It’s also a fairly unique offering in the growing electric car market. Electric sports cars like it don’t really exist just yet - rivals such as Audi, Porsche and BMW have launched four-door coupes in the form of the e-tron GT, Taycan and i4, so the two-door GranTurismo Folgore stands out as your only option if the style of a classic grand tourer with fully-electric power is what you lust for.
Beyond the GranTurismo Folgore, Maserati has plans to launch a fully-electric version of its mid-size Grecale SUV later this year, while it also has the electric supercar world in its sights, with a battery powered variant of the stunning new MC20.
For now though, the GranTurismo Folgore (Folgore being Italian for ‘lightning’) is leading the charge for Maserati’s electric ambitions - and we’ve driven it. Here’s what we think.
Maserati GranTurismo Folgore design
The first thing you’ll notice when you see the GranTurismo Folgore is just how low it is to the ground. While other electric sports cars are usually a little higher than combustion powered alternatives given the packaging needs of the underfloor battery, the Maserati’s posture is very similar to that of a traditional sports car.
This is made possible by the way the battery has been integrated into the GranTurismo Folgore. Rather than being hindered by using an adapted version of the V6 powered car’s chassis, Maserati’s engineers have put its limitations to good use. The batteries run down the spine of the car. They’re in place of where the transmission would be in the combustion powered GranTurismo, leading into a compartment behind the rear passengers. It forms a large T-shape pack, resulting in no compromise in design or ride height and keeping the car low and sporty. Maserati also says that this format results in a weight distribution more typical of a petrol powered sports car.
The style is an evolution of the GranTurismo’s traditional, low-slung grand tourer format incorporating some of Maserati’s newer design elements. It’s only 1,353mm tall, with a long bonnet stretching out in front of the car to give it a near five-metre footprint.
But it looks remarkably similar to its petrol-powered sibling - touches such as the badging, trim colour and the more aerodynamic grille are the only giveaways.
Maserati GranTurismo Folgore interior, tech and practicality
The first thing you’ll notice inside the GranTurismo Folgore is how digital the cabin environment has become. There are four main points of interaction, all making use of display technology. The instrumentation is fully digital, comprising a 12.2-inch panel behind the steering wheel. But the centre console is heavily digitalised, with a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment unit sitting above an 8.8-inch control panel. Everything from adjusting the temperature, to the heated and ventilated seats and the volume is controlled via this touch sensitive panel.
The final element is the digital clock mounted at the top of the dashboard. Maserati introduced this in the Grecale SUV, and it doubles as an interface for the voice assistant function. It’s also a notifications hub for any connected smartphones, and the car’s charging functions.
The heavy display count may go against more traditional sports car interior design, but the Maserati proves a wonderful exercise in material selection and finish. This starts with the loving perforations in the seat covers woven from recycled nylon, and ends with the copper threads, which run finely chiselled through the consoles as a nod to the car’s electric drivetrain.
Two passengers will be more than happy up front, and even though the GranTurismo is technically a 2+2, the rear seats are pretty useful too. There’s more space back there than in a Bentley Continental GT, for example.
Storage is a little compromised though. The boot is a Ford Fiesta rivalling 270 litres, and there’s no storage under the huge bonnet. It’s bolted shut as important high-voltage electrics are housed there, and can only be opened by Maserati with a special tool.
Maserati GranTurismo Folgore battery, range and charging
As mentioned earlier, the T-shaped battery snaking down the spine of the car and into a compartment behind the rear seats provides the GranTurismo with a low-slung, sports car like look and driving position. But this unconventional shape is large in capacity, too. Net capacity stands at 92.5kWh, of which around 83kWh is usable. That should result in a range of around 280 miles, according to Maserati.
Perhaps the most impressive figures are revealed when you look into the GranTurismo’s powertrain. It uses a triple electric-motor setup, one driving the front axle with two driving the rear, providing four-wheel-drive. In ‘normal’ mode, a staggering 751bhp is available, while an electric overboost function provides up to 819bhp for short bursts. In fact, Maserati boasts that the GranTurismo Folgore features 1,183bhp of ‘installed’ power, even if the upper reaches of that are locked away.
And GranTurismo is not only fast when driving, but also when charging. The car boasts cutting-edge 800-volt technology - the peak standard among European manufacturers - which enables a maximum charging rate of 270kW. You can add up to 62 miles of range in under five minutes, at a fast enough charging station. And a function to pre-condition the battery as you approach the charging point for as efficient a top-up as possible is a neat addition. And for three-phase wallbox users or those charging at work, 22kW three-phase charging compatibility is standard.
Maserati GranTurismo Folgore performance and driving
Arming the launch control function and sinking the accelerator pedal to the floor hurls the two-tonne coupe violently forward, with 0-62mph coming up in a supercar beating 2.7 seconds. Keep going all the way, and the Maserati GranTurismo Folgore will go all the way on to a top speed of 202mph - quite incredible for an electric car with a single gear.
The driving experience is spectacular, and worthy of the sports car image worn on the outside. Combined with the simply unbelievable speed is a tight chassis, direct steering, and variable torque distribution made possible by the two rear wheels each having an independent electric motor. But it doesn’t forget its grand tourer roots either, and remains comfortable no matter which of the four drive modes you’ve selected.
One of the best aspects - easily overlooked - is the natural seating position afforded by the battery layout. You’re sat close to the ground, enhancing the sensation of speed and enjoyment. And to go with the performance and solid ergonomics is a soundtrack developed especially for the GranTurismo Folgore.
Most manufacturers employ an army of composers to create artificial sounds these days, and the Maserati also does this - but it hits the right note. An enhancement of the natural whirring of the motors mixed to sound new and futuristic doesn’t feel out of place at all, but it could be a bit livelier.
Maserati GranTurismo Folgore pricing
Prices for the Maserati GranTurismo Folgore have not been confirmed, but don’t expect this to be an electric coupe for the masses. Instead, as the halo version of the new Maserati grand tourer, complete with new tech and the impressive battery and motor system, it could cost as much as £190,000 when it arrives in the UK later this year.
We think that there's a lot to like about the Maserati Folgore. It's gorgeous, as a classic coupe uncompromised by its electric powertrain, while the level of performance gives the Porsche Taycan Turbo S something to think about. It's likely to be a very expensive option though, but you'll be paying for a somewhat unique, and future-proof electric coupe with enormous power, poise, and quality.