The North-Easterly Mediterranean Wind Blows: Maserati Grecale Launched

BY Vivek Max R

Conventional internal combustion engine, mild hybrid and full-electric SUV line-up to come

In case you're wondering what a north-easterly Mediterranean wind has to do with anything, fun fact - since 1963, Maserati has taken to naming some of its sports models after wind-names.

Mistral - strong, cold, stormy, northwest wind that blows from the south of France to the Mediterranean coast
Ghibli - the Libyan Arabic name for the Sirocco, is a wind that can move a huge quantity of sand
Bora - a very strong and cold wind that blows from the northeast onto the Adriatic region
Khamsin - a hot, violent gust, blowing in the Egyptian desert and Israel for fifty days a year
Karif - an incredibly strong, hot wind that blows from the southwest across the Gulf of Aden in Somalia with gale force
Shamal - the Arabic word for “north” and is a hot and dry summer wind that blows from the north in Iran, Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula
Levante - a warm, easterly wind that blows in the western Mediterranean Sea

In the same tradition, we now have the Grecale, named after the north-easterly Mediterranean wind; it's a Porsche Macan-rivalling SUV that sits under the Levante in the lineup.

If you find the proportions of the Grecale familiar, you're not alone. The Grecale is built on the same FCA platform that spawned the Alfa Romeo Stelvio that we reviewed and loved last year.

This means front longitudinally-mounted engine mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive. At launch, three versions of the Grecale will be available.

The range kicks off with the base-model GT (above), powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder mild hybrid engine putting out 300hp. The launch colour for the GT is called Bronzo Opaco, which Maserati describe as "an enveloping bronze, with a matte and silky yet highly technical and minimal finish" which is "the result of painstaking research." We think it looks GORGEOUS.

Next up is Modena, in launch colour Grigio Cangiante (above), which takes power output to 330hp with a tweaked version of the same turbo 4-cylinder mild hybrid engine. Both feature a 48-volt mild hybrid system and an electric compressor to reduce turbo-lag from low revs.

Topping the range is the Trofeo as seen in the rest of this article, in launch colour Giallo Corse, with the same twin-turbo 3-litre V6 engine found in the MC20 and producing 530hp, which rockets the Grecale Trofeo from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 285km/h.

At launch, there'll also be the PrimaSerie Launch Edition, which is touted to feature "exclusive content." Next year, a fully-electric Folgore with 400V 105kWh battery-pack technology is expected to arrive and is said to be "100% made in Italy."

Straight up - we've missed "boomerang taillights" of the 3200 GT since the late 90s and are happy to see it make a re-appearance here.

The front of the Grecale wears Maserati's new corporate face seen since the MC20. We think it looks taut, purposeful and suitably-aggressive to speak to its performance credentials.

If you're wondering why this Grecale Trofeo appears to sit lower than other SUVs in its class, it's because air springs are standard on the Trofeo and options on the GT and Modena. Adaptive shocks, however, are standard across the board.

Further sharpening handling on the Trofeo is an electronic rear limited-slip differential (LSD) which will no doubt help this performance SUV to turn-in and hold its line in bends and corners superbly. A mechanical rear LSD is standard on the Modena and optional on the GT.

A fast Maserati needs big brakes to slow it down and the Grecale does not disappoint. The GT and Modena variants feature 350mm brake discs clamped by 4-piston Brembo calipers up front, and 330mm discs with floating calipers in the rear.

The red-hot Trofeo steps things up a notch, with 360mm discs and 6-piston Brembo calipers fore and 350mm discs clamped by 4-piston Brembo calipers aft. Reassuring to have solid reins when 530 horses have been unleashed and need to be slowed down in a hurry, especially considering the Trofeo weighs in at just over 2-tons.

On the inside, Maserati promises a premium experience with 3D carbon fibre trims and perforated leather in the Trofeo.

The latest Android-based Maserati Intelligent Assistant multimedia system is fitted to up the technology game within. Up to five different profiles can be stored, including music preferences and vehicle operation functions. Don't fret that this is an Android-based system though, for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

In-cabin aural pleasure comes courtesy of Italian sound system artisans Sonus faber. There will apparently be two levels to choose from, with the highest-specification featuring 21 speakers and 3D sound with an output of up to 1,200-watts. If and when we get our hands on a Grecale, we'll be sure to stream Disturbed's Down With The Sickness to the sound system, pump up the volume and report back on how it went.

The Maserati Grecale is scheduled to hit our shores in the first quarter of 2023. Can you tell we're excited?