Ciao bella! Maserati has built the baby SUV that Ferrari won't: Meet the new Grecale

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    • The Alfa Romeo Stelvio-based Maserati Grecale is ready to take the fight to Porsche's Macan.
    • It's been lighting up social media as car enthusiasts compare its design to the Ford Puma.
    • Range-topping Trofeo is nothing to laugh about, thanks to nearly 400kW on tap from a turbo V6.
    • For motoring news, go to Wheels24

    Before we even get to the Grecale, let's clarify that the 2022 Ford Puma does not inspire this car's design. Please refrain from sending us Grecale/Puma memes on social. Jokes aside, say ciao to Maserati's all-new baby sports utility vehicle. Could this be the compact Ferrari SUV underneath that has been hinted at for several years?

    We're not sure what sort of DNA the Grecale and the Ferrari SUV will share, but for now, we can tell you that the new Maser is based on the same platform that's used for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. In a stunning world premiere film that seemed more like a tribute to classic cinema than a vehicle presentation, Maserati's head of design, Klaus Busse, walked us through the critical details that make the Grecale a distinct Maserati.

    Maserati Grecale Modena
    Maserati Grecale Modena
    Maserati Grecale Modena
    Maserati Grecale Modena

    For example, he says the vehicle's design, which has been the source of numerous memes as it looks, subjectively speaking like a Ford Puma, is inspired by the MC20 supercar. If you squint a little, you'll see the family ties.

    He adds that it's been crafted by hand as much as honed in a computer simulator. He also says that Maserati engineers wanted to ensure 50:50 weight distribution and that every design element adds a function. It's a beautiful thing, regardless of how you look at it, and we can't wait to see them when they arrive in South Africa towards the end of this year or early next year.

    Maserati Grecale Trofeo
    Maserati Grecale Trofeo

    Something for everyone: Three model line-up

    We've reached out to Maserati South Africa to find out exactly which models we'll be getting, but they won't confirm that just yet and neither will they even hint at indicated pricing. You can, however, expect at least two models - one entry point and a fire-breathing range-topper. At the global premiere this week, three versions of the Grecale were presented: GT, Modena and Trofeo.

    As the vehicle is competing in a reasonably bustling mid-size SUV segment, it will no doubt face some stiff competition in the form of the Porsche Macan, BMW X4, Mercedes GLC coupe. We expect them to arrive with a slightly more premium price tag than these vehicles as they will undoubtedly drip with features and performance.

    Maserati Grecale GT
    Maserati Grecale GT

    Would you buy a Maserati Grecale, or would you spend your bucks elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts on this car and what you think it competes with in the comments section below.

    Maserati Grecale Trofeo
    Maserati Grecale Trofeo

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    The Grecale GT is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder forced-induction mild-hybrid engine capable of delivering 224kW. The Grecale Modena offers a similar powerplant but with 246kW.

    However, the one we think that will attract the most buyers is the new Grecale Trofeo, equipped with a high-performance 3.0-litre V6 turbopetrol engine based on the Nettuno engine installed in the MC20 supercar we mentioned above. It offers a blistering 395kW if you would like to pick on the Macan GTS and BMW X4 M between the traffic lights or when carving canyons.

    To complete the Grecale range, the Folgore, a 100% electric version with 400V technology, will break cover in the coming months.

    Maserati Grecale Trofeo
    Maserati Grecale Trofeo

    Ushers in a new era of Maserati

    According to Maserati, the Grecale stands out regarding spaciousness and comfort, boasting an impressive set of "best-in-class" features. They say you won't want for interior space, driveability, handling, or acceleration. It will take just 3.8 seconds to reach 100km/h from a standstill in the Trofeo before tapping out at 285km/h.

    This stellar performance comes with the extensive use of fine materials such as wood, carbon fibre and leather in the vehicle's construction. Inside, the standout tech specs include the traditional Maserati clock face in the cabin. Digital for the first time, it transforms into a veritable in-car concierge, courtesy of voice control thanks to Android Automotive.

    Maserati Grecale Trofeo
    Maserati Grecale Trofeo

    They add that everything becomes touch-based in the Grecale, with extreme aesthetic cleanliness. Its technologies are controlled from the displays: a large 12.3-inch central screen, the largest ever seen in a Maserati, another 8.8-inch display for the extra controls and a third for the passengers in the rear seats. The vehicle takes digitalisation to a heightened level. However, we're surprised that the Grecale isn't associated with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the blockchain - like the Alfa Romeo toenail, sorry, Tonale, introduced a few months ago.

    Read: DRIVEN | Volvo's XC60 T8 and XC90 T8 - now recharged with new triple layer EV battery

    Additional features that you might find compelling include an in-car connected entertainment experience managed from the Maserati Intelligent Assistant (MIA) Multimedia system. In-car sound is pushed to the limit by Sonus, which has installed (as standard in some markets) 14 speakers or 21 speakers in the vehicle, including bespoke amplifiers and subwoofers.

    Maserati is confident that every journey you make in the Grecale is transformed into a unique adventure that combines dynamic comfort and an unforgettable driving experience. Watch this video below for more on the all-new Maserati Grecale.

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