April 20 2022
20 Apr 2022
It could have been a scene straight out of a Fellini movie. A weather-beaten Italian signore riding his putt-putting Vespa on the outskirts of Italy’s car-crazy Milan. He pulls up alongside our sunflower-yellow Maserati Grecale Trofeo at a stoplight, flashes a big, toothy grin and ever-so-slowly begins clapping his hands in applause. His words are unmistakable. Che bella macchina. What a beautiful car.
To show him just how bella this macchina is, it’s hard to resist the theatrical. The red light turns to green, the Corsa (track) setting is dialed up, foot flat to the floor and the Grecale catapults off the line. Unleashed are SUV’s potent 523 horses and 457 ft lbs of twist, courtesy of a detuned version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo Nettuno V-6 shared by Maserati’s $210,000 MC20 supercar.
In an explosion of revs (the redline is 7,000 rpm), a crescendo of guttural exhaust barks and neck-snapping gear shifts, the Grecale continues to surge as the digital speedo’s needle whips past the 60 mph mark in just 3.6 seconds. That’s BMW M3 quick. Quicker than the arch-rival Porsche Macan GTS and as quick as Mercedes’ thundering V8 Biturbo GLC 63.
As we explained in-depth after the Grecale’s recent global reveal, this is Maserati’s make-or-break entry into the booming, mid-size performance SUV market. Built on a modified Giorgio platform from Stellantis, one that underpins everything from Alfa Romeo’s Giulia and Stelvio to Jeep’s Grand Cherokee, the Grecale will be offered in three versions—GT, Modena and Trofeo—with pricing from $64,995. First examples land stateside around fall.
The Trofeo is the performance flagship, perched high above the base GT and what’s expected to be the best-selling Modena, both of which feature a mild-hybrid 2.0-liter four-cylinder mill packing 296 hp and 325 hp, respectively. No word on Trofeo pricing yet (though we suspect it to be just under six figures), but it’s lavished with features like adaptive air suspension, huge Brembo stoppers, 21-inch rims and a 21-speaker Sonus Faber sound system pumping with 1,285 watts of output. And then there’s the leather, lots of leather.
©️ By HOWARD WALKER / Robb Report