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2023 Maserati Grecale Seeks to Usurp the Porsche Macan

2023 Maserati Grecale Seeks to Usurp the Porsche Macan

Baby Maserati has plenty of power and tech

  • New compact luxury SUV that slots below the midsize Levante
  • Powertrain choices include a mild hybrid four-cylinder and powerful V6
  • On-paper specs rival those of the Porsche Macan
  • Introduces the first-generation Grecale for 2023

What is the Grecale?

Since it was introduced in 2015, the Porsche Macan has been the vehicle to beat in the small luxury performance SUV category. While distinct variants like the Mercedes-Benz GLC 63 and BMW X3 M are truly impressive, the fun-to-drive character of those specific vehicles doesn't really translate to their more pedestrian versions. The Macan, on the other hand, is pretty sprightly even in its base form.

The 2023 Maserati Grecale, then, is the first crossover to set the Macan firmly in its sights. The Grecale is positioned as a sporty alternative to mainstream compact luxury SUVs, with even the standard four-cylinder engine available in two states of tune, with each boasting high power figures. The range-topping Trofeo will be even more impressive.

What's under the Grecale's hood?

The base Grecale GT is powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It's paired to a 48-volt mild hybrid system that uses an electric motor to either reduce fuel consumption or provide extra power, depending on driving mode and style. The GT produces 296 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, which is quite a lot for a base powertrain in this class. It eclipses both the mechanically related Alfa Romeo Stelvio (280 hp, 306 lb-ft) and the four-cylinder Macan (261 hp, 295 lb-ft). Maserati says that the Grecale GT manages the 0-60 mph run in 5.3 seconds — several tenths of a second quicker than either of these rivals.

If you want a bit more spice but want to keep fuel consumption low, the Grecale Modena might be up your alley. It sticks with the mild hybrid but bumps horsepower to 325. The 0-60 mph sprint falls to 5.0 seconds even.

The Grecale wouldn't be a Maserati without a high-output model, and the Trofeo meets those expectations. Under its hood lies a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 with a burly 523 hp and 457 lb-ft. Launching from zero to 60 mph is estimated to take just 3.6 seconds, or about half a second quicker than the most powerful currently available Macan. The Grecale Trofeo does without the GT and Modena's mild hybrid layout, but cylinder deactivation under light loads should keep fuel consumption in check, if that's a concern.

But gas-burners aren't the only powertrains in store for the Grecale. Next year, Maserati plans to bring a fully electric version into the fold, which it will call the Grecale Folgore. Full specifications have not been announced yet, but it will be fed by a 105-kWh battery pack, use a 400-volt architecture, and produce up to 590 lb-ft of torque.

All 2023 Grecales will feature an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. To help put power down in corners, a limited-slip rear differential is optional for the GT and standard on the Modena and Trofeo. The Trofeo also features standard adaptive dampers, an air suspension, and larger brakes than those on the GT or Modena.

How's the Grecale's interior?

The Grecale's cabin borrows bits and pieces from the Stellantis parts bin — the steering wheel is pure Stelvio, and the dual-screen infotainment system is conceptually similar to the one in the Jeep Grand Wagoneer — but the overall design is fairly cohesive. Leather is used liberally throughout the cabin, even on the base GT variant, while the performance-minded Trofeo adds carbon fiber, sport seats and contrast-color stitching.

The Grecale's wheelbase of 114 inches is only slightly shorter than that of its bigger brother, the midsize Levante. We were able to check out a Grecale prototype in person and can confirm that it indeed feels quite spacious up front and in the back. Even with the optional panoramic sunroof, there was enough headroom for me, and I'm 6-foot-4.

How's the Grecale's tech?

Performance might be the Grecale's raison d'être, but it's still a luxury vehicle, after all. And that means the baby Maserati is loaded with tech features. Gaze inside, and your eyes are naturally drawn to the center stack, which is composed of two touchscreens. The 12.3-inch upper screen controls the infotainment system, controls one of two available Sonus Faber audio systems (the top-tier model has 21 speakers), and features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Move your eyes downward, past the row of shifter buttons, and you'll see a lower 8.8-inch screen that offers climate control and other vehicle functions. The only part of the Grecale's interior that looks incongruous is the new digital clock that sits atop the dash — like pairing a Brioni suit with an Apple Watch.

Edmunds says

Porsche has been the master of small performance SUVs since it launched the Macan in 2015, and it's run virtually unopposed ever since. The 2023 Maserati Grecale's intriguing powertrain lineup and sumptuous interior show that it has the goods to pose a significant challenge to the Macan's dominance.