The Levante SUV may have failed to knock the Porsche Cayenne off its perch, but the Italian brand is hoping the Maserati Grecale will woo Macan customers. While it’s good to be sceptical, the stunning MC20 supercar gives us hope that Trident-badged models are on an upswing.
Not to mention the small matter of 523bhp, which is the Grecale’s headline power figure. It’s sure to have got the attention of those sitting behind desks in Stuttgart, because it outguns the hallowed Porsche Macan GTS, which has been every road tester’s favourite small performance SUV for oh so long. We can’t blame Maserati for wanting a piece of the action - the Macan is Porsche’s best-selling car.
Set to help fill Maserati showrooms during the second half of the year, the entry-level Grecale GT gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged mild-hybrid petrol with a not-insignificant 296bhp, which is pumped up to 325bhp for the Modena. Both have the same 332lb ft of torque and a top speed of 149mph, while 0-62mph is ticked off in 5.6 and 5.3 seconds a piece. It’ll also hit around 32mpg in European WLTP testing.
But it’s the Trofeo that gets the big cojones, with its twin-turbo V6 spewing out enough power to see the Grecale squat its way to 177mph, passing through 62mph in 3.8 seconds. Its 89bhp advantage over the Macan GTS is a serious message of intent. Related to the Nettuno engine found in the MC20, the powerplant features the same pre-ignition chamber found in the supercar, but there’s a conventional wet-sump in place of the mid-engined model’s dry sump lubrication.
If the thought of thousands of tiny explosions under the bonnet doesn’t sit well with you, an all-electric Grecale Foglore is also due to arrive in 2023. Maserati’s first EV - yes really, welcome to 2022 Maser - the Grecale Foglore gets a massive 105kWh battery and electric motors totting up 540bhp and 590lb ft for driveshaft and neck twisting acceleration. If you’re wondering, it will also operate at 400 volts, so while not matching the 800-volt architecture of the Porsche Taycan, it should still achieve impressive charging speeds.
Every Grecale will get four-wheel drive as standard, along with a system called VDCM, which may sound like a terrible medical condition, but in fact alters the SUV’s driving dynamics. An eight-speed automatic transmission should mean both laid-back driving manners and speedy shifts as you get on it, and Trofeo models will have adaptive air suspension that will be an option for lesser trims.
Its interior features a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen with 15 million pixels, and it’s joined by a smaller 8.8-inch screen for the climate control in a similar setup to the Range Rover Sport. A third, 12.3-inch screen sits behind the steering wheel, and other highlights include a Sonus Faber sound system with 14 speakers, upgradeable to 21 speakers.
So, if you need an upgrade from your Alfa Romeo Stelvio – or even your Macan – petrol versions of the Grecale are expected to cost from around £50,000 ($66,000) when they land in a few months time.