Maserati. Last brand for great tour. No other brand is more committed to the idea of a long, fast ride and looking good while at it. And now it can also be done with electricity. Which is certainly not known as a good way to travel long distances at high speeds. But in all fairness: who still uses GT that way? (If you do, fear not, Maserati is here to help. Read on.)
This is the new Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. When it arrives this year and finally succeeds the last-generation coupé, which died three years ago, it will be the first true electric car. ‘Folgore’ (keep calm and pronounce it well: the emphasis is on the first ‘o’) is Italian for ‘electric power’ and is an addition that Maserati offers to all its electric offerings.
More electric Maseratis are coming
Shortly after the GranTurismo, there will also be the MC20 Folgore and the Grecale Folgore. In 2025 there will be electric variants of all Maserati models. And in 2030 there will be no more gasoline releases. But still now. Maserati is leaving hybrids as they are for now, but will only come with a petrol engine for the new GranTurismo.
It’s the twin-turbo V6 Nettuno engine from the MC20, which will deliver 490 hp in the entry-level model called Modena and 550 hp in the Trofeo. All small beer when you consider that the electric version makes 760 hp.
You may have already heard otherwise; that would be good for over 1,200 hp. Well, the motors can handle that (each permanent magnet motor, one on the front axle, two on the rear axle, is capable of producing 400 hp), but the battery pack cannot. That can only produce enough electricity for 760 hp. Think of it like a gasoline engine where you block the air supply.
“Maserati claims a 50:50 weight distribution, and the telemetry in my seat tells me there’s no one down”
But what this means is that more power can go to each engine. For the rear pair for maximum acceleration, or well-tuned for all kinds of complex torque input in corners.
Little difference between this and the petrol version
The GranTurismo is on a completely new platform. It may seem, especially in these days, a miraculous decision to promote that with gasoline and electricity. Either way, that means compromise. But you don’t realize it. Once you understand how much it resembles the car it achieves (I’m still not sure if it’s pure laziness or pure genius to release the usual lines on an electric car), it’s the packaging that you’ll notice first.
Where are the batteries? That is the question you will ask yourself. It is not below the floor, the sitting space and the roof is too low for that. Not even between the back seat and the boot, because there is a lot of space there in both places – you can sit in the GranTurismo with four people as easily as in the Bentley Continental GT, and the boot has a size of 270 liters (a. honest none anyway).
No, Maserati used the space between the front wheels and the windshield (a space often referred to by impressionist designers as prestige gap) The 93 kWh battery is a T-shaped package and is therefore located where the transmission tunnel otherwise runs, along the entire length of the vehicle.
That’s a smart use of available space, but I know what you’re thinking: wouldn’t that make the nose too heavy? Well, Maserati claims rear weight distribution is 50:50, and the telemetry in my seat tells me there’s no understeer.
The interior of the Maserati GranTurismo Folgore
Before we continue driving, a word about the interior design. You won’t find a screenshot of the dashboard here. This is still an example, one of the last, but the dashboard is still a secret and will not be revealed until early 2023. I can tell you that it still has paddles behind the wheel, only now it is interested in controlling the rate of regeneration.
The classic watch now, à la Porsche Sport Chrono, has become a digital display and there are various screens: one like the driver’s counter screen and a two-part screen that looks like a flip phone that is not fully opened. the top half for infotainment and the bottom for everything related to the on-board climate.
It all responds well to touch, but most importantly the GranTurismo looks and feels expensive inside. The equipment is beautiful, especially the blue stuff in it, made from recycled plastic nets.
In addition, the important things are done well. The seats are nicely shaped and the seating position is as you would want in a GT: low in controlwith a good view on that big aluminum shellbonnet – the longest on the market, they say. As an object, this new Folgore is convincing and desirable.
