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First drive: 2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.

First drive: 2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore
Returning to the market with a more modern design inside and out, will the new GranTurismo be an improvement on its awesome but aging predecessor?

   



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2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

Maserati's stunning GranTurismo coupe has enjoyed something of a sabbatical in recent years, but now it's back. A new face hides new underpinnings, with the old V8 engine swapped out for a 3.0-litre V6, but really forward-thinking customers can have the range-topping Folgore electric model tested here. With three motors and more than 750hp, will this be the pick of the line-up?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore
Price: c£185,000 (est)
Engine: three electric motors
Battery: 92.5kWh lithium-ion
Transmission: single-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power: 761hp
Torque: 1350Nm
Emissions: 0g/km
Range: 279 miles
0-62mph: 2.7 seconds
Top speed: 202mph
Boot space: 270 litres

Styling

Although the car we drove is only an unfinished prototype, the exterior styling is complete. For the most part, it's identical to the standard GranTurismo, but Maserati has changed the nose slightly to make the car more aerodynamic. With less demand for cooling, there are smaller air intakes at the front, while the rear bumper is naturally devoid of exhaust pipes. Maserati has also fitted little Folgore logos to the flanks in a bid to set the all-electric GranTurismo apart from its V6 brethren.

Interior

Although the GranTurismo pinches plenty of features from the Grecale SUV, including the two central touchscreens, the push-button gear selectors between them, and the digital instrument display, it feels slightly better built. Smooth leather is everywhere, the dashboard is finely sculpted and the centre console feels robust. There are issues Ė the buttons on the steering wheel feel a bit cheap and the ergonomics arenít perfect Ė but generally speaking it feels very upmarket. The technology is a vast improvement on the old GranTurismo, and the digital instrument cluster is pretty good, but there are a few issues with fiddly menus and uninspiring graphics. Alongside a BMW 8 Series, it doesnít look that brilliant, but itís better than the Aston Martin DB11ís complicated infotainment system, or the Ferrari Romaís unfathomable driver display.

Practicality

While few customers will come to the GranTurismo in search of practicality, a grand tourer should still have some space for your holiday luggage. Here, the Folgore model falls down slightly, with just 270 litres of boot space, compared with 310 litres in the petrol-powered versions. That might not be a huge difference, but with barely more luggage space than a VW Up!, the Folgore isn't flush for carrying capacity. That said, the cabin is quite roomy, as long as you don't sit in the back seats, but if you treat it as a two-seater with a massive parcel shelf at the back, then it's capacious enough.

Performance

In the past, GranTurismo customers got a thumping great V8 engine whether they wanted it or not, but now there's a choice. You can have a detuned version of the V6 found in the MC20, which comes with either 490 or 550hp depending on whether you choose the classic Modena or the sportier Trofeo. Both are great, and the V6 is characterful enough to ensure you won't miss the V8 too much.

But those who prefer cleaner propulsion can have the Folgore electric version. The name means 'lightning' in Italian, and the car lives up to the designation. With three electric motors producing 761hp, it can get from 0-62mph in 2.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 202mph. And it'll do about 280 miles on a charge according to the official economy test. Of course, that might be pie in the sky for most customers, but Maserati is working to improve the range via over-the-air updates that could see the usable capacity of the 92.5kWh battery increase.

Ride & Handling

If, like us, you think a grand tourer should be comfortable, beautiful and fast, but not too aggressive, then Maserati has built the perfect example of the breed. The GranTurismo soaks up the bumps remarkably well, even in sportier settings, and it makes for a fabulous long-distance cruiser. As a result, the car is not really at its best on a race track, but it can hold its own. There's a bit of body roll, even in the Folgore (that's thanks to the way the battery is packaged), but it's smooth and predictable, which is something of a theme with this car. It's stable and intuitive and easy to drive, with direct steering that isn't too heavy and a beautiful sense of balance from the all-wheel-drive powertrain. Admittedly, the pre-production Folgore we drove had some issues with the brakes, which need to be ironed out before the car goes on sale, but even this early drive showcased a refined and well-judged car with a startling turn of pace.

Value

Maserati has not yet confirmed prices for the GranTurismo, but the company has given us a pretty good indication of what to expect. Basic Modena versions start at about £140,000, putting them on a par with the Aston Martin DB11 and the BMW M8 Competition, but the Trofeo costs an extra £20,000 and the Folgore is set to cost in the region of £185,000. That's roughly what you'll pay for a basic Bentley Continental GT.

Verdict

Without driving a finished Folgore, it's hard to pass final judgement, but initial impressions suggest it will be a cracker. It feels just as a GT car should, without too much emphasis on performance, but it's still great to drive. When the range grows and the niggling issues are sorted, this car has the potential to be brilliant.



James Fossdyke - 13 Feb 2023



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2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.

2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore. Image by Maserati.







 

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