All images courtesy of Maserati

AS FAR AS LUXURY car manufacturers go, few pump out products possessing unrivalled levels of mystique and allure as routinely as Maserati. The house of the trident is synonymous with prestige, performance, and Italian craftsmanship and throughout its illustrious history, Maserati has consistently pushed the boundaries of automotive engineering.

From the outset, dating back to the days when Maserati built its rich racing pedigree, the marque’s cars have embodied a perfect fusion of performance and elegance, and that’s a tradition that continues to define the brand today. With a lineup of sedans, coupes, and SUVs, Maserati has always sat at the forefront of automotive innovation. But if there is one area in which Maserati has truly excelled, it’s in grand tourers.

For the uninitiated, a grand tourer is a car that was created at a time where vehicles were either sporty or comfortable, but never both. Maserati provided the solution to that problem, with cars that combined all the high-performance qualities of a super car with the functionality, comfort and increased durability needed to cover long distances – or in this case, journey across the winding, mountainous roads of continental Europe – of an everyday coupe.

The first Maserati grand tourer to be available to the public was the A6 1500 Gran Turismo, which was released all the way back in 1947. Since then, Maserati’s grand tourers have taken many forms, be it the GranSport, the Coupé or the Spyder, but it’s that original 1947 model, the GranTurismo – which aptly translates to grand tour – that has proved to be the most enduring.

The new Maserati GranTurismo comes in three distinct variants. Due to the long-distance range required to be called a grand tourer, petrol-based engines have reigned supreme in the subgenre, and they make up the bulk of the new range. There’s the Modena, with a formidable 490 CV 3.0-liter V6 Nettuno Twin Turbo engine, and the Trofeo, which elevates the power output to an impressive 550 CV. But given the automotive industry’s adherence to petrol grand tourers, it’s the third variant, the Folgore, that is the most intriguing, as it distinguishes itself from other grand tourers with a 100 percent electric battery-based powertrain.

Maserati GranTurismo Folgore

The Folgore system incorporates state-of-the-art 800V technology, drawing inspiration from Formula E – F1’s more eco-friendly cousin, who plays host to all the biggest EV innovations – to deliver exceptional performance and comfort. Powered by three robust 300-kW permanent magnet motors, the GranTurismo Folgore can go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.7 seconds and boasts a top speed of 325 km/h. Sure, the car was named Folgore – Italian for ‘lightning’ – for its electric powertrain, but the term is just as appropriate in describing the car’s lightning-fast straight-line speed.

As any electric-vehicle sceptic will loudly tell you, range is often where EVs fall short. Grand touring is, by definition, supposed to be grand. So, how can a car even be considered a grand tourer if it doesn’t have the range to nearly cross a continent? Well, range isn’t an issue for the for the GranTurismo Folgore. On a full battery charge, the GranTursimo Folgore can travel up to 450km. And even if your destination, lies beyond that range (which seems highly unlikely unless you’re a long-distance trucker, but then why would you be hauling cargo in a Maserati?), the GranTurismo Folgore can receive up to 100km of charge in as little as five minutes.

Underpinning the masterful technical intricacies of the GranTurismo is an architectural design that utilises lightweight materials such as aluminium, magnesium, and high-performance steel wherever possible. This multi-material approach, coupled with pioneering manufacturing processes, results in unparalleled weight efficiency, setting new standards in its class.

Like any grand tourer worth its price tag, the GranTurismo isn’t all about performance – comfort also takes priority. On the interior, the GranTurismo is available in light or dark tones. An ice/denim upholstery colourway with ice stitching, or a black colourway with copper stitching are both available. Either way, the car makes extensive usage of ECONYL, a regenerated nylon fibre made from recycled fishing nets and plastic waste. ECONYL is used for an eco-friendly touch, but also for its malleability in graphic design. In the case of the GranTurismo, that materialises in a clever herringbone pattern.

All in all, there’s a lot to love about Maserati’s GranTurismo Folgore. With its versatile performance capabilities and innovative design, the GranTurismo is the epitome of automotive excellence – but with a Maserati car, what else would we expect?


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