff with standard active shocks. The Grecale changes from off-road to sport mode and rises or lowers by a total 0f 6.5 cm, including dropping as you stop for an easy exit.

All three models are all-wheel-drive with a ZF eight-speed gearbox that is smooth and swift. The aluminium paddles are reassuringly solid and fun to play with. Gear changes are flawless in comfort mode, but the sports setting will keep you entertained.

The steering is comfortable and tight enough to be engaging. Again sport mode shines out even for everyday use. You need that extra boost to get the response worthy of a Maserati. Normal mode is just for shopping or long motorways, where response is wasted.

A superb luxury interior stands out at this price point, Maserati has done everything here to elevate the cabin into the next stage of opulence. Fine, soft leather, contrast yellow stitching and quality materials throughout. Enjoy the exquisite aroma every time you get in.

The double 12.3” screen, with a lower 8.8” comfort screen, is easy to use. Though they have gotten rid of most of the buttons just as other brands were putting them back, particularly for the controls you needed to access quickly without screen scrolling. But it does make for a sleek and pared-down dashboard. The gears are buttons too, so no lever, adding more streamlined space between the passengers.

They’ve changed the interior dash clock to digital so now you can choose the faces.

Maserati aimed to be “best in class” offering more rear cabin space, more legroom and greater boot space than rivals. The interior is a success and will appeal to all this looking for impressive interior comfort and luxury.

Maserati has teamed up with the Italian sound system manufacturer, Sonus Faber. We can cut to the chase here, the Sonus Faber acoustic system is the finest I have ever heard. The bass cuts straight through the eardrum, forcing it to syncopate in time with every beat. Use with caution. The chassis and speakers were designed from the outset to fit together and produce the best possible sound, not simply fitted as an afterthought.

Alexa and Google Assistant will update you on the vehicle status, control smart home devices and send navigation information before you even enter the car. The overhead cameras make parking a cinch.

The rearview mirror is a screen, not a mirror, so rear visibility is good irrelevant of the size of the back window. Great, though you have to refocus your eye from the cars in front to the screen just a few inches away. Possibly an issue for those that need reading glasses.

It is a mid-size five-seater, so smaller than the Levante, more able in everyday use, thereby the “Everyday Exceptional” tagline. The product manager explained that Maserati is aiming for visual longevity so that the car still looks modern and up-to-date many years down the line. A difficult balance as it is hard to predict the styling fashion even a couple of years later.

However the car looks suitably alluring, powerful and refined, perhaps a little conservative, but sporty and appealing. It has the aggressive Maserati grille, the fabulous iconic trident badges and triple side holes picked out in red on the Trofeo.

It’s a balance. If you want the full Maserati, it has to be the Trofeo, but you get a lot of car for the price with the GT and the Modena. Actually, Maserati undercut their competitors when you consider performance, interior luxury and badge. This is a winner in a very competitive field.

Plus they offer a range of specialist livery colours inspired by Maserati’s historic racing heritage.

Maserati launches the Grecale Folgiore or lightning wind later this year, the all-electric version, which promises to be fulgurant.

The Maserati Grecale GT starts at £61,570

The Grecale Modena starts at£67,810

The Grecale Trofeo starts from £99,700

Category: Supercars