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Maserati’s GranCabrio Folgore is the World’s Fastest EV Convertible

by Nik Berg
17 April 2024 3 min read
Maserati’s GranCabrio Folgore is the World’s Fastest EV Convertible
Photos courtesy Maserati

“Paradigm shift.” That’s the phrase Maserati uses as it makes another significant step toward being an all-electric car company. Just added to the lineup, alongside the Grecale Folgore SUV and GranTurismo Folgore coupe, is what Maserati claims to be not only the first luxury electric convertible to market but also the fastest: the GranCabrio Folgore.

In a glitzy event in Rimini, Italy, Maserati pronounced the GranCabrio to be “Made in Thunder,” as it was presented by an eclectic collection of Italian celebrities. The roster included a DJ/pianist named Dardust (who blasted out an opening overture), actress Matilda de Angelis, and astrophysicist Edwige Pezzulli. The scientist compared the brand’s innovation to the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo.

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But wait, there’s more: A “Turn me on” ad campaign featuring a shirtless Damiano David (lead singer of Eurovision-winning rock band Måneskin), the launch of a £2 million Maserati-badged electric boat called Trident, and the company’s return to single-seater racing with its Formula E team. If it’s meant to be a paradigm shift, the fanfare is there.

But what of the car itself? Silently driven out onto the stage among the jumbo screens, booming sound, and visual effects was a handsome liquid rose gold four-seater cabriolet. As has been Maserati’s motif, the GranCabrio Folgore looks almost identical to the combustion-powered car that was revealed in February, with its flowing curves evolved from the previous generation GranTurismo and GranCabrio. Design boss Klaus Busse described this as “visual longevity” and referenced the proportions of the glorious 1954 Maserati A6GCS. If it ain’t broke, et cetera.

Copper Folgore badging and trim pieces, together with a clean tailpipe-free rear are the only features to visually distinguish EV from ICE from the outside, while in the cabin, laser-etched Econyl fabric is the signature feature. The canvas roof can be folded away in 16 seconds, and there’s a built-in wind deflector and air scarf to keep occupants comfortable. At least those sitting up front, anyway; for rear-seat passengers, it’ll no doubt be rather breezier.

Maserati GranCabrio Folgore

Underneath the skin is where things are radically different. Instead of the Nettuno V6 from the MC20 supercar, there’s a three-motor electric powertrain and a 92.5kWh battery pack that runs from under the hood down the central spine of the car, essentially taking up the same space as the V6, transmission, and prop shaft. This keeps the centre of gravity low and allows the exact same monocoque to fit on top.

The three permanent magnet motors, derived from Formula E, each produce 300kW (408bhp), with one on the front axle and one for each rear wheel. The battery’s 610kW discharge capacity translates into a maximum system output of 750bhp. Operating independently, the motors can provide advanced torque vectoring under the watchful eye of its Vehicle Domain Control Module. Rear- or all-wheel drive can be selected to suit conditions or your mood. There are four drive modes that go from eking out the range to maximising performance on track, plus three levels of regenerative braking.

The GranCabrio uses 800-volt architecture so it can charge at up to 270kW, which means getting a 20–80 per cent charge in 18 minutes or, to think of it another way, adding 60 miles in just five minutes. Maximum range as measured by Europe’s WLTP cycle is 280 miles, so expect maybe 250 at best in the real world.

Use all the available electrons and you won’t get as far, but you will certainly get there fast. The benchmark 0–62mph sprint takes 2.8 seconds, 120mph is reached in 9.1 seconds, and top speed is 180mph. Like the Grecale Folgore, the GranCabrio will accompany such feats of acceleration with a synthesised soundtrack meant to ape the brand’s historic V8s. Sign of the times.

Despite the dramatic switch in what powers the GranCabrio, what hasn’t changed is its underlying principles, says Busse. “You can drive six hours to Monte Carlo and you’ll arrive in style and comfort, and at the same time you can stop halfway in Monza and really unleash the full performance of the car. A perfect balance of delivering long-distance comfort and being able to stop at any track around the world and deliver a hot lap without looking out of place.”

Based on where the GranCabrio Folgore sits in the lineup, £180,000 is a fair guess for the starting price. We will be able to report back on specifics in June when we drive it and get a better idea how such a lofty figure is justified. However, at the moment, shoppers wanting an all-electric four-seater convertible have no other choice, regardless of cost.

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