The story of the GranTurismo started 75 years ago with the Maserati A6 1500, Maserati says. “The concept of granturismo (“grand touring”) was created after World War II, during the Italian economic boom, when we showed the world our outstanding products, our strength, optimism and carefree attitude, the will to work but also to enjoy ourselves.”
In short, it’s a sports car that doubles as a luxury car. But now it’s also offered as an electric car, which raises a question mark over just how suited to the grand tour it will prove to be…
While Maserati didn’t use the name “GranTurismo” until 2007, when the car made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, it quickly became a flagship for the brand until it ceased production in 2019.
And now comes a new chapter: The return of the GranTurismo, fit for the electric age, with styling that is decidedly derivative of the previous model – which many will agree is no bad thing.
The new coupé is equipped with the MC20 supercar’s V6 Nettuno engine (the Ferrari-derived V8 is gone), available in two versions: the Modena, with the 483-horsepower, 3.0-litre V6 twin turbo, and the Trofeo, which has the same engine but tuned to 542 horsepower. Transmission is an eight-speed automatic. There are four driving modes, including launch control. At introduction, the GranTurismo is also available in the PrimaSerie 75th Anniversary Launch Edition, a limited series dedicated to its recent 75th anniversary.
But it’s the all-electric GranTurismo Folgore that appears to be the engineering marvel: The “100 per cent electric battery-based powertrain” uses 800-volt technology “and has been developed with cutting-edge technical solutions derived from Formula E.” After all, by 2025, all Maserati models will feature a full-electric version, and the entire Maserati range will run on electricity alone by 2030, in line with bans on the sale of new combustion-powered cars in the UK and Europe.
The Folgore has three 300-kW permanent-magnet motors. They’re connected to a battery that has a nominal capacity of 92.5 kWh, and a discharge capacity of 560 kW, “to continuously transmit around 760 horsepower to the wheels.” The battery pack sits low and does not compromise the Folgore’s relatively low height, which is just 53 inches. The shape of the battery pack, known as a “T-bone,” forms part of Maserati’s “zero compromise” approach and avoids placing the battery modules under the seats, mainly moving them around the central tunnel and therefore considerably lowering the car’s hip-point. The Folgore, Maserati says, sits lower than any other electric car on the market.
It means this grand tourer will be a less convenience way to cruise to the foot of Italy than the previous, petrol-burning Gran Turismo. The official range is said to be 279 miles, but at speed that is likely to drop to closer to 200 miles, much like competitor cars like the Porsche Taycan Turbo S.
Sound has long been an integral element in Maserati’s DNA, which presented a challenge with the all-wheel-drive, electric Folgore. “The natural acoustic dynamics of the electric motors driven by the inverters have been digitally shaped and integrated with the typical sound taken from the Maserati V8 tradition,” the company says. “All this in-depth analysis has made it possible to integrate know-how of the Maserati sound with the noise the vehicle naturally generates, to produce a unique acoustic experience, closely linked to the car yet innovative at the same time.” The sound is delivered by “refined synthesisers and released into the space by high-quality speakers on the inside and out.”
The technical architecture of the new GranTurismo makes extensive use of lightweight materials such as aluminum and magnesium, together with high-performance steel. This multi-material approach required that a new manufacturing process to be created, but the result is best-in-class weight levels.
The Trofeo and Modena weigh in at 1795kg. The Folgore, despite the lightweight components used, is still no lightweight at 2260kg, but Maserati says it can go from 0 to 62 mph in just 2.7 seconds.
No specific on-sale dates have been announced, but we’re hearing mid-2023. It is likely to be considerably more expensive that the previous generation model, with prices for the Modena starting at more than £100,000, the Trofeo climbing to £150,000 and the Folgore nudging £200,000.