New Maserati GranTurismo: specs and electric Folgore first drive

Maserati’s Porsche 911 rival will be available with a 750bhp electric powertrain, as well as V6 engine from MC20 supercar

  • Modena, Trofeo and Folgore variants
  • Electric and V6 petrol powertrains
  • Due on sale in 2023

The all-new Maserati GranTurismo has been fully unveiled. First announced at the brand’s annual press conference in March 2022, the 2+2 coupe is set to replace the last-generation GranTurismo, and will be available with either a V6 petrol or a fully electric powertrain – we’ve already driven the latter, so keep reading for our first impressions.

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Due to go on sale in 2023, the new Maserati GranTurismo will be the brand’s first EV and is likely to cost well over £100,000 in petrol form and almost £180,000 for the electric Folgore model. That places it toe-to-toe with the top-spec Porsche Taycan Turbo S, while petrol GranTurismos will be more of a competitor for the likes of the Porsche 911 and the new Mercedes SL.

Maserati’s official launch photographs of the GranTurismo reveal a design that is somewhat of an evolution of the old model. The new GranTurismo retains the outgoing car’s trademark long, sweeping bonnet arches and buyers will eventually be able to choose from either a hard-top coupe or a soft-top ‘GranCabrio’ convertible model. All versions will also come with four seats and a 310-litre boot, making the Maserati much more usable than other super-sports cars such as the Audi R8.

The GranTurismo also gets Maserati’s signature oval grille and adopts a pair of high-mounted, rhomboid headlights - similar to that seen on the new Maserati MC20 supercar. Also reminiscent of the MC20 are the GranTurismo’s set of tri-spoke alloy wheels and slim LED tail lights.

Set to be dubbed the GranTurismo Folgore, Maserati previously stated that the electric model would produce “way more than 1,200bhp installed power” from its three electric motors. However, in reality, the Folgore distributes around 750bhp to all of its four wheels. This setup still gives the electric sports car all-wheel-drive (with one electric motor powering the front axles, and two at the rear), plus a 0-62mph time of just 2.7 seconds and a top speed of over 198mph.

Maserati has arranged the Folgore’s batteries in a ‘T-bone’ formation to maintain a low centre of gravity, with the total usable capacity being 82kWh. This provides a total range of up to 279 miles on a single charge, although this will likely be much lower if you decide to make use of all the power that’s on offer. Standard 270kW fast-charging capability means that 62 miles of range can be added in just five minutes when connected to a compatible public charger.

Buyers that prefer a more traditional powertrain will be able to instead opt for the six-cylinder ‘Nettuno’ engine from the MC20 supercar; in entry-level Modena spec, this will produce 483bhp. The top-of-the-range Trofeo model will output 542bhp – still a reduction on the 621bhp of the MC20, but impressive nonetheless.

However, it appears that the GranTurismo Folgore is just beginning for the brand in terms of electric power; Maserati has also stated that all of its current lineup will be fully-electrified by 2025. Electric ‘Folgore’ versions of the Quattroporte luxury saloon, the Levante SUV and the MC20 are said to be in the works - as well as an electric variant of the new Grecale SUV, which may be the first to arrive. These cars may use parent-brand Stellantis’ STLA medium platform and boast a range of over 400 miles.

2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore: first drive

GranTurismo Folgore - front

A lot has changed in the automotive industry since the original V8 Maserati GranTurismo made its debut back in 2007; encroaching emissions regulations mean the long-awaited sequel to the GranTurismo saga will be offered in both more-efficient V6 petrol and fully-electric forms. We’ve driven a pre-production version of the all-electric GranTurismo Folgore to see if it’s lost any of the magic and charm of the original.

Stepping into a Maserati, pressing the start button and not hearing a thundering petrol engine burble to life is a strange feeling, however it’s something we’ll have to get used to as the Folgore is the first in a line of all-electric models from the Italian brand, with more set to come soon. That’s not to say the Folgore starts up in complete silence; Maserati has programmed a sort of synthesised V8 rumble – we’ll let you decide whether that’s a cool or crass addition.

Getting out onto the road it’s immediately obvious how much power is available from the Folgore’s three electric motors; while the 750bhp output is still lower than the 1,183bhp originally promised by the engineers, the electric GranTurismo seldom feels underpowered. Maserati engineers have also assured us that the full 1,183bhp will be available at a later date once they’ve figured out all the kinks in the electrical system, although we’ll believe that when we see it.

GranTurismo Folgore - rear

While the Folgore boasts over 200bhp more than the range-topping GranTurismo Modena V6, it’s also 400kg heavier than its petrol cousin. Thankfully, the boffins at Maserati have developed a clever torque vectoring system which can juggle the Folgore’s immense power to whichever side of the car needs it to ensure maximum grip. This results in the GranTurismo feeling assured on a twisty road – even when being driven in anger.

However, despite this, the Folgore never seems to encourage you to drive fast. While the artificial V8 sounds may appear crass to some, they do bring a whiff of excitement whenever you start up the car. These disappear as soon as you start driving though, leaving the Folgore feeling rather soulless when out on the road.

It’s not like you get to experience the raw thrills of a made-for-purpose sports car either; Maserati has tuned the GranTurismo Folgore to be as quiet and comfortable as possible, meaning each and every drive is rather unmemorable – not something you want to say about a circa-£180,000 super grand tourer.

We think this is a shame as, fundamentally, the latest GranTurismo has all the ingredients to almost make the near-15-year wait for a new model seem worth it. Character has rarely been a thing that Maseratis have been short of – that honour typically goes for build quality, although we’ll hold judgement until the GranTurimso’s cabin is fully revealed in 2023 – but the absence of sound and dulled driving experience of the Folgore result in a car that lacks any kind of sparkle. We hope with the arrival of the V6 variant that most of these problems will resolve themselves, but with strong rivals in the new Mercedes SL and Porsche 911, the marque from Modena has its work cut out.

Want something that’s low-emissions and lightning-fast? Check out our list of the Top 10 best hybrid and electric sports cars

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