Maximizing power in the 2023 Maserati Grecale Trofeo
A $119,600 SUV better have something special to offer, and in the case of the Maserati Grecale Trofeo, it’s a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 sourced from Formula One — as in an SUV. The company is focusing on electric, and it won’t be around for much longer. No other version of Grecale has it.
The Grecale is an SUV in the hugely popular compact segment, and the Grecale Trofeo ups the ante with 523 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, with the ability to hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. There’s no doubt it’s exciting to drive, but a Porsche Cayenne S will achieve the same dash in 4.7 seconds (4.4 with the Sport Chrono package) and costs about $10,000 at entry level.
However, the all-wheel drive 2023 Grecale Trofeo, while a little noisy for some tastes, is a very capable driving companion. It’s attractively designed – Italian designers are the best in the world, after all – and practical in a way that supercars hardly are. Standard features on the Trofeo include heated front seats, a sunroof, 21-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, and full leather upholstery. this Italian leather.
The test car adds the $4,200 Performance Plus package, $2,700 Blu Nobile paint, $1,200 full LED matrix headlights, $200 stainless steel pedals, and a few other goodies. The Performance Plus is probably worth it, because it adds heated rear seats, front ventilation, a heated wheel, and the fantastic 21-speaker, 1,285-watt Sonus Faber sound system.
The seats are comfortable, visibility is good, and the adaptive, air-assisted suspension makes the ride easy. There’s an eight-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted via massive paddles. They work well, but they also get in the way of the stalks to the left and right of the steering wheel. There’s a configurable 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and a pair of touchscreens stacked in the center stack (the top for the infotainment, the bottom for the climate). Ergonomics are very good.
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A couple of back seat passengers should be comfortable, but for the third to fit, it better be a child. With the rear seat folded flat (with power control), there’s 20 cubic feet of storage, plus an underfloor compartment. Overall, it’s a largely usable SUV, although it might come in handy with driving gloves given its 177mph top speed. Grecale pilots can choose between Comfort, GT, Sport and Off-Road modes. The Sport provides the highest levels of performance, but is too harsh for everyday use. Convenience gets you to the supermarket and back. Corsa mode, found only on the Trofeo, is for living on the edge, with traction control much reduced and launch control engaged.
The standard version of the Grecale, which starts at about $65,000, uses a four-cylinder engine and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with a belt-drive generator. In entry-level GT form, it makes 296 horsepower, and the upscale Modena increases that to 325. The Modena version takes five seconds to get to 60, and the GT is slightly slower at 5.3.
And then, of course, there’s the 2024 Grecale Folgore, the company’s first 100% electric SUV, which uses a large 105-kilowatt-hour battery and delivers plenty of power. According to Maserati, it will have two electric motors producing 550 horsepower and 605 pound-feet of torque to produce zero to 60 in 4.1 seconds, with a range of up to 310 miles. Top speed will be 137 mph. Grecale Folgore will be with us soon, sometime this fall.
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If you’re sold on Grecale, and it’s easy to be, think about how you’ll actually use it. The Trofeo is tempting but the GT may fit your lifestyle, fuel budget and wallet better. And it’s still a Maserati. The company is expanding aggressively in the American market, with a large number of models and agents. Under the leadership of Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares, Maserati will have to prove its mettle in sales, and there is evidence that the brand is trying.
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