The Maserati GranTurismo has long been a symbol of Italian luxury and performance. For 2023, Maserati is taking a gamble on the future with the all-electric GranTurismo Folgore, a car that carries the weight of Maserati's electric ambitions on its finely sculpted shoulders. With a name that means 'lightning' in Italian, does the Folgore electrify the senses or merely send static shocks? Here's my take.
Design and Styling
The Maserati GranTurismo Folgore is a masterpiece of Italian design with contemporary flair, seamlessly blending the past and future into one captivating package. Its silhouette is a testament to elegance, a quality inherent to Maserati’s DNA, but modernized to symbolize the electric era it champions. It effortlessly captures the essence of luxury and performance, engaging onlookers with a design language that speaks both of heritage and innovation.
From the iconic Maserati grille that graces the front, to the sleek lines that flow along the body, ending in a subtly updated rear with quad pipes, the car exudes a sense of dynamism even when standing still. The attention to detail is simply exquisite, with each curve and crease serving both form and function. The design isn't just for show; aerodynamic elements have been thoughtfully integrated to maximize performance without compromising on style.
However, the subtly tweaked front bumper and quad pipes at the back are almost too subtle, failing to shout about the electric revolution underneath.
Interior and Tech
When you open the door and step into the GranTurismo Folgore, you're entering what feels like a high-tech lounge with a touch of Italian flair. The interior doesn't shy away from luxury, employing a blend of premium materials and finishes that offer a nod to Maserati's storied past. But at the same time, you're surrounded by a bevy of screens that catapult you straight into the 21st century.
You'll find a 12.2-inch digital dashboard directly behind the steering wheel, which is flanked by a 12.3-inch central infotainment screen. Below that is an additional 8.8-inch touchscreen dedicated to climate control and other comfort features. It's clear that Maserati has put a lot of thought into how drivers interact with the vehicle, combining tactile buttons with touch-screen interfaces for a balanced user experience.
The Vehicle Domain Control Module (VDCM) is an interesting addition, offering a suite of electronic adjustments tailored to the driver’s chosen mode. It seems like a promising step towards making high-performance driving more accessible to people of varying skill levels.
Now, for a less flattering note: The digital replacement for Maserati's traditional analogue clock seems like a misplaced attempt at modernization. While all the other screens have clear functional roles, this change feels more like a solution in search of a problem. The analogue clock was a piece of Maserati tradition that many fans cherished, and its digital replacement, while certainly capable of multiple displays like a stopwatch or a compass, doesn’t evoke the same charm.
Performance and Handling
When it comes to sheer numbers, the GranTurismo Folgore is an undeniable powerhouse. A 92.5 kWh battery feeds three electric motors to produce a jaw-dropping 750 horsepower at the wheels. This sets you up for a 0-62 mph sprint in a neck-snapping 2.7 seconds, along with a top speed flirting with the 200 mph mark. This level of performance squarely positions the Folgore in supercar territory. Maserati's engineers have also incorporated a sophisticated torque vectoring system that makes the car adapt to varying driving conditions with the agility of a gymnast.
However, numbers and specs are only part of the equation. While the car is capable of rocket-like acceleration, it does so with an unexpected sense of detachment. This comes down to the electric powertrain, which, although highly efficient, lacks the sonic drama and visceral engagement of a traditional internal combustion engine. If you've ever heard the growl of a Maserati V6, you'll know it's like a symphony to a car lover's ears. With the Folgore, that symphony is replaced by a rather sterile electric whirr, accompanied by artificial sounds piped in through speakers, both inside and outside the car. It feels like you're listening to your favorite band through a phone's speaker; the notes are there, but the soul is missing.
On the handling front, the Folgore delivers admirably. Despite its hefty weight—thanks to the batteries—the car's advanced suspension systems and torque vectoring manage to make it feel agile and responsive, especially in Sport and Corsa modes. The car leans more towards a rear-wheel-drive behavior in practice, a characteristic that traditional driving enthusiasts will likely appreciate.
Practicality isn’t a word usually associated with Maserati, but the Folgore is surprisingly accommodating. The T-shaped battery design allows for decent interior space and a 270-liter boot. The back seats can actually fit adults, making it a more viable option for those who intend to use this as more than just a weekend toy.
The Maserati GranTurismo Folgore is a bold step into the future for a brand steeped in tradition. It's an admirable endeavor to marry past and future, combining Italian flair with cutting-edge technology and performance that can go toe-to-toe with the industry's best. Its interior, while not revolutionary, provides a comfortable and high-tech environment, and its handling is engineered to deliver a driving experience that should please even the most demanding of enthusiasts.
However, the Folgore's electric powertrain brings a polarizing element to the table. It’s almost as if the car is having an identity crisis; its performance is undeniably impressive, but it lacks the emotive, seat-of-the-pants feeling that has characterized Maseratis for decades.
If you're looking for an electric vehicle with superb numbers and luxurious trappings, the Folgore is a compelling proposition.