This is new territory for Maserati.
The 2023 Maserati Grecale represents a big step forward as the hallowed Italian brand embraces an electric future. This is the first electrified model in the company's portfolio (at least here in the US) with a 2.0-liter turbocharged mild-hybrid four-cylinder producing 296 or 330 horsepower. In a world where we already have all-electric luxury vehicles, a mild-hybrid may sound like a baby step, but it's huge for Maserati. This is an automaker that's lived and died on V6 and V8 engines for decades; a four-cylinder is simply unheard of in a car with a trident on the front.
Though this mild-hybrid power unit is not all-new, having already been used in the European Ghibli Hybrid, this is the first time Maserati has offered it in a US-bound car. After sitting down with Maserati Americas' Head of Product Jerry Canlas, CarBuzz learned why the Grecale was the right product to debut this engine.
"The reason why didn't bring [the mild-hybrid] with the Ghibli is that customers in North America like the sound of the V6 and the V8," Canlas explained. "So we decided not to bring it in that model. It makes more sense for [the Grecale]. It's a smaller vehicle, it's a segment where even Porsche offers a four-cylinder. Not only does it provide better fuel economy, but it still delivers the performance."
As for why Maserati didn't make the Grecale a full hybrid or a plug-in hybrid, Canlas explained that those drivetrains felt like a stop-gap to full electrification, which is coming with the all-electric Grecale Folgore.
"We don't have plans for a plug-in," he said. "We have our new mild-hybrid, we still have our ICE V6 and V8, and the Folgore will arrive in calendar year 2023."
It may seem an odd move by Maserati to hold off on releasing the electric Grecale until next year, but the decision was thoroughly calculated based on current market conditions. "It didn't make sense to bring the Folgore out first. Only around four percent of all sales in the US are electric. It's still small, but growing," Canlas noted. "We've already announced that we will go all-electric. Grecale Folgore will arrive Q4 of 2023, but we'll introduce an all-electric version of our Gran Turismo in summer 2023."
This is the most specific timing we've heard from Maserati on the Gran Turismo Folgore's debut. The car has been teased multiple times and will arrive sporting a whopping 1,200 hp. A gas-powered version will also be available, likely using Maserati's new twin-turbo Nettuno V6.