Maserati GranTurismo Folgore performance
And it is certainly fast enough: from 0 to 100 km / h goes in 2.7 seconds, to 200 km / h in 8.8. And it’s not the kind of acceleration that runs out of breath at some point – it’s pulling the strings until you reach a top speed that the Italians say is ‘more than 200 mph’.
“Exhibits the smooth, uncomplicated and quiet character of the MC20 supercar”
The fastest petrol version (all four-wheel drive) takes 3.5 seconds to reach 100 km/h, despite being 450 kg lighter. Lap times seem to be closer; but think of the impact it could have on your lineup.
By the way, it is currently doing 450 km in the WLTP cycle, which is not bad at all for a car that weighs 2,260 kg, wears 265 mm wide tires at the front and 295 mm at the rear and has not exactly. minimum drag coefficient of 0.26.
Stability in the GranTurismo
As expected: it’s very quiet when you’re on the road with it. The constant wind swirling around the wing mirrors, that’s about it. No creaking or grinding chassier, no noise or vibration of the suspension. It feels solid and easy to drive. A car that you are very happy to go very far.
I was only allowed on the track with him, but the suspension comfort seemed fine too – there is a slight hint of roll, but that is well controlled. In fact, at high speeds it exhibits a smooth, uncomplicated and quiet demeanor like the MC20. That changes a bit when you start playing with the driving modes.
GT mode limits your energy to 80 percent and is suitable for most situations. The Sport gives you all the power and then keeps track of things – all the tension at the limit is handled very well, so you don’t see too much torque shuffling around. Corsa mode frees the powertrain from all shackles. Ooh. Then it gets crazy – the ball is the obstacle.
The ball under our car
These Goodyears are everyday tires: low rolling noise, low rolling resistance. With little traction. You have to be a little careful, but you notice that the chassis has a good natural balance and communicates clearly. Lift your foot off the right pedal as you enter and the rear end flips over, in a quick and playful manner.
Now throw the ‘gas’ again and it will shoot (especially if you have activated the additional Drift feature) sideways as if it were on shopping wheels. Be quick with your driving response. Now you and torque-vectoring are really fighting against each other.
You stop yourself, he sends power forward to straighten things out, but you expected that and straightened the steering wheel again to continue the slide further. The result: you deal with the steering wheel and the pedals, the process hurts here and there, but you have a good time. In any case, it is not the main task of the main tourist in terms of behavior.
Maserati has already mastered electric driving
More good news. It is very difficult to feel when the electric motors stop to generate power and when the physical brakes are engaged. The car performs very naturally, drives precisely and firmly, and the car’s sound – although nowhere near that of the old 4.7-litre V8 – is deep, rumbling and reassuring.
It’s an entertaining car, well designed and executed, with enough character and a touch of drama to convince like a true Maserati. In line with all the previous models, but less showy, more polished and very capable.
I think he can give potential opponents a headache. The Porsche Taycan is the only ‘type’ of competitor at the moment, but in time Bentley, Aston Martin and (we have to assume) Ferrari will also come up with something. That’s the market Maserati has signed up for.
Maserati GranTurismo Folgore price
This won’t be a cheap car. The MC20 already costs more than three tons (well, in the Netherlands; in Belgium you ‘only’ have to pay 220k) and puts the brand in a new price segment. The GranTurismo will confirm the image, although prices have not yet been announced. We’re guessing around half a ton less than the MC20 for the petrol version; Folgore might just be more expensive than a supercar.
But I see a role for him. You see, if mass tourism was still a thing, I would get a little worried; but the days of tearing Europe apart are over. And they are very particular about electric cars. Perhaps you should think of today’s GT more as an everyday supercar.
It’s less flashy and easier to use than a mid-engine machine, but it’s still unique and desirable. And this one comes without guilt, without production and has already taken a firm lead over the opponents. And they will have to put their best foot forward to continue.
Details of Maserati GranTurismo Folgore (2023)
3 electronic engines
93 kWh battery (net)
320 km / h
18.2 kWh/100 km