What is it about a Maserati that always seems so effortlessly sexy? Is it the unmistakably Italian design? The distinctive Maserati engine growl? Is it the dashing good looks of its ambassador, David Beckham, now synonymous with the brand? Or, quite simply, the desirability of the iconic trident and the trappings of status it represents?
Short of interviewing members of the exclusive Maserati owner’s club, we’d hazard a guess that it’s all of the above. Paired together, they bestow personality upon a non-sentient machine, and Maserati’s ability to evoke emotion is perhaps its greatest asset in a crowded playing field.
Launched last year, the Grecale sits smaller than the Levante, Maserati’s mid-sized SUV, and does a fine job of embodying its ‘Everyday Exceptional’ tagline. The exceptional part of this stance is the way sportiness and elegance come together on a performance SUV, delivering a feeling of ‘everyday luxury’ — if you will — on your daily commute and even on grocery or school runs.
Because one thing Maserati does well above other carmakers is luxury.
Fast, high-octane fun behind the wheel
Frankly, it’s a rather tall order to try to make an SUV look and feel sexy. But having a sports car lineage probably helps.
The Grecale’s sculptured architectural form is informed by a sense of fluidity inspiring its design — namely, the cool, north-easterly Mediterranean wind known as Gregale (‘Grecale’ in Italian) from which the Grecale takes its name. This naming tradition follows a long history in Maserati lore of christening its cars after famous winds of the world, beginning in 1963 with the legendary Mistral, followed by the Ghibli, Bora, and Khamsin.
Crafted as if indeed propelled by wind, the Grecale cuts a coupé-like figure characterised by trapezoidal lines that extend to the rear, meeting with boomerang tail lights inspired by the Giugiaro 3200 GT. Altogether, it makes for a stylistic vernacular that’s strong and bold but also sleek in styling.
Held within those graceful lines and elegant profile, however, is the real power that makes the Grecale a real Maserati. Produced at the Cassino plant in Italy, the Grecale is offered in three variants: the GT, powered by a four-cylinder mild hybrid engine capable of delivering 223kw, the four-cylinder mild hybrid Modena churning out 246kw, and the top-ranging Trofeo, powered by a V6 based on the MC20 Nettuno engine pumping out a whopping 395kw with the ability to rocket up from standstill to 100 kmh in an exhilarating 3.8 seconds.
The generous amount of power on tap is matched by spirited acceleration for fast, high-octane fun behind the wheel, underwritten by that signature Maserati roar.
Slide into the cabin and the luxe quotient is eminent. The use of high-quality materials, including wood, leather, and carbon fibre may spell everyday luxury, but this is not your everyday cookie-cutter cockpit.
The Grecale’s cabin is clean and streamlined, with none of the usual knobs to fiddle around with. There’s no gear shift, either. All functions and controls are integrated within the digital display, and all it takes is a push of a button to engage the gears. They’re all neatly lined up between the 12.3-inch and 8.8-inch screens that make up the instrument cluster in the centre console, while paddle shifters behind the wheel further hint at the Grecale’s sporty soul.
The digital clock on the dashboard signals Maserati’s core strength — attention to design — with three changing interfaces you can toggle between: Classic, Sport, and Design. And not only does it tell the time, the clock also serves as a driver-car interface that enables smart voice interactions.
Rear passengers enjoy best-in-class spaciousness thanks to the Grecale’s generous 2,901mm wheelbase as well as more of those plush cabin feels, all while sitting on 19-inch alloy wheels that come as standard (20-inch or 21-inch wheels are optional).
The current Grecale runs on a 48V mild hybrid system, with the newer Grecale Folgore taking its place as Maserati’s first fully electric SUV based on 400V architecture, delivering 372kw and 800Nm torque instantly. Additionally, by 2025, all Maserati models will offer full-electric versions, and the entire Maserati range will be fully electric by 2030. Caring about the climate? Now that’s really sexy.