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Maserati has released their Ferrari fighting MC20 to the world, and they’ve revealed details about their first compact crossover.
The compact-crossover segment is a hot commodity right now, everyone wants to buy one and every manufacturer has one in their line-up. For Maserati the Grecale will be the first compact crossover, slotting in below the Levante.
WHAT’S IN THE NAME?
Grecale; interesting name. Say it like an Italian and it sounds great, hit it with a thick South African accent and well, it doesn’t hit the ear with the exact same grace. In 1963 Maserati decided to name a car after a wind, the Mistral, and this naming tradition continued with the Ghibli, Bora, Merak, Khamsin and most recently the Levante. The Grecale is a potent north-easter than blows across the Mediterranean Sea, so VW wasn’t the only one to go with the wind names.
Maserati has said that the Grecale is “destined to play a leading role for the brand”. It’ll be built at FCA’s plant in Cassino, Italy, the same plant that builds the Alfa Romeo Giulia sedan and Stelvio compact crossover. It’s no coincidence that the Grecale will share a build location with one of the best compact crossovers; they’ll be sharing the same Giorgio platform. While no engine details or more detailed imagery is available, we’re hoping that the Grecale will have a Quadrofoglio inspired engine option.
Maserati is taking aim at Porsche’s Macan and BMW’s X3 with the Grecale, both of these premium models are incredibly good at what they do. Hopefully, we’ll have more details about the car within the next few months, and there should be spy shots surfacing relatively soon as it goes into testing.
Maserati Levante Gts For Sale
Maserati Crossover 2020
From elements such as the long hood and the dynamic C-pillars to details like the trademark Maserati grille, the pixel master envisioned a dynamic design. And while we're zooming in on the vehicle's various areas, we have to talk about the taillights. As shown by the said official images, the rear light clusters of the vehicle will share the boomerang styling language that debuted on the 2021 Ghibli Hybrid, so they should be sleeker than the units showcased here.
Compared to the LevanteSUV the company introduced in 2016, the newcomer will have a smaller footprint, which means we can expect it to deliver an even sportier driving experience.
And there are other reasons for our sky-high expectations: the Grecale shares the Giorgio platform with the uber-dynamic Alfa Romeo Stelvio, and both models will be built in the same Stellantis plant, namely the one in Cassino, Italy.
However, as highlighted by a recent Stellantis business plan talking about all the brands of the FCA-PSA merger (there are over a dozen of them), Maserati is in its own league, sitting above all the other names in the portfolio. This means we should see the Grecale upping the ante on the luxury front compared to its Alfa Romeo sibling.
As far as the motivation is concerned, earlier this month, Maserati invited journalists to a virtual tour of the Engine Lab it created inside the Viale Ciro Menotti plant in Modena. And while the online visit was obviously focused on the 630 PS (621 hp) twin-turbo V6 Nettuno heart of the company's new MC20 supercar, which is hand-built at the facility, it also delivered a few hints on other engine options that can be expected for future models like the Grecale.
Matteo Valentini, the engineer spearheading Maserati's high-performance engine development, made it clear that while the said 3.0-liter mill will remain exclusive to the company's halo car, the engine's F1-derived twin-combustion technology is set to be featured on the automaker's future powerplants.
Diving into the specifics of the tech, each of the cylinders sports an additional passive pre-chamber accommodating a second spark plug. Note that the engine, which sports both port and direct injection, employs various strategies for using the two spark plugs independently or together. As the piston rises, compressing the air-fuel mixture, some of this is forced into the said pre-chamber. That's where it can be ignited by the second spark plug, causing turbulent flames to shoot into the main chamber, speeding up combustion and thus reducing the risk of knock.
On the one hand, the lower risk of detonation allowed the engineers to increase the motor's compression ratio by 15%, which brings power benefits. On the other hand, the technology helps reduce emissions.
Then again, we can also expect the 2.0-liter four-cylinder mild-hybrid powertrain that debuted on the 2021 Ghibli Hibrid to be offered on the Grecale. We're looking at a 48V system that powers an electric supercharger, which comes to complement the efforts of the engine's conventional, exhaust gas-driven turbocharger. The electric hardware recovers braking energy, with power being stored in a battery located underneath the trunk floor. The result is an output of 330 PS (325 hp) and a peak torque of 450 Nm (332 lb-ft), with the said 48V hardware minimising lag.
In fact, here's a short clip we recorded during a recent visit to the Maserati Romania showroom, which allows us to sample the aural side of the gas-electric powerplant.
As is the case with all new Maseratis, MC20 included, the Grecale will also be offered in all-electric form.
Set to be introduced under the company's new Folgore label (Italian for “lightning”), the EV version of the crossover won't be available right away and we can expect to see this in 2022.