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Car Review

Maserati Grecale Folgore review

£109,850
710
Published: 26 Mar 2024
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

Maserati engineer Giovanni Bussalai told TG.com a while ago that he and his people are the go-to guys in the Stellantis group for final chassis sign-off, and the Grecale’s template will become the reference point for other Stellantis group SUVs.

It’s good news, then, that this is an accomplished car in all the key parameters, thanks to a heavily reworked version of the Giorgio platform. Maserati’s history is long but so chequered that it likely means different things to different people. Clearly, the Grecale Folgore does not rouse itself courtesy of an aristocratic combustion engine or with a fulsome exhaust note. Push a pleasing blue starter button on the lower left half of the wheel and a bassy ‘whooooom’ announces that the car is primed for action. It’s no V8 but it’ll have to do.

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Sandwiched between the main central screen and the lower climate control panel are four buttons – P, R, N and D – which do what they say, though their haptic is sadly low rent. Push D and off you go.

The Folgore driving experience is seamless, frictionless and modern. If that ‘tridentity’ is meant to have percolated into the dynamics, it’s a little hard to pinpoint any definitive Maserati traits here. Such is the way of most EVs. There are four driving modes, GT, Sport, Off Road and Max Range. GT offers a well-judged balance of performance and comfort, and highlights the Maserati’s elegant dynamics. Its ride quality is impressive, the standard air springs, adaptive dampers and multi-link set-up dispensing with all manner of surface nasties and camber changes on our southern Italian test route.

We found Sport mode too jiggly, although you need to select it to access the maximum power output. Off-Road mode hoiks the chassis up and tweaks the air springs for a more pillowy feel. We were on 21in wheels, but things would naturally be more compliant on 19- or 20-inch rims.

Remind me, how much power are we talking?

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The Folgore’s dual motors deliver the equivalent of 550bhp and 605lb ft, manifesting in rapid rather than scorching hot performance. This might only be of disappointment if you enjoy watching EVs drag racing on YouTube. Top speed is limited to 136mph, 0-62mph taking 4.1 seconds. The less powerful but substantially lighter Trofeo version does it in 3.8s.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, the Grecale Folgore gets along with the sort of understated determination that surely fits the brand. It feels grown-up, authoritative, and expensive (which it is). Sure, you can hustle it and if you raise the tempo it’s game enough without being spectacular. The steering is linear and nicely weighted if not especially communicative. It’s not as pokey as the BMW iX i50 but feels more agile, and there’s masses of traction thanks to its all-wheel drive.

The brake feel is a little soft, the blend between the friction stoppers and the regen not as harmonious as it could be. Over-large paddles either side of the steering wheel allow you to adjust the amount of regen, and one-pedal driving is possible.

And how does it compare to the ICE Grecale?

It all feels very similar, which is high praise depending on how much you want an EV to assault your senses with its EV-ness. Part of this is down to the faked induction noise and thrum, which does an eerily good job of mimicking the real thing. At times, we actually forgot we were in an EV which is the effect Maserati is gunning for.

In fact, only a cheap-sounding indicator sound and a daft blind spot warning blurt irritated. Laminated dual pane glass and bespoke bushings and extra insulation around the pumps and fans helps promote the calming sensation.

Hit me with some efficiency stats.

Maserati claims a range of 311 miles and energy efficiency of 2.6mi/kWh, which isn’t what we’d call superb. We actually saw slightly more than that, preferring to lean into the more relaxed side of its personality than pretend it’s a 250 F reincarnated. Expect a real world range of around 250 miles, which is just about good enough.

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