2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore Embraces the Sound of Silence

2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore Embraces the Sound of Silence

In the United States, outside of the stunning MC20, modern-day Maseratis have a knack for going unnoticed. In small-town Italy, however, the Trident emblem and distinct engine symphonies possess the ability to stop bystanders in their tracks. Approval is delivered via thumbs up from pedestrians. The 2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore and its silence bring a new reaction: head scratching.

Though Maserati’s all-new GranTurismo is offered with a potent twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, the Folgore brings another powertrain option: electric. The Folgore shares the body and styling of the internal-combustion version, with the only differing visual cues being bronze Trident badges and brake calipers along with the omission of tailpipes. At rest, there’s no valvetrain clatter from under the hood, but a warbling electronic soundtrack broadcasting to onlookers. Heck, the Folgore’s hood can only be opened by dealer technicians.

While the Folgore’s soundtrack won’t rattle the bricks of ancient structures in the old world, it represents Maserati’s foray into an electric future. Beneath its striking sheetmetal, there’s a massive wallop of power, courtesy of three electric motors. The Maserati-specific motors—one driving the front axle and two powering the rear—are permanent-magnet synchronous units built by Marelli Motori. Each motor can spin up to 17,500 rpm and is capable of delivering 402 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of thrust. Currently, the maximum combined output is limited to just 818 horsepower. Limiting the motors from their true potential is the 83.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Maserati baked more capability into the motors and inverters in preparation for the next advancement in battery technology, which is believed to be a few years away.

Maserati

The Folgore shares the same overall structure—albeit reinforced to accommodate the additional mass of the battery—as the gasoline-fed model, but while other manufacturers install mattress-sized battery packs in the floor, Maserati takes a different approach. Occupying the center section, some of the “engine” bay, and a bit of real estate behind the rear seat is the dog-bone-shaped battery. Maserati admits that stuffing a taller, hefty brick of lithium down the center of the car raises the center of gravity relative to a vehicle with a flat battery pack, but the beauty of this design is that the floorpan remains low and has no effect on passenger space.

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Range, You Ask?

Maserati engineered the Folgore to be a performance weapon, with the focus on range being ancillary. Though the official EPA ratings are still some time away, we estimate the Folgore should travel 240 miles on a charge. Its 800-volt architecture enables electrons to be replenished quickly on a DC fast-charger at a peak of 270 kW, and recharging from 20 to 80 percent should take 18 minutes, according to Maserati. The onboard charger will deliver up to 22.0 kW to the pack, meaning the Folgore can take full advantage of the most powerful at-home charging equipment.

2023 maserati grecale folgore

Maserati

Behind the wheel in the richly appointed leather cabin, forward visibility is improved over the previous-generation GranTurismo courtesy of reshaped metal and slimmer A-pillars. That’s a good thing because the Folgore is capable of blurring the world ahead.

No fewer than four drive modes are selectable by a steering-wheel-mounted knob. Max Range states the obvious, extracting every mile possible from the battery by dialing back power and limiting top speed to 81 mph. The default setting, GT, keeps the standard air springs and electronically controlled dampers relaxed and allows up to 80 percent of the powertrain’s output. The real Folgore experience begins with Sport mode, where full power is uncorked and the pumped-in sound is amplified. The synthesized audio track also can be turned off.

Thrill seekers should continue to the Corsa setting. It dials back the traction and stability control parameters, lowers the air springs, and tightens the dampers. Additionally, the 12.2-inch digital instrument cluster displays the thermal state of the battery. Within the Corsa setting, and when the battery’s state of charge exceeds 80 percent, Max Boost is accessible through the familiar Uconnect-based center touchscreen. Max Boost preps the battery pack for maximum acceleration and releases all 818 horses. With launch control engaged, releasing the brake pedal shoves shoulder blades into the comfortable seatback with chiropractor-adjusting force. Maserati claims 60 mph arrives in 2.7 seconds. We believe it. Max Boost also unlocks three selectable torque-vectoring and traction control settings. There’s also an Endurance mode within Corsa to maximize the battery pack for track use.

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maserati grecale folgore 2023

Car and Driver

Slowing things down a bit, the Folgore swiftly navigates the twisty hillside roads north of Rome. The steering is always on the lighter side of the spectrum, and cool January weather and winter tires prevented us from pressing the limits. There’s a fair amount of rattle from the multi-link front and rear suspension, but admittedly, Maserati says it has a few months to fine-tune the ride quality. Stopping power comes from brakes shared with the gas-powered GranTurismo. Up front, six-piston calipers clamp 15.0-inch cross-drilled rotors, while 13.8-inch cross-drilled rear rotors are pinched by four-pot calipers. The pedal is light on feel, and the added mass in the Folgore works the brakes hard. That’s a bit concerning, considering the Folgore’s top speed is a claimed 202 mph, making it one of the fastest EVs on the road.

Overall, the GranTurismo Folgore is a hellacious coupe with ample space for four adults. And though it lacks the character of the brand’s internal-combustion engines, both past and present, it certainly doesn’t fall short on speed. We estimate the Folgore to start at $215,000 when it arrives this fall. Whether or not the upcharge over the gas-powered variants is worth it to the Maserati faithful remains to be seen. We think they won’t care. It’s all about being seen, not heard.

Specifications

Specifications

2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore

Vehicle Type: front- and rear-motors, all-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE(C/D EST)

Base: $215,000

POWERTRAIN

Front Motor: permanent-magnet AC, 402 hp, 332 lb-ft

Rear Motors: 2 permanent-magnet AC, 402 hp, 332 lb-ft (each)

Combined Power: 818 hp

Combined Torque: 995 lb-ft

Battery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 83.0 kWh

Onboard Charger: 22.0 kW

Peak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 270 kW

Transmissions: direct-drive

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DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 115.3 in

Length: 195.2 in

Width: 77.0 in

Height: 53.3 in

Trunk Volume: 10 ft3

Curb Weight (C/D est): 5000 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)

60 mph: 2.7 sec

100 mph: 6.6 sec

1/4-Mile: 10.9 sec

Top Speed: 202 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY [(C/D EST)]

Combined/City/Highway: 100/110/90 MPGe

Range: 240 mi