Maserati enters electric era with 750bhp coupe: but is there enough drama?

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“Typically, a Maserati comeback would start with a fabulous-looking, desirable and enchanting coupé and finish with disappointing dynamics, questionable durability or a combination of the two.” Not my words Carol, the words of Autocar magazine more than a decade ago. But given the recent arrival of the fabulous MC20 supercar, perhaps this time the comeback really is on.

Maserati granturismo folgore 04 front trackingThe sleek coupé you see here, the new Granturismo, is what’s next. It may look like the old Granturismo, but the mechanical side has moved a long way from that 2007-2019 car. There will be three flavours, two with the V6 engine from the MC20 (£130k and £150k) and the £190k Folgore with battery-electric power. 

This five-metre-long, two-metre-wide coupé seats four with a boot behind. It’s a 65% aluminium body, the rest steel and magnesium, with double wishbones at the front, five-link suspension at the rear and air springs all round. It weighs 2260kg, a full 450kg more than its V6 sibling.

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In the V6, the engine is up front, powering the rear wheels. In the EV, there’s one motor at the front with a differential and two at the rear, one for each wheel. Then there’s an 83kWh battery in the transmission tunnel and under the rear seats in a T-shape, an 800V system that can be charged at rates of up to 270kW.

Each motor makes up to 402bhp, giving a theoretical maximum of over 1200bhp. But the battery isn’t up to that kind of power flow yet, so it’s limited (limited!) to 751bhp, up to 100% of that going to the rear and no more than 50% to the front.

Maserati granturismo folgore 06 front tracking

Our EV is a prototype, so we can’t show you the interior yet. Take my word for it that there’s soft leather that looks well stitched together, the driving position is sound and too much is put onto two touchscreens, pleasant graphics though they have. It feels very luxurious, anyway.

One of the steering wheel knobs is the most interesting control, as it changes the driving mode. There’s Max Range (they reckon 280 miles), GT, Sport and Corsa. Moving on up adds focus to the suspension, increased steering weight, more relaxed stability control and more whooshy noises. There’s a Drift mode too, but on this prototype you need a laptop to engage it.

Maserati says this is the lowest EV around, as you sit beside rather than above the battery, and that it being centred on the transmission tunnel results in low moments of inertia.

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I suspect there’s also some torque vectoring at work, underspeeding an inside rear and overspeeding an outside rear wheel to help the car turn, because it does so rapidly.Indeed, it does most things rapidly. Sprinting from 0-62mph takes 2.7sec, its top speed is 199mph and it will rapidly flatten the battery if you do too much of either.

Maserati granturismo folgore 03 back tracking

The one thing it does benignly is enter an easy, controllable slide. 

It steers incredibly smoothly, too. It’s hard to know what the ride quality is like, because our drive was on a race track. Over kerbs it felt plush, and a heavy body can help secondary ride quality.Relax into the drive and the noise volume reduces too, at which point this is a very relaxed, refined car that can do amazing things – except make the noises we’ve come to love.That may be a sticking point. We will find out when we try it finished.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes.