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The Maserati Grecale Trofeo vs The Grecale Folgore: What’s the difference?

ICE Vs Electric: Maserati Edition

A Maserati Grecale Folgore
Maserati

If you’re interested in Maserati’s luxury crossover, the Grecale, you may be wondering what trim is right for you. At the top end, there’s the Trofeo trim which features Maserati’s 3-liter twin-turbo Nettuno engine (the same one you’ll find in the GranTurismo and MC20) and the Folgore trim, which is a dual-motor EV.

The main difference between the vehicles are powertrain based — and you may be wondering how the choice of trim affects things like performance. There are also some cosmetic differences between the two styles, and a noticeable divergence in driving experience.

There’s obviously the overall EV vs. ICE argument too, and one type of vehicle may be your best option for reasons that aren’t exactly specific to Maserati. Though the Grecale does go against convention when it comes to one major EV theme. After spending some time in both trims, here are our thoughts on what similarities the Folgore and Trofeo trims have, and what makes them stand apart from eachother.

Fundamentally, it’s the same vehicle

Maserati Grecale Interior
Maserati

To state the obvious, this is two trims of the same vehicle. It’s a Maserati Grecale, and comes with all of the features you would expect from the Italian manufacturer’s luxury SUV. The interior is exceptional, with either boldly colored leathers for traditionalists, or a option made from recycled nylon for the environmentally conscious amongst us.

That interior, whatever it’s clad in, is spacious and comfortable. The storage space in the back is class-leading, and you can haul even more with the back seats folded down. You can have an audio system from fellow Italian luxury company Sonus Faber.

There is also some degree of offroading capability, with nine-inches of ground clearance and all wheel drive present in both trims. However, the vehicle’s underside isn’t excessively armored, so you should probably avoid rocks and stick to dirt roads if you get the urge to take a Grecale out into the wild. A hazard smashing up a sump is enough to ruin your day, as is potential damage to a battery pack. So the concerns carry over there.

The Folgore gets some unique color options

The Maserati Grecale Folgore in "Dark Aurora"
Maserati

Maserati’s high-end styling isn’t just limited to the interior. The manufacturer also does a great job when it comes to paintwork. You have plenty of solid options no matter what trim you pick  for your Maserati SUV, but those buying the Folgore will have a few extra options, 27 in total.

Many of the unique paint options are copper-inspired, because copper’s pretty central to electrical systems. This includes paints with a kind of copper dust mixed into them — which catches the light wonderfully on a sunny day. There is also a few really solid sea-inspired blue options. Finally, the copper theme carries over to Maserati’s markings on its Folgore vehicles. So the famous trident that features on the vehicle’s bodywork will look like the reddish metal instead of the silver you’ll see elsewhere.

For a pure driving experience, the V6 is your best option

The Maserati Grecale Trofeo
Maserati

One of the main benefits of going electric is arguably the performance boost it brings. EVs often punch above their weight when it comes to things like acceleration, and that instantly available torque is handy when coming out of a corner. So naturally you’d think the electric Grecale would outperform its ICE sibling without too much trouble. After all, the Folgore trim on the GranTurismo boasts the equivalent of 276 more horsepower than the Trofeo trim can produce, and shaves an eye-watering 0.6 seconds off its 0-60 time.

This isn’t the case on the Grecale though. The Nettuno V6 in the Trofeo trim is noticably punchier than the motors in the Folgore. On paper, the EV has more horsepower. But an extra 27 ponies prancing away isn’t enough to offset the extra weight added by the vehicle’s battery pack.

Beyond raw power, there’s also the fact that the Grecale Trofeo’s engine is arguably more true to the spirit of Maserati in general. They’re supposed to be loud. The Italian sports car manufacturer does place speakers throughout the Folgore trim, and puts effort into electronically producing some vehicular noise in “sport” mode, but it’s just not the same. Speaking of “Sport” mode, that’s where the Folgore caps out, it lacks a “Corsa” mode and that’s a bit of a shame.

If you really want to have a lot of fun in a Maserati, “Corsa” mode which perks up the throttle response, shifts gears more aggressively, and even affects the engine’s audio output. The GranTurismo Folgore has “Corsa Mode,” sans shifting obviously, but the electric Grecale seems to have missed out here.

So the EV is a solid option if you want a sporty electric crossover, but if you really do want something that feels like a sports car when you have a bit of spare fun time, but is a small and functional SUV when it needs to be — the Trofeo is not only the best option Maserati offers but arguably one of the best options on the market today.

Dave McQuilling
Dave has spent pretty much his entire career as a journalist; this has included jobs at newspapers, TV stations, on the…
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