2023 Maserati GranTurismo Folgore spied testing
Maserati is working on the all-electric Folgore version of the next-generation GranTurismo
Maserati is set to beat domestic rivals Ferrari and Lamborghini in the race to produce their first all-electric car with the upcoming GranTurismo Folgore. We’ve spotted prototype versions before and now we can see development has progressed to the Nurburgring in Germany.
The car will be the launch vehicle for Maserati’s all-electric future but will probably also be available with V8 power when it goes on sale. As part of the firm’s announcement of future participation in Formula E from 2023 onwards, a prototype version of the GranTurismo Folgore was recently driven around Rome ahead of the E-Prix event there in April this year.
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As for these latest images we can see it’s still clad in camouflage however, so we have no better idea as to how it’ll look. Despite being an all-new car, the GranTurismo Folgore shares plenty of design traits with the outgoing GranTurismo.
The side profile of the Folgore looks similar to its predecessor, there’s a long bonnet that slopes into a gently raked windscreen and a thick rear pillar that will no doubt have the Maserati trident badge adorning it. It’s a typical grand tourer in its proportions and many of the smaller details are reminiscent of past Maseratis.
The grille is a similar shape to that of the new MC20 supercar, and the vertical strakes that sit behind the Italian firm’s famous badge have been seen on Maserati’s since the A6 of the 1940s. The headlights are also similar looking to those on the MC20.
At the side the wheels fitted to this test car won’t make production, but previous shots suggest a tri-spoke affair. We can see some huge brake discs behind the front wheels. Maserati has also decided on keeping traditional wing mirrors rather than opt for more streamlined virtual cameras. The rear sports a small diffuser at the bottom and a fairly plain set of rear lights. On the left hand side we can see a flap which almost certainly covers the charging port.
Translated from Italian to English, Folgore means ‘lightning’ and this nameplate will appear on all of Maserati’s future full-electric cars. The brand had previously revealed specifications for the new GranTurismo, as well as a full timeline for the roll-out of its ‘Folgore’ electric car range.
Maserati’s head of product planning, Francesco Tonon, outlined that the GranTurismo Folgore will deliver “way more than 1,200bhp installed power” from its tri-motor all-wheel drive system, which will result in a 0-62mph time of less than three seconds. A top speed of more than 186mph has been confirmed.
While the brand hasn’t outlined any predicted range figures, Tonon did say that the maximum driving range from a full charge will be “satisfying for our customers.”
Maserati’s CEO Davide Grasso went on to detail the brand’s rollout plan for its future EVs when it comes to timescales, with the Grecale and GranCabrio Folgore models also set to launch next year.
By 2025 the Italian luxury brand will also reveal a fully electric version of its MC20 supercar, as well as all-new electric versions of its Levante SUV and Quattroporte sports saloon.
Given Maserati’s commitment to the Formula E race series, it also outlined that its future sporty models – including the GT – will feature technology transfer from race track to road. The GranTurismo Folgore will benefit from Formula E inverters, with a ‘bone’ battery for optimal weight distribution and to keep the car’s centre of gravity low.
The GranTurismo, GranCabrio and Grecale Folgore won’t make use of parent company Stellantis’s forthcoming STLA platforms, preserving their identity as Maseratis, according to the brand.
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However, the next Levante and Quattroporte will be electric-only, offering Level 3 autonomous driving capability. These vehicles could use the Stellantis STLA Medium platform, offering a range of up to 440 miles.
The GranTurismo and GranCabrio will still be sold with combustion engines and Tonon believes that there is still a market for combustion-engined luxury GT models. “Today, the market for an ICE version, especially on a car like that, is absolutely still there. What we are trying to do with Folgore is give the consumer a choice and a different kind of experience.”
While the GranTurismo and GranCabrio will be available with Maserati’s new ‘Nettuno’ twin-turbo V6 engine, an all-electric variant poses an issue for the soundtrack, a key Maserati characteristic.
Tonon said that in the Folgore models “you will not hear an ICE V6 fake sound, it’s about being authentic. The engine is different, so we took the electric motors and we tuned this sound to be a truly raw Maserati. It’s not fake. It started with the electric motor sound tuned to be iconic, unique and Maserati.”
There is more potential for even more powerful and track-baised Maseratis in the future too. When asked if a spiritual successor to the brand’s MC12 hypercar is possible Grasso said: “Short answer, yes. I am saying this with a smile because as we continue to drive the brand forward our customers will be very pleased to see what we have coming up. I don’t want to say any more about that as there’s a critical part of the plan that centres around these initiatives.”
Elsewhere in the brand’s current line-up, the Ghibli saloon will not be replaced with a new-generation model.
Click here for our first review of the new Maserati Grecale SUV…
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