Maserati has a decades-long lineage of sexy, fast, and luxurious grand touring coupes, all with different names but a common genetic marker that was most recently embedded within the aptly named GranTurismo - Italian for Grand Tour/Touring/Tourism.
Returning for a second-generation, the GT and its expected open-top counterpart, the GranCabrio, have found themselves in a very different world and under new leadership after the 2020 merging of Fiat Chrysler with PSA to form Stellantis.
Certain things had to change and in big ways, which is why for the first time we find no naturally aspirated Ferrari-derived V8 under its extended bonnet, an engine that so defined the brand for the past 15 to 20 years.
In its place there’s the Nettuno, a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 lifted from the MC20 supercar available in the new GranTurismo in two states of tune: Modena and Trofeo, respectively delivering 490hp and 550hp. It’s no slouch and is definitely more potent than its predecessor, but won’t sound as glorious as that old school screaming atmospheric.
Maserati has had a pretty extensive history with V6 engines in the past so this isn’t exactly blasphemous, but something potentially divisive is the option to have your GranTurismo as a fully electric 2+2 coupe.
Called the Folgore, which roughly translates to lightning or ‘thunderbolt’ in Italiano, it signals the brand’s falling into line with Stellantis’ group-wide electrification push. The GranTurismo EV swaps out all its fuel-burning components for a big lithium-ion battery and 3 electric motors with tech trickled down from Formula E.
These also operate at 800-volts much like the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Porsche Taycan, allowing the car to sport a trio of 300kW permanent magnet electric motors (one on the front axle and two at the rear). Working in tandem, the brand claims a maximum combined output of 760hp to the wheels.
This might come in pretty handy especially considering the electric guts have swelled its weight to 2,260kg while the V6-powered GTs are just a shade under 1,800kg, which is a decent improvement over the previous model, one that was notoriously chunky on the scales for its svelte shape.
Cleverly wedged in between the front and rear axles in a 'T-Bone formation' is a bank of cells that collectively store 92.5kWh on a full charge (with a discharge capacity of 560kW) though only 83kWh of that is usable to the driver, which is still pretty impressive given the car isn’t built on an electric-specific architecture that utilises a skateboard platform.
With a total of 1,351Nm at its disposal from essentially zero revs, the GranTurismo Folgore is capable of sprinting to 100km/h from a standstill in just 2.7 seconds. The automaker has not disclosed its projected range yet but with DC fast charging up to 270kW, at least replenishing its reserves won’t take too long when plugged into the right station.
To compensate for an EV’s lack of a charismatic soundtrack, chief engineer Davide Danesin said that they’ve developed a special system to utilise external and internal speakers….somehow.
In terms of looks, there’s no denying this is very much a Maserati with very similar visual cues and exterior dimensions to the previous GranTurismo which was launched way back in 2007. Some might even argue that it’s too dependent on what came before instead of forging a new and innovative design, but given how unrecognisable the car is under-the-skin, we’re willing to excuse this criticism.
It’s a classic look that many people already associate with the brand, so why not keep the roll going.
This is the old model, FYI.
Despite the car and plenty of its specifications have now been revealed, there are many gaps still left unaddressed. For one, though many assuming that the MC20’s 8-speed dual clutch gearbox has also been transplanted into GranTurismo, there’s no confirmation of this.
Secondly, Maserati still seems very hesitant to show the world the car’s interior. All we have so far are exterior images leaving its cabin experience up to the imagination. One has to ask why, especially if the car, as a development project, is as complete as they want you to think.
This is also the old model, FYI.
What we do know is that the full interior unveil is scheduled for early 2023 (better be worth the wait!) and promises to be, in a word, ‘dramatic’. It’ll include a 12-inch digital dashboard and a pair of infotainment screens along the centre stack, though physical stalks and buttons still have a place.
European on-sale dates for the V6-powered GranTurismo is slated for Q1 of next year while the EV some time in the second half, so there’s still so much waiting left to do. When it does finally break that barrier into showroom reality, it will do so with a limited run of even pricier First Edition examples.
We know know more than we did last month, but don't have the full picture. It's going to be a slow drip.