Auto review: Forked lightning

Auto review: Forked lightning

Maserati's all-electric Grecale Folgore SUV joins the line-up

Maserati has introduced its first all-electric SUV, which marks the Italian brand's official entry into the EV world.

Launched alongside the GranTurismo Folgore electric coupe at the recent Shanghai Auto Show, the Grecale Folgore is an everyday vehicle for customers who enjoy electrification along with Maserati performance.

According to Maserati, Folgore is the name of its electric vehicle range. The company plans to produce electric versions of all its models by 2025 before offering only electric vehicles by 2030. In order to maintain competitiveness in the fast-changing automobile market, Maserati says it plans to put emphasis on its emotional Italian character and offer the latest innovations.

The Grecale Folgore is the third variant from the Grecale SUV line-up that consists of a petrol and plugin hybrid models that were rolled out a year earlier. It measures 4,865mm in length and has a height of 1,651mm, while the wheelbase is 2,903mm.

In terms of design, the Grecale Folgore gets a modified inverted grille along with a front fascia that's inspired by the Trofeo version. The 21in aero wheels are specially designed for maximum aerodynamics and the rear diffusor has also been redesigned.

There's a good number of glossy black accents around the vehicle, such as the front grille, splitters, door handles, daytime running light surrounds and side skirts. Badges and brake calipers are in copper colours and the side vents are illuminated.

The cockpit gets a Folgore pattern on the dash along with copper 3D touch interior trim. There's a 12.3-inch centre touchscreen along with an 8.8-inch "comfort display". Sport seats with ECONYL, made from recycled nylon, come with heating and ventilation. Gesture control is offered for the climate control system and two phones can be connected to the infotainment system.

In terms of performance, the all-wheel-drive Grecale Folgore is powered by two electric motors delivering a combined 274bhp and a whopping 820Nm of torque.

Maserati claims a 0-100kph time of 4.1sec for the 2,480kg SUV, before crossing the 200kph mark in 16.1sec and hitting a top speed of 220kph.

The 105kWh battery is capable of offering a range of 500km and it can be charged from 20-80% in under 30 minutes with a 150kW DC quick charger.

While it's charging in the garage, it's possible to pre-heat the cabin without running down the battery. There's also automatic battery pre-conditioning which can adjust the battery temperature to shorten charging times.

The front wishbone suspension is mated to a rear multi-link system -- there are active dampers and air springs. Brakes consist of monolithic ventilated discs (350mm by 28mm front and 350mm by 22mm rear) with Brembo 4-piston fixed calipers up front and Continental floating calipers at the rear.

Mated to the 21in rims are 255/40 tyres up front and 295/35 tyres at the rear.

There are four driving modes: MAC RANGE, GT, SPORT and OFFROAD. Adjustments can be made via the drive mode selector on the forged black steering wheel, with perforated leather and a blue engine start button.

Vehicle pre-conditioning system

Automatic battery pre-conditioning

To make the charging experience as efficient and fast as possible, the Grecale Folgore is equipped with automatic battery pre-conditioning, enabled when near an ultra-fast charging point. Pre-conditioning prepares the battery for the charging phase, adjusting its temperature to reduce charging times.

Cabin temperature maintenance

The Grecale Folgore can maintain the interior temperature of the cabin even when the car is not running.

EV routing

Fully aware of the battery condition and expected consumption at any time, journey planning can include any charging stops and optimise the total duration of the trip.

Dynamic range mapping

The maximum distance the vehicle can cover is displayed on the map and is updated in real-time according to charge status and driving style.

It's a new beginning for the brand. We're celebrating Folgore, the electrification plan that has become a reality and is ready to pave the way in this revolutionary era. I'm very excited to be here in Shanghai, which is not only an international exhibition but also a global platform for innovation and the ideal place to unveil the first electric models in the history of Maserati.

Maserati CEO Davide Grasso

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